There is a popular misconception that Jakarta is a den of vice and iniquity with a brash red-light scene attracting the fickle young, but that’s not quite the case. Despite its reputation as the city’s sexual hotbed, there are some very respectable venues for those looking to check out a cocktail bar in Indonesia. The city’s discerning cocktail-lovers frequent sleek bars that offer a refined ambiance, inventive drinks and delectable bar bites.
A favourite among the locals, Monty’s combines a stylish resto and whisky bar in one venue. Located in the trendy Senopati area, this eatery boasts a contemporary Scandinavian-inspired menu and features a discreet social lounge/whisky bar on the third floor. This intimate hideaway is the perfect spot to enjoy some sophisticated mixology and a glass of malt in style.
The Cocktail Club is a recent addition to Jakarta’s burgeoning cocktail scene, and it certainly lives up to the hype. The venue, found on the first floor above a bistro in the bustling Senopati district, has a veteran bartending team creating tantalising flavour combinations with locally sourced ingredients. Sample the Batavia Milk Punch with cap tikus (distilled sap of palm trees), fortified marshmallow, rum and oolong tea millk or the Sopi Susu, which brings together fortified milk, gin and cacao cream.
There is a strong fixation with sports in Indonesia and most bars feature multiple screens to facilitate this obsession. However, relying on a particular bar to broadcast your favorite sporting event can be tricky as Indonesians are notorious for changing their TV channels at random.