Blast back to Bali in the 1930s with this bar’s unique cocktail list


Let’s be honest — we’re tempted to roll our eyes every time we hear of a new bar in town that has a “unique” signature cocktail, so trust us when we say that the signature drinks are actually unique on the just-released menu of Viceroy Bali’s Apéritif Bar. Dubbed the Cocktail Anthology, the collection is less of a menu and more of a beautifully illustrated booklet that features five new drinks named after five historical figures whose careers were influenced by Bali in one way or another. Intrigued? Here’s a quick low-down of the Cocktail Anthology’s five stars.

The Anthropologist, aka Margaret Mead

Photo: Viceroy Bali

Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist who spent three years in Bali, specifically in a village called Bayung Gede in the central highlands. During her stay from 1936 to 1939, she captured the everyday lives of the residents of Bayung Gede. Featuring strawberry, grapefruit, and pineapple rum, the Anthropologist’s fruity notes reflect Mead’s exuberant energy.

The Composer, aka Colin McPhee

Photo: Viceroy Bali

Born in Canada, Indonesian composer Colin McPhee was the first Western composer to make an ethnomusicological study of Bali. Inspired by the island and specifically the gamelans, he produced several written works about Balinese culture, including the 1947 book, A House in Bali, and the posthumously published Music in Bali. Nusantara cold brew and fernet branca make The Composer’s blended malt base even bolder, and the addition of pandan is a subtle nod to McPhee’s Southeast Asian influences.

The Illustrator, aka Miguel Covarrubias

Photo: Viceroy Bali

Miguel Covarrubias was a famous painter as well as the author of Island of Bali, his personal account of his three-year stay in the city in the early 1930’s. Covarrubias’s colorful life and art style are reflected in The Illustrator’s array of vivid flavors. The drink is served with a pepparkakor on the side, and the list of ingredients include tequila, cinnamon, citrus, and coconut which all combine to make a creamy concoction that still packs a punch.

The Primitivist, aka Walter Spies

Photo: Viceroy Bali

German artist Walter Spies moved to Java in 1923 before moving to Ubud four years later where he co-founded the Pita Maha artists cooperative. During the 1930s, the collective hosted many Western artists in Bali and provided guidance to local painters. An expert blend of multiple ingredients including spiced rum, organic coffee, lemongrass, and coconut make the Primitivist a silky and smooth drink despite its complexity.

The Novelist, aka Vicki Baum

Photo: Viceroy Bali

Set during the 1906 Dutch invasion of Bali, Austrian writer Vicki Baum’s novel A Tale from Bali interweaves several different narratives to provide a nuanced and detailed perspective of the event. In keeping with the multi-dimensional nature of Baum’s writing, The Novelist is an amalgamation of spicy, sweet, and sour, with ingredients like passionfruit and huacatay mixing with the aji limo tequila base.

If reading up on all of the histories behind each of these drinks has put you in a make-your-own-cocktail mood, Viceroy Bali has got you covered there, too! Grab some friends and sign up for an Apéritif Bar Cocktail Masterclass where you’ll learn trade secrets about everything mixology-related that you can then use to create two unique cocktails inspired by whomever you choose.

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