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A wave of new cocktails is shaking up Manila's bar scene
Popular local ingredients being used in Manila cocktails include panutsa, calamansi and lambanog
The Manila Sunshine was created to define Manila and promote the Philippines as a destination
San Miguel may be the Philippines’ national beverage, but there’s more to the islands’ drink culture than a 100-year-old beer.
The flavors of the Philippines – its tastes, ingredients, even tributes to landmarks – are increasingly being used in craft cocktail concoctions.
Here are 18 bar favorites now being served in Manila.
1. Mojito de Mayon
Created in honor of the Mayon Volcano, a famous cone-shaped volcano in the Philippines province of Albay, Aracama’s Mojito de Mayon is made with vodka, sugar syrup and muddled lime then topped with a cone of shaved ice.
It comes in strawberry, cherry, passion fruit and mango flavors, but the strawberry is recommended as it makes the drink look like there’s lava erupting from the “volcano.”
Aracama, The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; +63 917 861 2702; P280 ($6.50)
2. Panutsa Old Fashioned
The Raffles Makati Long Bar has given the classic old fashioned a twist.
Along with the usual bourbon, orange bitters and orange peel, bartenders throw in some panutsa, a local palm sugar commonly found in the province of Batangas.
The panutsa is melted into liquid and used as a sweetener, which adheres to the hotel’s mantra of being “locally authentic.”
Raffles Makati, 1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati; +63 2 555 9777; P380
3. Gin Pom Pi
This concoction served at Museum Cafe/Kabila features pomelo-infused gin, fresh calamansi (Philippine lime) juice, cucumber juice, Palawan honey and lots of fresh pomelo shreds.
Garnished with two cucumber sticks, it should fill at least one serving of your daily fruit and veggie requirements.
Museum Café/Kabila, G/F Greenbelt, 4 Makati; +63 2 757 3000; P225
4. Mango Mojito
Hong Kong-based bartender Giancarlo Mancino, known for his cocktails at 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana and Il Milione, created his first Filipino cocktail for Las Flores, a Spanish tapas restaurant.
His mango mojito isn’t a typical fruit shake.
The mangoes – which come in large juicy slices – are used to accent the drink, made from Don Papa rum (a premium local rum aged for seven years in oak barrels of Mount Kanlaon in the sugar capital of Negros), calamansi, syrup and garnished with mint.
Las Flores, G/F, One McKinley Place, 25th Street, Fort Bonifacio, Global City; +632 552 2815; P1,800 per jug
Named after the beloved Filipino desert, which means “mix mix,” the cocktail version blends ube (purple yam), jackfruit, beans, jellies and condensed milk.
What makes it more fun than the original is the addition of lambanog (coconut wine).
Fun, filling and you get a slight buzz from the coconut wine.
Salon de Ning and The Bar, Peninsula Manila, corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, Makati; +632 887 2888; P290