While bars and clubs are closed and parties are still a no-no, what have Manila’s partygoers been up to since the quarantine started? Apparently partying on Zoom with drinks on hand and Spotify playlists on loop. ANCX decided to take this socially-distanced way to party to a new level with its Drinks-at-Home Party which was livestreamed last Friday June 19 starting at 8:30 pm.
Held on Facebook Live, the party served as an early Father’s Day celebration for dads, their partners, and friends, too. It was also the highlight event of ANCX’s Cheers to the Man campaign which is ongoing until July 3. For this initiative, ANCX partnered with 8 of the top bars in Metro Manila—Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails, Edsa BDG, Nokal, OTO, The Back Room, The Curator, The Spirits Library, and Yes Please—to encourage the public to support them by ordering their pre-mixed cocktails and other drinks for delivery. Unlike restaurants, bars in Metro Manila are still not allowed to have customers onsite under GCQ guidelines.
During the first week of the Cheers to the Man campaign and ahead of the Friday bash, participants ordered their Negronis, G&Ts, Old Fashioneds, and other cocktails from the partner bars to be delivered before the party. Then starting at 8:30 pm sharp, they poured their drinks into glasses filled with ice, dimmed the lights, and logged on to ANCX’s Facebook page to join in the revelry.
Top bartender Rian Asiddao kicked off festivities with an energetic cocktail mixing demo live from his home kitchen. As the Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, Asiddao mixed two cocktails that highlighted The Singleton of Dufftown Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Distilled in Speyside since the 1890’s, this whisky is well known for its balanced, smooth flavors and sweet fruity notes. Asiddao gave away 8 bottles of The Singleton of Dufftown 12YO to lucky winners of a trivia quiz and Instagram contest.
After his demo, Assidao passed the baton to champion bartender Lester Ligon, who most notably won the Diageo Reserve Worldclass Philippines bar competition in 2018.
Ligon demonstrated two signature The Spirits Library drinks, the Adam’s Apple and Il Notorio, both of which can be ordered from The Spirits Library for home delivery. One of the online participants, Marie Reyes, commented, “This is so cool and it’s a nice way to help bars.” Marikit Soliman-Naguiat added, “It’s great that you can pre-order cocktails.”
With Assidao and Ligon setting the mood with their demos, they then introduced DJ Manolet Dario who came in live to spin suave and chill music with beats at 121 to 126 bpm to ease into the night. Naguiat cheered, “Masaya! I wish there was a dance floor so it would be even more fun! Good to hear club music again.”
After DJ Manolet’s set, The Back Room bartenders, Dicky Hartono and Alexandre Renoue (who is also Beverage Manager at Shangri-La at the Fort), mixed two drinks live from their bar, both featuring The Back Room’s signature house gin Bee’s Knees.
Energy levels were ratcheted up for the second set with popular DJ Dr. Gerard Henson playing 80’s music mixed with new and retro songs, to the delight of participants who kept the live chat flowing nonstop with heart emojis, greetings, and song requests. “Definitely a silver lining in our quarantine life! The virtual party was certainly a welcome respite. The DJ selections were upbeat and brought back a lot of good memories,” shared Franz and Marvee Bonoan.
At around the two-hour mark, the night ended far too early for the online partygoers, but they were happy to have caught even a whiff of the nightlife fun that they’ve been missing. Lennon Aguilar, former head bartender of Discovery Primea, chimed in, “With fool proof, easy-to-make cocktails from the best bartenders in town to the live music, it’s a WOW. It’s a new kind of Friday for everyone! And we want more!”
You may also like:
- A step-by-step to the perfect pour over coffee | Man of the House
- Bring the party home by ordering specialty drinks from 8 of the best bars in the metropolis
- This is the bar setup you’ll need to perfect your cocktail mixing game at home
- For Father’s Day, 'bring' dad to this virtual bar with DJs and bartenders on livestream
On this new concept of virtual partying, fellow participant, Anton Bengzon, observed, “If Anjou (my wife) went out and I was by myself at home, I would definitely join an online party and watch the DJs. I could also be chatting with friends who are watching. I wouldn’t have to worry about traffic, parking, and getting my drinks from the bar.” And this may really be the way we’ll be partying for the foreseeable future.
The Cheers to the Man campaign is ongoing until July 3, 2020. Make sure to order your cocktails from the 8 participating bars. To learn more, read this.