Will Manila soon have its own Bar Awards?

Jeeves de Veyra

Posted at Dec 05 2019 04:28 PM

Will Manila soon have its own Bar Awards? 1
Asia's top bartenders show off their drinks and skills at the Back Room of Shangri-la at the Fort. Jeeves de Veyra

MANILA -- Exciting times are ahead for the Philippine bartending community after Diageo Reserve World Class and Shangri-La at the Fort played host to The Bar Awards on Tour. 

The Bar Awards started in Hong Kong and Singapore to give recognition to the best bars, parties, drinks, and bartenders, among others, in the cities where they are set up. They have recently conducted activations in countries with thriving bar scenes around Asia like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The tour brought CK Kho of Coley Cocktail Bar (Bar of the Year Kuala Lumpur 2017 and 2018), Meesem “Wi” Wirawee of The Bamboo Bar, Mandarin Oriental (Bar of the Year Bangkok 2019), Mel Chavez of Tippling Club (Restaurant Bar of the Year Singapore 2019), and Jerrold Khoo of Jigger & Pony (Bar of the Year Singapore 2019) to share their knowledge of the bartending industry in their respective cities to members of the media and select Metro Manila bartenders.

In a talk facilitated by Diageo brand ambassador Rian Asiddao, Kho, Chavez and Khoo tackled topics like the importance of using local ingredients, recipes, and flavors to concoct unique city drinks, and the importance of award-giving bodies like the Bar Awards to shape a city’s bartending environment.

Later in the evening, the guest bartenders displayed their skills at cocktail party held at Shangri-La at the Fort’s speakeasy, the Back Room. 

The four bartenders showed off how world-class bartenders move around the bar, almost like a dance, with a precision flurry of movements, taking off-the-wall ingredients like sesame oil and balsamic vinegar, mixing them with Singleton Whisky and Monin flavored syrups into one-of-a-kind drinks.

Will Manila soon have its own Bar Awards? 2
The visiting bartenders pose for a groupfie. Handout

Asiddao hinted that having The Bar Awards On Tour here may be a sign that Manila will have its own Bar Awards in the near future. 

The awards are done through its own nomination and voting system (NAVS) where the public can nominate anyone for the categories. The judges then whittle the nominees down to four and from there, there is another voting round to get the final winner.