Friday night means tapas and cocktails night at El Cocinero, your taste of Ibiza in the heart of Manila. The highlight of this night is Hierbas Ibicencas, the artisan-crafted spirit infused and macerated with herbs from the Balearics.
Heritage and Herbs
Hierbas Ibicencas are crafted using the handwritten recipes of Juan Marí Mayans, who pioneered the drink in 1880 and launched the Balearic Islands’ very first industrial distillery. These recipes have been closely guarded and handed down the generations of the Mari Mayans family in Ibiza.
This celebrated drink is made with boldly artisanal methods that enlist numerous technological advances as well, enabling cutting-edge checks for quality-control standards.
The drink is composed of herbs that grow naturally throughout the Balearics: lemon verbena, orange, lemon, aniset, rosemary, and the flower of an native thyme known as frígola. All these are all hand-picked by local farmers and brought to the Mari Mayans factory to be selected, weighed and incorporated into preparation processes.
There are four distinct steps to Familia Marí Mayans’ brand of Hierbas Ibicencas preparation: distillation, boiling, infusion, and maceration.
It takes 18-hour sessions in copper stills to extract the plant essences and cool them in snakelike condensation coils.
Once distilled, the aromatic plants are placed in cauldrons of boiling water for the second step.
The third step involves immersing the plants in previously boiled and cooled water and left to infuse their essences into the mix.
Finally, maceration keeps the plants in varying hydroalcoholic solutions between two to six weeks. The duration and type of solution depends on the plants and their particular aromatic qualities.
El Cocinero’s Signature Cocktails
Ibiza’s party scene combines the rustic aromas of Hierbas Ibicencas with cosmopolitan flavors to create cocktail mixes that are uniquely Ibizan. Chef Arnaldo himself has designed his own cocktails for El Cocinero for his guests’ enjoyment.
A play on the Cuban cocktail, Mojito Payes takes sugar, lime, mint, and soda water, and instead of the usual rum, adds a dash of Hierbas for a refreshing and fragrant tropical mix.
Hierbas Ibicencas is also sipped as a digestif after heavy meals. This recipe combines that with the bright flavors of lemon juice and ginger ale to create a palate cleanser with spirit.
The tartness of cranberry and lime come together with the heady aromas of Hierbas and the sweetness of simple syrup in this modern mix that evokes both New York and Ibiza.
Hierbas Ibicencas combines its deep, aniseed flavors and lofty aromatic notes with the tartness and sweet of apples in Toni Manzana.
When iced green tea and mint meets a dash of herbal spirits, it has to be Hierbalicious.
Tapas y Pintxos
Of course, it is the Spanish way to pair food with their drinks, and El Cocinero offers its own range of Ibizan tapas and pintxos. Whether as appetizers before a full meal or as dishes to have with cocktails, these all provide the authentic Ibizan dining experience. Try them all and discover the combination that works best with the cocktails!
Chorizo y quezo tomato cekeza (fried chorizo, cheese, and cherry tomatoes)
Champiñones y gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp and button mushrooms)
Verdura y gambas que mada (grilled green chili and shrimp)
Pan con callos (ox tripe on toasted bread)
Pan con pulpo fritos (fried octopus on toasted bread)
Pollo y huevos de codornes (quail eggs on toasted bread)
Baosque y mar con quezo
Jamon y quezon manchego (ham and manchego)
Patte de atún con aguacate y anchovy (tuna paté, avocado, and anchovies on toasted bread)
Dos tonos (two-tone)
Barca de aguacate con salmon (salmon in avocado boat on toasted bread)
Croquetas de yuka con pollo (cassava croquettes with chicken)
Bolitas de yuka y auevo (cassava balls with quail eggs)
Caramolizado de calamares y melón (caramelized squid with melon)
Ensalada rusa (Russian salad, potatoes, and toasted bread)