Sri Lanka’s first arrack-speciality bar, Ropewalk at historic Galle Fort Hotel turns one

Thursday, 13 June 2024 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

GFH courtyard

In the heart of Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ropewalk, Sri Lanka’s first arrack-speciality bar, marks its first anniversary. 

Nestled within the historic 300-year-old Galle Fort Hotel, Ropewalk is a blend of the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka combined with contemporary mixology and cuisine. Since its inception, Ropewalk has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named one of the best bars in Sri Lanka by Condé Nast Traveller India. The bar has been featured in renowned publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue India, and SilverKris. 

This recognition underscores Ropewalk’s commitment to excellence and its role in promoting Sri Lankan arrack on the global stage.

Ropewalk is at the forefront of an exciting arrack revolution, redefining how this traditional Sri Lankan spirit is perceived and enjoyed. The bar’s menu boasts a variety of unique arrack-based cocktails that showcase local flavours and ingredients. Signature creations like the Ropewalk Signature Sour, made with infused Rockland Old arrack, lime, ginger, lemongrass, and sugar syrup or Only Nabeel Likes This, a combination of traditional Old Reserve arrack, treacle, and masala tea, have been hugely popular. 

After drinks, one can choose to dine at Ropewalk’s verandas with a menu of modern Sri Lankan interpretations such as Cabinet Chicken perfectly paired with rice or mashed potatoes and Stir-Fried Lingus, a sliced pork dish flavoured with onion and garlic, chillies, and tomato. 

Feasts of Ceylon at Ropewalk is a concept dining experience with four degustation menus from the different communities of Sri Lanka – Tamil, Burgher, Sinhalese, and Muslim.

Over the past year, Ropewalk has hosted exclusive events in collaboration with Gourmet Galle, featuring two Michelin-starred Sri Lankan chef Rishi Naleendra, and star chef Peter Kuruvita. These events have highlighted the versatility of Sri Lankan cuisine, paired perfectly with the bar’s innovative cocktails.

Ropewalk has also welcomed celebrity visitors, including Australia’s MasterChef hosts Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston, further cementing its status as a must-visit destination. 

Reflecting on this past year, Ropewalk Founder Amrit Rajaratnam shared his opinion of the journey Ropewalk has taken: “Within one year, Ropewalk has established itself as one of the best bars in Sri Lanka and the authority on all things arrack. Our Instagram viral arrack wall is a telltale sign that Sri Lankans and tourists alike are curious to know more about arrack. At Ropewalk, we are committed to bringing arrack-led conversations to the world and to showcase this quintessentially Sri Lankan spirit to our people and international visitors.”

Ropewalk Head Mixologist Nabeel Kenny added: “Ropewalk has now become the home of the signature Arrack Sour and we are thrilled to push this as the quintessential arrack-based cocktail. Our new cocktail list now presents a separate selection of Arrack Sours, each with specialised local ingredients. In the coming year, the Arrack Sour is going to be a big talking point for us in Sri Lankan mixology.”