It is a truth universally accepted that no gathering of Filipinos is complete without an icebox of cold beer—and while it remains both a classic and an essential for very good reason, one fed up with the laws of the universe may ask, “Where is the art? Where is the excitement?”
Those looking for something bolder, more inventive to sip on may find a good answer closer to home than expected—in drinks made by Filipinos, all available a simple add-to-cart away at websites like Winery.ph, one of the country’s biggest online marketplaces for wine and liquor with thousands of bottles available for purchase.
Here are drinks you can try to proudly support local:
Engkanto Mango Nation Hazy IPA
Many don’t realize that beer can be complex too—and are completely disarmed when they’re punched in the face by all the tropical fruit flavors packed into Engkanto Craft Brewery’s Mango Nation Hazy IPA. As its name would suggest, this craft beer is brewed using the Philippines’ pride and joy: its mangoes. This is the kind of brew that would go well with your usual pulutan while still being right at home with a cheese board or even a steak.
Ube Cream Liqueur
Wherever the Ube Cream Liqueur appears online, so do the words “sold out.” This unapologetically purple drink was named the World’s Best Cream Liqueur in 2022 and has raked in international awards for Destileria Barako, which many will also know as the team behind Poblacion mainstay Agimat at Ugat Foraging Bar and Kitchen. The acclaim—as well as the fact that it smells and tastes like a dangerously fun ube ice cream with a hit of cream and sugarcane vodka from Negros—is slowly giving it cult-favorite status here at home.
ARC Barrel Reserve Gin
Full Circle Craft Distillers could arguably be credited with putting the Philippines on the map for craft spirits and liquors with its award winning flagship ARC Botanical Gin. The drink proudly represents Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, as it is infused with botanicals foraged across all three regions: pomelo, dalandan, Benguet pine, mango, ylang-ylang, and more. They’ve also introduced the ARC Barrel Reserve Gin, which takes things in a toastier, spicier direction—a move which has garnered critical acclaim.
Three Hens Sauvignon Blanc
Strictly speaking, the Philippines has yet to produce its own wine made of actual wine grapes due to its hot climate and rougher storms. This, however, has not stopped the emergence of Filipino-owned wines. Take for instance, Three Hens, which is owned by three Filipinas working directly with a winery in Spain’s famous La Mancha region. Together, they create fun easygoing wine perfect for treating yourself mid-week. For those looking to try them, go light with the refreshing Three Hens Sauvignon Blanc which is bursting with grapefruit, lime, and guava.
Sirena Blue Pea Gin
Fun fact: the Philippines is the world’s biggest market for gin. And spicing up the local scene are new craft favorites like Sirena Blue Pea Gin, another award winner from Destileria Barako. This gin champions local botanicals like sampaguita, pink pomelo, and blue pea flower—this last one gives the drink its deep blue color, and transforms it into a shocking pink when you add a dash of citrus or tonic water. Mix this into a gin and tonic at your next get-together, and you’ll have a great conversation-starter in your hands.
Zabana Tropical Spiced Rum
Most know Emperador Distillers for its brandy, but not many are aware they make a mean bottle of rum too. Zabana Tropical Spiced Rum screams it’s inspired by the Philippines’ tropical climate, all warm spices and candied fruits and thick with flavors of pineapple, coconut, anise, and nutmeg. Which means it’s a great mixer for tropical cocktails like Mai Tais and Piña Coladas.
Kanto Perya Popcorn Vodka
Another award-winning spirit by Destileria Barako, the Kanto Perya Popcorn Vodka and its sibling–Kanto Salted Caramel Vodka—were created with the casual inuman in mind, and you can see it with the bottle’s clever design featuring a jeepney plying the streets. This vodka is made from Negros sugarcane, infused with a toasty popcorn flavor that’ll make you nostalgic—and luckily, you won’t have to restrain yourself too much, as it’s much lighter than other vodkas at only 20% ABV.
Crazy Carabao Pilsner
Craft beer can be intimidating to someone only familiar with the classic Pale—but really it shouldn’t be. Pilsner beers are the same style, and Crazy Carabao’s take is excellent, keeping that signature light, crisp taste while introducing a spicier, toastier, and zestier flavor. If you’re keen on exploring further, try grabbing the Crazy Carabao Variety Pack, which includes their Pilsner, Golden Ale, and India Pale Ale.
Chateau Pré la Lande Cuvée Diane
While Chateau Pré la Lande is indeed a French winery, it deserves a special mention for the fact that it is co-owned by a woman born and raised in the Philippines. Angelita Baucé and her husband Michel are the winemakers behind this completely biodynamic, organic, and vegan winery in Bordeaux, and they are producing stunning red wines. The Cuvée Diane—a red blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc—is Chateau Pre La Lande’s signature, sure to impress with its smooth tannins and beautiful aromas of cherry and coffee.
The drinks scene in the Philippines is finding its feet, with more distinctively local takes and flavors available than ever before. That’s more reason to open these bottles at your next get-together, or even on a night after work. Tagay!
All of these featured drinks are available at Winery.ph. Get updates and drinking tips and hacks by following Winery.ph on Facebook and Instagram (@wineryph) — and for more great deals on your favorite wines and spirits, visit www.winery.ph