Hot new Filipino mojito bar hits the Six
Plus a nod to Ireland’s signature beer style (which is in no way green) by Karolyne Ellacott
As of late, Filipino food has been blowing up all over the city. From turon to lechon kawali, the love affair has yet to subside. And at Dolly’s Mojito Bar and Panciteria, found in Bloordale village, they’re as excited about the food as they are the drink. Dolly’s is the latest venture from Dave Sidhu, known for his mini Playa Cabana empire. Inside, red booths hearken back to the space’s diner days, while new touches like a giant mural and some noodly light fixtures help imbue it with artsy charms.
THE NEW SPIRIT
Back in the Philippines, Johnny Walker Black has been the go-to beverage at bars for some time. “It’s what all my uncles drink; it’s what my dad drinks,” says Gabe Baron who runs Dolly’s bar. But times are changing, and thanks to the small batch Don Papa, produced on the island of Negros, rum is getting a turn in the spotlight. “I was in the Philippines last November and I saw this at all the bars,” says Baron of the rum.
GIMME THE JUICE
Originally the team aimed to feature Don Papa in their mojitos, but the price point kept things sticky. A smooth five-year-old Flor de Caña was deemed the next best thing. The Filipino mojito starts with mint being muddled before two and a half ounces of rum are poured on top. Freshly pressed sugar cane juice joins in (there’s a juicer further down the bar) along with both pineapple and calamansi juice. Calamansi, the teeny sweet-and-sour citrus fruit found everywhere in the Philippines, is key to the cocktail’s success. “Pineapple juice is both sweet and tart at the same time, but the calamansi really balances it out,” Baron says. The result is a frothy, tropical tipple that tastes just like summer.
Bar manager Gabe Baron and the Filipino mojito