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Raffles Bali - Balinese Arak Creation: the Making of Bali Sling at The Writers Bar Bali

Balinese Arak Creation: the Making of Bali Sling at The Writers Bar Bali

For many cultures, traditional drinks are more than just a pleasant treat on Friday nights. Many use the distilled or fermented beverage as part of offerings or religious ceremonies. However nowadays, travelers are able to incorporate the alcoholic drink in their cultural experience. Introducing the Balinese ‘Arak.’ A traditional spirit from Bali, which is fermented from glutinous rice or sap from sugar palm or coconut trees.

The rice arak also represents the Goddess of Prosperity and Fertility known as Dewi Sri. The alcohol percentage ranges from 20 to 50%. Apart from the obvious – drinking, arak is also used in cultural and religious ceremonies.

Arak can be enjoyed as it is or mixed as a cocktail. The Balinese strongly believe that too many of Arak will allow you to see the witch demon, Rangda in your dream.

At The Writers Bar Bali, we create our own rendition of the iconic ‘Singapore Sling and called it ‘Bali Sling’, this signature cocktail is concocted from gin, grenadine syrup, Balinese arak infused with blue pea tea and jackfruit.

Bali is truly magical. While strolling around the bustling farmer’s market of Bali, across an ancient temple’s courtyard, chatters of roadside vendors luring us in with piquant aroma of spices and vibrant coloured harvests. As we stumbled upon the sight and scent of golden jackfruits in abundance. Under an old frangipani tree with its scattered fragrant blooms. This vivid kaleidoscope was the inspiration behind our signature Bali Sling creation.

Have a sip at our vast array of Arak infused cocktail upon sunset at The Writers Bar Bali.

For more information, please visit The Writers Bar Bali or email us at dining.bali@raffles.com

Steeped in history, Raffles Hotel is the epitome of elegant days gone by. Built in 1887, it was considered the place to stay by upper class British colonials and, even today, no visit to Singapore can be considered complete without stopping by.

The Long Bar, part of the Raffles Hotel, was a popular watering hole for colonial Singaporeans, almost a social institution, and it was not uncommon to see the gents tipping away on their glasses of gin or whisky. However, this was in stark contrast to the women. Prevailing etiquette dictated that they should not drink in public. It was very unladylike to see a woman swaggering or wobbling in public, but quite okay for men to do so. Alcohol was very much the preserve of male habit in those days. Ladies were relegated to sip on juice or water or tea.

These fact sets the background of the creation of the world famous Singapore Sling. In a genius moment of early Singaporean marketing prowess, barman Ngiam Tong Boon clicked that he could slip a dash of gin and cherry brandy into his pink “fruit cocktail” and the men (and public) would be none the wiser. The popularity of the drink spread throughout the world and although tourists may have tasted the drink in their own country, they still love to sit and sip the drink in the very place that it was invented. This is the story of the man behind the timeless cocktail.

Early Life & Career

There is very little evidence that could provide the knowledge of when Ngiam Tong Boon was born – even his great grandson do not know the year till this day. According to him, it is very hard to find out as there are no records from Qing dynasty China.

Ngiam Tong Boon was born in Hainan, China. Grew up working in rice farm back in Hainan, he ventured on sea voyage because during that time it was the only way for the young boys to get off Hainan Island– ready to make better future for themselves. Another story behind the quest was that the night before Chinese New Year, he went into the family kitchen and tried to swipe something to eat from the roast. The meat fell into the stove and was covered in ash, destroying the family’s New Year Meal. Afraid that he might get into serious trouble he ran away and didn’t look back.

He landed up in Vietnam where he began to work as waiter and work his way up to bartender. He was assumed to be working in Hotel Continental in Saigon (opened in 1880) and The Hanoi Hotel in Hanoi (opened in 1896). Vietnam was part of the French colonial Indochina that time and it is most likely there that the rising star met with a French Chef, who later on moved with him to Singapore. By the time he moved to Singapore, he was able to speak French and English on top of his native Hainanese language. He was also equipped to tend bar in Asia’s best hotels.

An Iconic Creation

Ngiam Tong Boon first worked in Singapore at the Adelphi, a grand hotel which was once the settlement’s finest. It was also consider to be one of the oldest hotels in Singapore, operation for more than 120 years. Then he moved to Raffles, which once it expanded in 1899, introducing both electric lights and electric fans, became Singapore’s best hotel. It is the place where Ngiam Tong Boon made a name for himself for his creation and game changer drink that remains to be timeless cocktails enjoyed by many well-travelled connoisseurs.

The drink originally called Gin Sling as it was easier for Chinese travelers. On the account of Arthur, his great grandson, the drink became the Singapore Sling thanks to the sailors who often frequent to Raffles Hotel as it was previously right on the beach.

Legacy

Ngiam Tong Boon has transformed his life from poor Chinese migrant, rise up to bar captain, and then to become plantation owner as well as an investor. His life revolves around the three key values; respect for ancestors, respect for elders and work ethic. He was a canny man and also very generous. He ran a lodging house for new immigrants from China and provide them at employment either at a coffee shop that he owns or at The Long Bar.

He made connection with chairmen of all the big companies in which at the end allow him to acquire rubber plantation. He used his influence to talk to other Hainanese immigrants to send their money home to their family instead of gambling.

Near the end of his days, he went back to Hainan for a visit to his family. It was presumably due to malaria or dengue that eventually took his life. As his family would have put it, he is known as a very strong, determined man, and that made his energy’s presence was felt still very strong.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of this iconic cocktail, Raffles has teamed up with Sipsmith, passionate pioneers of London’s artisanal gin renaissance, to create a bespoke Gin for Raffles Hotels & Resorts. Raffles 1915 Gin was created by Sipsmith Master Distiller Jared Brown and handcrafted at the Sipsmith Distillery in London, exclusively for Raffles Hotels & Resorts.

 

 

Raffles Spa Journeys assure the act of inner and outer transformation by travelling from one place to another through sensory pleasures, unique surroundings and rejuvenating sensations. Leave feeling well-rested and on your journey to living well. With our Raffles wellbeing pillar in mind, experiencing morning meditation is an ancestral art evoking relaxation connecting mind, body and spirit through different techniques.

For those seeking more, peace, love and happiness, tune in with your inner self in our iconic venue, The Secret Cave. This meditation technique is a combination of breathing exercises, concentration and energy movements to balance your mind and body, aiming to increase happiness and self-belief.

Discover your inner Zen through our morning meditation. Immerse in a 60 minutes early morning Ghiri Buana meditation of mindful breathing exercises, concentration and energy movements. Connect the equilibrium of your mind, body and soul. Seek no further than our tranquil Secret Cave for the ultimate me-time at Raffles Bali.

Our dedicated wellbeing practitioners will be delighted to accompany you through this personal journey.

To inquire more, please contact +62 361 2015 800 or e-mail to bali@raffles.com

Celebrate romance in a timeless fashion with us, as we take you on an enchanting evening of curated gastronomy journey by the waters at our Purnama Honeymoon Bale, Raffles Bali’s bespoke dining destination. Soft flickering flames emanate from torches leading up to the Purnama solitary gazebo on the rocks, whilst soft sea breeze and dramatic crimson colours of dusk welcome you. Roses and signature cocktails are presented at the start of the evening, as our culinary team presents an indulgent six-course degustation menu, perfectly paired with our selection of premium Champagne. The quintessential celebration for an evening of nostalgia. This intimate dining experience is exclusive for resort guests.

To inquire more, please contact bali@raffles.com or via phone at +62 361 2015 800

Introducing one of Raffles Bali’s dining destination. Experience a mesmerizing evening on an intimate dinner for two at our Secret Cave. Celebrate with the love of your life in the enchanting ambience of our own natural cave. Flickering torches line up along the pathway as we escort you to the cave at dusk, signature cocktails in hand as our culinary team presents a six-course unparalleled epicurean journey, perfectly paired with our selection of premium Champagne. This intimate dining experience is exclusive for resort guests.

To inquire more, please contact bali@raffles.com or via phone at +62 361 2015 800

Emotional Wellbeing by Raffles is a holistic approach, where guests are intuitively guided through thoughtfully curated experiences, spaces and rituals – bringing them a sense of emotional wellbeing. We consult and collaborate with thought-leaders in the wellness industry to ensure everything we offer is creative, innovative and luxurious.

In a tranquil natural surroundings, we offer rituals to encourage emotional reconnection, physical release and balance to our well-travelled connoisseurs. Our rituals encourage relaxation and recalibration, facilitated not only by a dedicated Raffles Wellbeing Butler but across their entire stay via our spa & wellbeing program as a whole. This mindfulness practice provides our guests with the tools to relax, promote better sleep and to take a moment to unwind from the stresses of the day; our inquisitive colleague intuitively know what our guests need before they do, but our rituals also provide guests with the tools to take control of their own emotional wellbeing during their stay and beyond.

Transcend to an oasis of emotional wellbeing. At the edge of a pristine Jimbaran hilltop nestled in the lush greenery surrounded by the calming sounds of nature, our carefully designed “The Sanctuary”. Inspired by Balinese architecture and ancestral techniques of relaxation and treatments, we offer a unique space to revitalize mind, body and soul. The perfect venue to rebalance your inner and outer self, regaining energy and inner peace featured a relaxation area in outmost comfort.

Raffles Spa Journeys assure the act of inner and outer transformation by travelling from one place to another through sensory pleasures, unique surroundings and rejuvenating sensations.

Begin with an aromatic foot ritual followed by full body exfoliation leaving your body radiant, soft and smooth. A relieving scalp massage is then performed while your body is wrapped in an exotic cocoon, the journey continues with the ultimate aromatherapy massage, using flower oils. Complete the treatment with a relaxing foot revitalizer enjoying the vistas over the ocean. This wellness experience is exclusively for in-house guest.

To inquire more, please contact +62 361 2015 800 or e-mail to bali@raffles.com

Raffles Bali is very passionate about sustainable sustenance. This is one of the main reason behind the concept of our signature restaurant, Rumari. Our House of the full moon and the sun serves Indonesian favorites in contemporary style, with ingredients sourced from only sustainable sources.

All started with the abundance of beautiful and unique produces Indonesia has to offer. Inspired by the authenticity of each heritage dish of Indonesian cuisine combined with the bountiful produces, it was easy to revisit them and create a tribute of these favourites with more finesse, elegance while preserving the distinct aroma and genuine flavour.

Introducing some of our local partners whom have been supplying some wonderful produces essential to Rumari’s gastronomy panache.

Rumari collaborates with Sunria Organic Farm to supply our distinctive organic rice. From volcanic rice, rainforest rice and others. The Farm works with community farmers in Java, ensuring that the production process involves the locals, hence creating the synergy of collaboration.

Our other partners is Made Cupliz from the D’Cupliz Stingless Bee Honey. The stingless honey or ‘madu kele’ is honey produced by ‘kele’ bees, a type of propolis-producing small bee, which has myriads of health benefits such as reducing fatigue and controlling blood pressure. Made Cuplizz will be hunting to the forest to find the trees where the bees built their hives with its reigning Queen, the part of the tree will be cut and transported to his farm, where he will gather all hives, enabling the harvesting of honey at once.

Created from natural mango flowers, Rumari Mango Honey is sustainably sourced from the city of Malang, East Java. Malang Honey is cultivated on mango farm tree, of which the sourced natural mango flower is then aged in wooden barrel to give it a very dark color and a unique taste resemblance of old port wine aged in barrique. With one of the Raffles Wellbeing pillars, Nutrition for pleasure in mind, our Rumari’s honey blessed with myriads of health benefits to assist our immune system.

Following all above sustainable resources, Rumari presents some delectable culinary journey. It offers the most sumptuous a la carte breakfast, a unique and sophisticated Sunday selection of lavish Chef’s Creations, a gastronomy perfection of Rumari Unearthing degustation dinner, and the distinct flavours of Rumari Discovery Lunch.

Rumari Sunday Brunch

Bringing you unique and sophisticated selection of lavish Chef’s Creations from Rujak Scallop to mini Sakanti Bali, authentic Indonesia archipelago’s favourites, and a gourmet selection of artisan pastas, artisanal cheeses, plated degustation desserts, pass around and amuse-bouche.

Rumari Unearthing Degustation Dinner

Explore the distinct flavours of Bali as we take you on an epicurean journey around the island. Savour our Rumari Unearthing delectable 6 course degustation menu crafted from the bountiful seas of Amed, culminating at the fertile Kintamani Mountains and concludes at the gardens of Raffles Bali in Jimbaran.

Rumari Discovery Lunch

Experience the serene ambiance of Rumari at day time, while savouring our Chef’s selections of Indonesia favourites. Our three course lunch set menu offers curated dishes from Ikan Woku, Tuna Sambal Matah or vegan Tahu Kalasan. Finish off the afternoon feast with a decadent Deconstructed Klappetaart or equally sumptuous Le Cuvee Sakanti Bali.

For more info, please contact Rumari WA +62 811 382 095 59 or e-mail to dining.bali@raffles.com

Ramadhan is the most revered month in the Hijriyah calendar. Moslems will celebrate the special occasion with a month-long fasting which will conclude in the fanfares of Eid or as Indonesians affectionately called ‘Lebaran’.

As Ramadhan approaches, Raffles Bali has curated a two night’s indelible journey during the holy month until the Eid week.

Indulge in a three days two nights Raffles Bali wellbeing experience at our captivating Ocean Pool Villa including daily ala carte breakfast at Rumari or pre-selected “Sahur” arrangement, Classic Afternoon Tea or Iftar selections of sweets for fasting break at The Writers Bar and one time 3-course set dinner at Loloan Beach Bar and Grill.

The journey also include return airport transfer, VIP arrival assistance, and 24-hours Raffles Wellbeing Butler service.

Valid for two persons with a period of stay from 10th April to 7th May 2021, this Holy Ramadhan package starts from just IDR 31,000,000++.

For further information, please email bali@raffles.com. Package is subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.

Bali’s Hindu community will celebrate a ten-day religious festival in the weeks ahead that is considered one of the most important events on the island’s cultural calendar. The occasion will commence with Galungan Day on 14th April 2021, an auspicious holiday that signifies the victory of good over evil. It is also believed that the Gods and ancestral spirits will temporarily descend to earth during this period. Galungan will be observed with elaborate offerings, prayers and traditional food. This is a joyous time for the Balinese as they reconnect with family and friends through shared religious dedication.

One of the most striking ornament of Galungan will be ‘Penjor’. Penjor is an elaborately decorated bamboo pole, placed in front of each house. The decoration consists of mostly harvests such as rice paddies, coconut, coconut leaves, other fruits and flowers and intricately cut ‘Sampian’ made of young coconut leaves. Penjor represents prosperity.

Festivities will come to a close with Kuningan Day on 24th April 2021 with special ceremonies held in household temples around the island. The spirits of ancestors will be honoured with symbolic offerings and farewell as they return to the heavens.

This merry holiday celebrates the victory of good versus evil. The entire island will be joining the festivities through lavish temple festivals, prayers as well as celebrations with closest friends and families.

Join us for Galungan weekend special through exquisite Balinese dining experience at Rumari.

For more info, please email at dining.bali@raffles.com or WA at +62 811 382 095 59

Celebrate Easter with the classic Afternoon Tea spread from The Writers Bar at Raffles Bali. Inspired by the High Tea ceremony of the royals, the delicacies are elegantly presented on antique wooden Dulang tray, once reserved for kings and queens of Bali. Indulge in colorful sweets and savories served with premium Dammann Freres Tea or selections of Illy coffee. Easter Afternoon Tea will be held on 2nd and 3rd of April 2021 from 3 PM to 6 PM. Starts from IDR 700.000++ for two.

Revel in the Easter festivities and enjoy our curated Easter Brunch at Rumari. Presenting the archipelago’s best Easter-inspired specialties. Bringing you unique and sophisticated selection of lavish Chef’s Creations from Tuna Poke to grilled Tokusen wagyu, authentic Indonesian archipelago’s favourites, and a gourmet selection of artisan pasta and cheese, pass around amuse-bouche and sumptuous plated desserts.

Starts from IDR 900.000++ (with free flow non-alcoholic beverage). Elevate to Premium Beverage package for IDR 1.550.000++ (Italian scapatella, “Good wine – good blood” and Prosecco) or Luxury Beverage package for IDR 1.850.000++ (French stroll, “Friendship & wines are treasures as they age” and Champagne).

For more information or reservations, please contact Rumari WA +6281138209559 or email dining.bali@raffles.com