Eating/Drinking  •  Cocktail Napkin Review

Cocktail Napkin Review: Bring on the Night Rooster

Welcoming the year of Fire Rooster with the fiery Night Rooster in Ubud, Bali: the first of our Cocktail Napkin Reviews! Cheers and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

January 27, 2017
Roosters crow in the morning, waking up the world; more rare (if they exist beyond myth) are the Night Roosters. A bar of that name, run by foodie-fave Locavore in Ubud, Bali, is nothing less of a rarity. As Raka, the man behind the drinks, has a penchant for dramatics (setting herbs and fruits on fire or covering his glasses in layers of spices), every drink tells a story --or encourages you to start your own. The concept of the pyrotechnics is that the scented smoke filling the air both seeps into the drinks and allows you to inhale the aromas, creating more complex flavors as you use multiple senses.

The three of us had our fair share of cocktails with exotic names. Each came with its unique aroma --some a bit too strong; some just right-- and a distinct way of drinking (experiencing?) them. Many of the tropical drinks make use of Ubud’s fresh and seasonal ingredients; others relied on infused liquors to create distinct flavors and smells. Ashes, our favorite, is Night Rooster’s best seller, served with a smoking cinnamon stick to stir the drink, along with sugar brittle that balances the smokiness and a garnish in the form of a smoldering pine cone. The least tropical of the drinks on offer, Ashes was the perfect balance of bitter, sweet, and sour.

Presentation: ★★★★★ --nothing beats it in aesthetics or creativity
Taste: ★★★★ --some of the cocktails were too sweet for our tastebuds
Ambiance: ★★★★ --we were keen and a bit early (perhaps too early), as we wanted to also sample Locavore’s bar bites (a must b.t.w.) since we were not organized enough to book a table at the much-raved-about Locavore; that said, the view of the sunset and street below from the balcony was lovely.
Tips: Try the food; do not miss Ashes. If you are in Ubud for a few days and, like us, also missed out on a table at Locavore, have lunch or late-night-bites at their sister restaurant/bar, which is fantastic.