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Wandering Mixologist: Scott Beattie in Bali

By Jen Murphy

Dec 5, 2012

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Scott Beattie is more of a bar chef than a bartender. At Napa Valley’s Goose & Gander restaurant, he brings a chef ’s obsession with quality ingredients to his concoctions. A recent bartending gig at the W Retreat & Spa in Bali inspired a new twist on an Old Fashioned (see recipe below), which features simple syrup that Beattie makes using cinnamon, star anise, and cloves grown on the island. But Beattie discovered more than cocktail ingredients in Bali. Here, he shares his adventures.

Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka
“Ubud has been considered the center of Balinese arts and culture for centuries. This great little restaurant is located across from the former Royal Palace. [The descendants of the last king still live in the palace, which is open to the public for dance performances.] The house specialty at Ibu Oka is babi guling, whole roasted young pig rubbed down with coconut oil, turmeric, and other local spices. Think porchetta with a tropical Asian kick: insanely tender, intensely flavored, and quite possibly the best pig you’ll ever eat.” Jalan Suweta Tegal No. 2, 62/(0) 36-197-6345


Jimbaran Beach
“The fresh seafood sold along Jimbaran’s strip of beachside restaurants is worth dealing with the crowds. You pick out whatever looks good, haggle over the price (as always in Bali), pay for it by the kilo, and then the restaurants grill it over a coconut-husk fire. We opted for spiny lobster and giant prawns with the heads still on, which were served with a variety of accompaniments and sauces. This meal, enjoyed with several cold Bintang beers, made for one of our most memorable evenings.” Jimbaran

Scuba Diving
“Diving is a must in Bali. I am a certified diver, and my girlfriend was able to get PADI certified for $470 in only three days through Bali Jet Set Dive and Marine Sports. That price included all of her dives, which is a steal. We dove off Nusa Penida island and through the incred- ible USAT Liberty wreck, only a few feet from the beach in Tulamben. Don’t be afraid to let locals take you to their favorite spots. They will loan you masks and flippers and usually bring a small snack and juice for you.” 62/(0) 36-177-2518, jetsetmarine.com

Central Highlands
“The chef at the W’s Starfish Bloo restaurant hooked me up with the farmer, Gede, who grows most of his specialized produce (plus marigolds for temple ceremonies) in Bedugul in north-central Bali. I spent the day with Gede, who drove me around the area north of Ubud. Tiny winding roads traverse the high jungle, pass miles of stone houses and temples, and curve through terraced rice fields. We ate jackfruit, papayas, and durian fruit, all of which grow wild on the side of the road.”

scott beattie wandering chef

Bali Spice Old-Fashioned
Recipe courtesy of Scott Beattie, Bar Manager, Goose & Gander

2 oz St. George Spirits Breaking & Entering Bourbon
1/4 oz Bali Spice Syrup (see recipe below)
1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters
1 dash Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
Zest and slice of Orange


Add all liquid ingredients to an empty mixing glass. Add enough ice to fill the glass two-thirds of the way up. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds to dilute; then pour over new ice in a rocks glass (or better still, over one large ice cube). Spray orange oil using a citrus zester over the top of the drink and garnish with a slice of orange. 

Bali Spice Syrup
(Makes enough syrup for about 30 old-fashioneds.)

9 inches of cinnamon stick
12 cloves
12 star anise pods
16 ozs 1:1 simple syrup

Start by breaking down the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces. Then add them and the other spices to a spice grinder. Grind until the spices become dust-like, about 1 minute. Heat a stainless steel pan to medium heat. Add the spices and toast them until slightly smoking and aromatic. Keep the pan moving constantly and be sure not to burn the spices. After about 2 minutes, add the simple syrup. Bring to a boil; then drop to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool, about 1 hour. After it is cooled, stir the bottom of the pan to get all the little spicy bits off the bottom and strain through a mesh strainer or chinoise. It might take up to an hour to get all the liquid out, but you can force it through with a spatula for faster results.

This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue. Illustration by Michael Hoeweler.

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