A lot of specialist bars seem to be opening their doors one after the other. Not that we’re complaining, it’s actually nice that the city’s beverage and cocktail industry is growing more and more diverse.
A couple of months after Pahit began serving gin-based cocktails and gin & tonics, The Rum Bar KL followed suit. Instead of gin, it’s offering all things rum and nothing else. Not only does it provide another venue where drinkers and aficionados can finally enjoy solid rum-based cocktails and classics, but it also marks the promising future of the Caribbean-born spirit in Kuala Lumpur. Pretty exciting, huh?
Another bar specialising in its own niche is Botak: Liquor Bar, which replaced the short-lived Ray that used to operate above its sister café Cho Cha Foodstore along Petaling Street some time this year. Improving on an earlier plant-based cocktail bar concept, Botak’s award-winning bartenders only use clear spirits and incorporating them with organic ingredients that were planted and nurtured by their colleagues.
But if you prefer whipping up your own drinks (without falling into a depressive state at home), you’ll be happy to learn that you can now finally spend time drinking with your buddies at KL’s first self-serving bar. You might not be getting the usual reds, whites, and bubblies this time, but you can down as much imported craft beers, whiskies, or vodkas as you can at the Bottle Haus in Bangsar.
Looking for more choices? Scroll further down to see 5 of the newest bars that are worth visiting this month!
A firm believer that rum is more than just a base spirit for making mojitos and Rum & Coke, this Changkat bar specialises in rum-based cocktails that houses the largest rum selection in Malaysia. Boasting around 250 old and new limited-edition rum labels, the Werner Group-owned speakeasy bar imports their spirits from Puerto Rico to Barbados, Thailand, and the Philippines. In case their bartenders are too occupied to recommend anything, ask for Chocolate & Orange Old Fashioned (blending dark cacao, angostura, and orange bitters with Diplomatic Mantuano) and The Don (a mix of Cana Brava 3-Year-Old and Strongbow Gold Apple).
The Rum Bar KL, No. 47, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3-2110 3678
Situated in the heart of Chinatown, this local bar highlights their plant-based approach to mixology. Botak: Liquor Bar incorporates a variety of partially home-grown vegetables, as well as fresh fruits and flowers into their cocktails. Highlights include Violet & Dragonfruit (a combination of grappa, dragonfruit, violet liqueur, maraschino, and lime for RM42), Sweet Pea & Elderflower (unaged whiskey mixed with sweet peas, organic elderflower cordial, and lemon for RM48), and Papaya & Cuka (made with a light rum, papaya, chili padi shrub, lemon zest and creole bitters for RM36).
Botak: Liquor Bar, No. 156, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3-2022 1100
Surrounded by shrubs growing out of a bath tub and ferns hanging from the walls, Shuang Xi is cramped up in a small place that can only cater a handful of customers per night. But what it lacked in size, it makes up in ambience and service that can surely double the fun for lucky groups of friends, who will be able to reserve a spot in advance through the bar’s Facebook page. Try out their original cocktails that combine vodka with banana milk and salted caramel, or plum wine with ginger and you’ll know how the private bar stayed true to the Chinese calligraphy characters it was named after.
Shuang Xi, No. 177A, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 14-944 5130
In reference to the postcode where the most-prized addresses of London are located, W1 channels a British-inspired restaurant that serves up traditional to modern English dishes. Meanwhile, their bartenders shake up unique cocktail creations like signatures Soho Sour (Strega mixed with herbs and spices for RM35), Primrose Hill (Rose wine mixed with vodka and vanilla for RM30) and Paddington Bear (a concoction of spirits combined with marshmallow syrup & grapefruit for RM37).
W1 Dining, Bar & Cocktails, No. 22, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia +6016 221 6512
Bottle Haus, No. 34, Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +6017 239 6015