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Blind Pig

You’ll likely miss the tiny plaque by the unmarked door in your first attempt at accessing

Blind Pig—because the sign is in braille. Knock, wait for the peephole to pop open, and hope there’s a seat inside—where a beautiful chandelier is set low on the rheostat and amber candles cast dark woods and leathers in shadow. In New York City, Blind Pig’s decor might be considered predictable; but in Manila, where Jose Cuervo is still usually the sole tequila on a back bar, Blind Pig is a sanctuary of high-end spirits. The bar was one of the first—if not the first—serious cocktail ventures in the city, and veterans of New York’s iconic Milk & Honey were consulted on the project. (blindpig.ph The Exit is the sister concept to Blind Pig. While Blind Pig warmed up Manila to the idea of cocktail ice, bitters, tinctures, and lower volumes on the stereo, the Exit pushed the envelope. To get to the Exit, seek out the Plaza CafĂ© sandwich shop a few blocks down from Blind Pig. The bright room is filled with the smell of frying bacon for outstanding turkey sandwiches. Walk to the back and you’ll find a long wall made of dark slatted wood to your left. Give the wall a shove, and step into an easygoing, T-shirt-and-jeans-loving bar. Led Zeppelin is in heavy rotation on the stereo, and the Cosmonauts cocktail (fresh crushed raspberries, lemon, and gin) is a must-try. (+63.2.551.1283)
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