It’s hard to keep up with cocktail choices these days. Way back when, there were only the standard or the classics we know today, like the martini, old fashioned, manhattan, tom collins, gimlet, and about 30 others. Now, with seemingly unlimited variations of booze to choose from, it makes even the most decisive person question their choice poison for the night. To help you narrow it down, here are 13 unique, quality tipples you shouldn’t miss out on around Manila:
Heart Of Darkness
WHERE: Buddha-Bar Manila
You’ve played the dating game for so long that the only level up you’re getting is from your anxiety. Enough with the guys who go hot and cold or who just text you when it’s convenient. Time to switch on your tough love and give in to the Heart Of Darkness—a mixture of vodka, port wine, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, and sparkling lemonade. Boy, bye!
WHERE: Studio 28
This one’s for hood girls and good girls living it up in the city. Girls, hit your hallelujah with this Bruno Mars-inspired tipple, because Uptown Funk gon’ give it to ya. If it’s Saturday night and you’re in the spot, let loose with Studio 28’s craft cocktail that blends darjeeling-infused gin with rose liqueur, mancino secco, and liquorice bitters. Say what?
WHERE: Ms. Gee
Just because you haven’t gotten any action lately doesn’t mean it’s in any way appropriate to give this name to your vag, so chalk up this cocktail’s reference to the Harry Potter saga and Ms. Gee’s craft gin cocktail. This herbaceous libation mixes the flavors of peach nectarine, smoke bitters, and gin for a peaty, smoky finish.
WHERE: Bank Bar
Rumor has it that Maria’s got a scandalous reputation for being involved with two Dons, both named Papa, but one who’s 10 years older than the other. Perhaps it’s the charm in the way she makes it all work together—two versions of Don Papa rum, orgeat syrup, Cointreau, bitters, cherry, and cinnamon—that the two Dons are totally okay with sharing Maria’s bed. Or maybe she’s just that good.
Cigarettes After Sex
More like, this is exactly the same idea only epitomized as a cocktail. While the decades-old practice is no longer as popular as it once was or has evolved into other post-coital practices, the phrase “cigarettes after sex” finally gets its own distinct tipple, thanks to INT. Bar. They emphasized on the smokiness of the cocktail by combining two smoky scotch whiskeys, smoked black tea, and topped with egg foam. To top it off, it’s smoked in a bell jar with wood spices!
WHERE: Belle & Dragon
You got people and situations killing your vibe left and right, and sometimes, you just wish you can flip them off or just straight up say F U to them. It’s amazing how a simple gesture of a finger can perfectly encapsulate a complete mood, but it’s even better if you have a drink that says exactly how you feel deep within your soul. Fuck all that unnecessary stress. The Middle Finger from Belle & Dragon’s got your back.
WHERE: The Bowery
You may not listen to his music but you do know his name. The next thing you should know about him is that he has a sandwich named after him, and it’s sinfully tasty and easy to make at home. The Bowery’s Elvis is exactly that, but in shot form—at least, if you can imagine bacon whiskey, banana liqueur, and peanut butter shaken together, poured in a shot glass, and served with a tiny slice of bacon on the rim, anyway.
WHERE: Alamat Filipino Pub
Aside from its witty name, Kapreng Barako is perfect for coffee lovers/addicts...or for those who need a perk-me-up in the middle of their night out (we see you!). TBH, this doesn’t taste like it has alcohol at all. It goes down so smoothly AF that you might mistake asking for a refill on your “coffee.” This traydor drink blends barako coffee liquor, coconut rum, coconut milk, and a dash of cinnamon for a rich and creamy cocktail you won’t mind ordering again and again all night.
WHERE: Big Bad Wolf
Ilocanos love their basi wine so much that they even started a revolt in its name back when the Spaniards imposed their prohibition ban on privately manufacturing the booze in the region. Pay tribute to the customary Ilocano wine and our revolutionary ancestors when you order the Basi Spritz. It’s made with Vigan basi wine, white wine, elderflower liqueur, campari, and orange juice—the perfect after-work refreshment after hours of silently revolting in the office. LOL.
WHERE: Buddha-Bar Manila
Did we intentionally include this cocktail just so we could make a dirty joke about it? You’re damn right. The only thing this cocktail’s missing is “And A Pinay” at the end of the name, and then you have the title of your sex tape. Or leave the name as is and you have a modified lyric to your kinky version of 12 Days of Christmas. Whatever your speed is, this cognac-based drink that’s made even better with Chinese five spice, basil, and citrus bubbles is a definite must-try.
La La Rosa
This may sound like one of the tamer options on this list, but don’t be fooled by the dainty name. This delicious and refreshing cocktail is made with gin, fresh lemon juice, houseblend bitters, and—wait for it—absinthe mist. If you don’t know what absinthe is, all you need to know is that’s has a ridiculously high alcohol content. This may not be in its pure form, but it’s enough to give you an idea of what it actually tastes like.
La Dolce Vita
There are a lot of things to be grateful for, and whatever shitty thing you’re worrying about is taking too much mental space. Remember the things that make you happy, then make a toast to the sweet life, or La Dolce Vita. This cocktail packs a one-two punch with its absinthe and tequila blanco combo that’s masked by citrus juices and agave to live up to its name. Drink more, worry less, and be on your merry way.
Flora x Fauna
WHERE: WYLD Kitchen x Bar
Sure, there are a lot more unique cocktails than are listed in this article, but this particular one takes the cake. The drink itself combines the flavors of gin, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and rose foam, while its garnish includes basil, butterfly pea flower, and of course, the chichaworm. If the idea doesn’t make you gag you should definitely head over to WYLD for a cocktail you’ll never forget.