Komang is very talented bartender who is based in the middle of Bali Island in a haven called Ubud. Komang is the head mixologist/bartender at Room4dessert which is owned by Will Goldfarb.
Don’t let his age fool you, he’s been working with spirits since before he could drink. His skills and hospitality as a bartender are both top-notch.
Can you tell us more about the beverages at Room4Dessert?
At Room4Dessert, we focus on classic cocktails and turn them into something modern with touches of local ingredients.
How long have you been bartending?
I have been bartending for 2 years; I started when I was still in high school, training at a bar in Kuta. After I graduated, a family friend helped me get this job with Chef Will Goldfarb at Room4Dessert, and that instantly opened my eyes to different flavour combinations and techniques.
What title do you prefer – Mixologist or bartender?
Mixologist? bartender? No, I am just a guy standing behind the bar, waiting for someone to enjoy my drinks, and sharing the experience.
What is your favourite drink to make and enjoy?
It depends on how I feel at the time, but a classic favourite for me is a Sidecar with passion fruit. It is also my girlfriend’s favourite, because we appreciate the fresh, tart and fruity components.
When you have a great drink in your hand with good people, you’re always going to have the best time.
Can you describe the Balinese cocktail culture?
In Balinese culture, we use Arak and Brem for ceremonies and for offering to the Gods. We also use Tuak from palm trees for big ceremonial events too.
As a Balinese can you introduce us to 3 local ingredients?
- Mangosteen is what we consider the queen of the fruits. It has white, sweet pulpy flesh and my favourite part is the peel. The peel is typically not consumed but I use it to make my own bitters.
- Soursop is a large, spiny, green fruit with sweet flesh that is the component for many drinks in Bali
- Kemangi (lemon basil) has soft, herbal leaves that complement many beverages like the Last Word. It also has many medicinal benefits, so that’s why I like to use it.
What is your favourite local flavour?
I like tamarind because of its tartness and high antioxidant content. It also reminds me of my mother because she would use it to make “Es Rujak” for me as a child. Rujak is a simple Indonesian fruit salad with palm sugar sauce, chilies and tamarind syrup.
What is a traditional Balinese alcoholic beverage?
A traditional Balinese alcoholic beverage is Tuak, the result of the first stage of fermentation from nira (palm tree sap), and Arak, which is the second stage of fermentation. It has a high alcohol content, and its taste ranges depending on the village that produces it.
What are you working on in these days?
We are currently working on our new cocktail and mocktail menu to pair with our new dessert menu, “Season 5: Blood on the Tracks.”