Inspired by Japanese mythology, Sora presents two new menus for Sora Bar and Whisky Library
June 24th, 2023
Occupying the 37th-floor rooftop overlooking Cambodia’s vibrant capital and offering undeniably stunning aerial views, Sora Bar at Rosewood Phnom Penh has revealed two imaginative new menus for its indoor bar and Whisky Library. Paying homage to two distinct Asian cultures, the drinks honor native Cambodian ingredients and are curated to tell stories of Japanese folklore.
In partnership with Proof Creative consultancy, the brainchild behind both menu concepts, the hotel’s Sora Bar introduces 12 nuanced and progressive cocktails to its portfolio. Divided into four chapters, each offers three beautifully-crafted drinks (including one non-alcoholic option) showcasing the complexities of a quintessentially Cambodian ingredient. The venue’s stylish and intimate Whisky Library offers six new whisky cocktails, each celebrating the historical aspects of Japanese Samurai warriors.
Crow Collins (L) & Shapeshifter (R)
At the Sora Bar, a vividly illustrated menu begins the story with a tribute to Cambodia’s high-quality rice. Influenced by the ferocity and strength of the Japanese dragon Tatsu, the God of the Seas cocktail blends brown rice-infused London Dry Gin with dry vermouth and rice vinegar, and is finished with a sea smoke spray – a smoky twist on the Dry Martini.
Another featured character is the fabled Tanuki, a shape-shifting raccoon-like spirit known for its love of sweets – embodied in the rich and smooth Shapeshifter cocktail. The distinct caramel notes of this perfectly balanced cocktail come from Cambodian palm sugar and a fat-washing technique called ‘florage,’ which infuses Diplomático rum with cashew nut butter. The drink is then stirred with miso for umami and whisky for back-bone, and presented with a side serving of cashew nuts.
Additional stand-out cocktails include the lively aperitivo-style Sora 75 -a twist on the classic champagne cocktail, French 75; and The Crow Collins infuses Plantation rum with banana flower to create a delicate, naturally pink concoction.
The Imperial cocktail
Meanwhile, at the Whisky Library – a sophisticated space encompassing the widest selection of dark spirits in Cambodia, the cozy lounge boasts 24 varieties of fine cigars and exudes a rustic intimacy. Serving a whisky-based range of stirred, thrown, and built cocktails, the bar’s new menu unfolds as a personalized handwritten journal, paying tribute to the Tenka-Goken – the legendary five great swords of Japan. Thoughtful touches of symbolism include a diamond-shaped index reflecting the diamond pattern found on katana handle wrappings.
The Imperial is a light and earthy tipple featuring dry figs infused in Scotch whisky, plus Campari, Japanese umeshu, and a splash of ponzu. Named after the Imperial Museum which houses Onimaru – the Demon Sword – this cocktail is served on a metal tray with a bowl of figs.
And The Rosary recalls the compelling Buddhist tale of the sword Juzumaru Tsunetsugu – a blade used not for war, but for peace – with a symbolic rosary wrapped around its hilt. Embodying the spirit of this lore, this take on the Japanese classic Highball features Westward Whiskey to bring a refreshingly dry finish to the drink, which is paired perfectly with a cigar.
Sora: Daily from 5 pm to midnight. Sparkling Wednesday promotion: Wednesdays from 8 to 10 p.m.
Whisky Library: Weekdays, from 5 pm to midnight, & Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and Public Holidays, from 2 pm to midnight.
(images credit Rosewood Phnom Penh)