Filipinos love to drink. Although beer is the most common drink of choice for most, we offer way more than that. When in Manila, you should definitely try the different drinks and cocktails served at our finest hotels and bars.
Below are 10 drinks that are inspired by Filipino culture, landmarks, and attractions, and uses nothing but the finest local ingredients. These cocktail concoctions will surely set you up for a great time here in the country.
Aracama’s Mojito de Mayon
This mix was created in honor of the great Mayon Volcano, the famous volcano found in the province of Albay that has a perfect cone shape. The Mojito de Mayon contains vodka (I know, Mojito’s are traditionally made with white rum, but stick with me here), muddled lime, and sugar syrup. It’s then topped with a heaping cone of shaved ice, instead of the ice cubes used in traditional Mojito. It comes in mango, passion fruit, cherry, and strawberry. We recommend getting the strawberry flavored one since the syrup makes the drink look like lava is spewing out of it like an erupting volcano.
You can get this drink at Aracama, The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Raffles Makati’s Panutsa Old Fashioned
This is an Old Fashioned with a Filipino twist. This contains a generous amount of bourbon, orange bitters, and an orange peel for garnish. The Filipino twist comes from the panutsa, which is a locally made palm sugar commonly produced in the province of Batangas. This is a class of muscovado sugar that often comes in small chunks or blocks and is used in making confectionaries or as a sweetener. The panutsa is added to the cocktail and melts into the mix to make it sweeter.
This drink is served at the Raffles Makati, in Makati Avenue, Makati, and follows the hotel’s
mantra of “locally authentic.”
Museum Café/Kabila’s Gin Pom Pi
These was a time when gin and pomelo juice was so popular, everyone choose it as their drink. Who wouldn’t love Gin Pomelo? The sweetness of the pomelo juice covered the taste of gin and taking down a glass was easy as pie. The trend slowly died down and beer went back to its spot on the top. As a reminder of these times, the Gin Pom Pi was born. This drink is a mix of pomelo-infused gin, cucumber juice, fresh calamansi (Philippine lime) juice, Palawan honey, and topped with lots of fresh pomelo shreds. It’s also garnished with cucumber sticks, so it should at least be counted as one serving of your daily vegetable and fruit requirements, right?
Try this refreshing drink at the Museum Café/Kabila, G/F Greenbelt 4, in Makati.
Las Flores’s Mango Mojito
Now this Mojito is made with real rum. In fact, it’s made with Don Papa rum, which is a premium, small batch, locally made rum that’s aged in oak barrels for 7 years and distilled in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon in Negros, the sugar capital of the Philippines. The drink was created by Hong Kong-based bartender Giancarlo Mancino, mixing the local rum with a little splash of calamansi juice, mangoes, sugar syrup, and garnished with cool, refreshing mint. They only use the largest, juiciest mangos that adds a sweet, tropical taste to the drink. It’s definitely a great choice for those warm summer nights.
You can order the Mango Mojito at Las Flores, G/F, One McKinley Place, 25th Street, Fort Bonifacio, Global City, and it also comes in a jug, ideal for those night out with friends.
Salon de Ning’s Halo-Halo
This mix takes its name from the popular Filipino desert, which roughly translated to “mix mix”. Think of this cocktail as the adult version of the desert. It has the usual ingredients, ube (purple yam), beans, jackfruit, jellies, and it’s sweetened with condensed milk. What makes this halo-halo different is that they actually mix in lambanog, which is a local coconut wine that packs a powerful punch. This fun and filling dessert cocktail is sweet, refreshing, and can give you a slight buzz.
This special Halo-Halo is available at Salon de Ning and The Bar, Peninsula Manila, in Makati.
Shangri-La’s Manila Sunshine
A special drink that represents the warm, sunny weather and sweet people of Philippines, as well as a way to promote the country as a top tourist destination, the Manila Sunshine was created by Makati Shangri-La under the request of the Department of Tourism. The drink is made with Filipino-made and sourced products. It has a lambanog base, mixed with triple sec and dark Tanduay rum. Fresh mango and pineapple juice is added and a garnish of tangland (lemon grass) and a slice of pineapple is placed in the glass. This cool, thick, and frothy drink is perfect to have while relaxing by the beach or pool.
Aside from the Makati Shangri-La, you can also get this drink at Shangri-La Mactan in Cebu and Shangri-La Boracay.
Vask’s Las Islas
For a tart, refreshing drink, a glass of Las Islas is the thing. This cocktail is made with triple sec, light rum, peach schnapps, mint, and muddled mangoes. It has the base similar to a Mojito, but the peach schnapps and mangoes give it a more fruity and tangy taste. Ingredients are still locally sourced and produced, and they use locally grown, fresh, ripe mangoes. Las Islas is a tribute to the 7000 plus beautiful island found in our archipelago.
The cocktail is available at Vask at the 5/F, Clipp Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. This
modern Spanish resto and bar features drinks and cocktails named after Spanish cities and colonies.
Fresh’s Spiked Sago’t Gulaman
Sago’t Gulaman is a classic, favorite Filipino drink. We could simply get a glass of this from street peddlers and enjoy it with street food like Isaw and Kwek-Kwek. The Spiked Sago’t Gulaman is a fun take on this classic drink. It was created by Lee Watson, the beverage manager at Fresh. The cocktail has a base of rum and amaretto, which goes perfectly well with the flavor profile of brown sugar and syrup that Sago’t Gulaman is known for. It also has a bit of a citrusy taste to it to make it more than just the usual mix. Don’t forget to enjoy the little pieces of gelatin and tapioca pearls in the bottom of the glass when drinking this.
Enjoy this Filipino classic with a twist at Fresh, Solaire Resort & Casino in Paranaque City.
Long Bar’s Makati Sling
This is our version of the Raffles’ Singapore Sling. This is a frothy mix packed with tropical flavors and a pineapple base. Served in the same glass as a Singapore Sling, the mix includes line, pineapple juice, Tanqueray Ten gin, Grand Marnier, cherry blossom, and Benedictine and Angostura. This is whipped into a foam and garnished with, get this, 24k gold flakes. A little extravagant and over the top, but hey, it’s one drink you don’t want to miss.
Order the Makati Sling at the Long Bar, Raffles Makati.
Martinis Bar’s Calamantini
Want a good boost of vitamin C while enjoying a cocktail? Try the Calamantini. This is Martini with a splash of fresh calamansi juice. The best thing about it is it taste just like calamansi juice since the tartness and citrus flavor cuts through everything else. You might want to keep count of how many glasses of these you’ve had though so you won’t get a little too loosen up.
The Calamantini is available at the Martinis Bar, Mandarin Oriental in Makati.