Mango rum, barako liqueur, and more local drinks to try

Carol RH Malasig

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Filipinos are manufacturing different types of wine and liqueur that are set to take on the global market

MANILA, Philippines – Drinking in the Philippines is a very popular pastime, across many different occasions. Mix that with innate creativity of Filipinos and you get something out of the ordinary. 

At a recent Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) event, several liqueur and wine makers gathered to showcase their products to representatives of the international community.

Ambassador Jose Maria Cariño, who heads the DFA’s Cultural Diplomacy Unit, says they are set to implement a policy which would direct all Philippine embassies and consulates abroad to use Filipino wine and liqueur in diplomatic functions and national celebrations abroad to further promote our local industries.

In a country where people can throw a party just by mixing gin or vodka with any powdered juice flavor, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Filipinos can also come up with several different types of wine and liqueur – some, original while some are modified versions of what is beyond our borders. (READ: Crazy candy-colored cocktail recipes to try at home)

No, we’re not talking about your usual reds and whites but something more. Here are a few of local wines and liqueur that caught our attention.

MANGO RUM. Unadulterated sweetness with a strong kick in the end. All photos provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs

Mango rum, wine

The Philippines is known worldwide for its mangoes. Not just the ones that come from Guimaras but all over the country. And with the production of mango rum and wine, people have found a new way to enjoy one of the country’s most common fruits. 

Like most of the wines and liqueur on the list, mango rum and wine does offer some benefits – just make sure you drink moderately to avoid a killer hangover the next morning. Mangoes are pumped with vitamins as well as important mineral salts for your body.

BARAKO. The strongest of Filipino coffee beans makes its way into the liqueur market

Coffee liqueur

Yes, we’ve all heard or tried Kahlua but in Batangas, our homegrown coffee farmers are also brewing something other than the usual coffee.

Using barako beans known to produce extra strong coffee, they are making coffee liqueur that’s got a more powerful kick and may just keep you more awake rather than drowsy.

Coffee beans are blended and aged for a maturity period of over 18 months to come up with the bittersweet liqueur rich in coffee’s natural antioxidants. (READ: Experiment! 7 easy drinks you can make at home)

EVERY COLOR. With flavors like passion fruit, duhat, pineapple, and Filipino cherry among others, there's indeed a lot of choices when it comes to honey wine

Honey wine

Fermented honey produces mead. But mix it with fruit flavors on the fermentation’s first day and you get flavored honey wine.

Usually sweet with a hint of flavor, honey wine can be a bit strong and may get you woozy with just a few glasses so make sure you watch your intake. 

FILIPINO TRADITION. Coconut wine or "tuba" making is one of the Phiilppines' long-standing traditions

Coconut wine

Coconut wine or toddy is something we locally call tuba. A similar concept of liquor making is known in some parts of Asia and Africa.

However, what makes Coconut wine unique in the Philippines is the number of ways it is presented. It comes in several varieties – a few of which are sweet red, sweet white, and even dry.

Coconut wine makers even add barok to the wine to give it natural antioxidants that are good for your body. A barok is the bark of a mangove – a type of tree that grows in saline coastal sediment habitats in tropical countries.

HERBAL WONDER. More than just your everyday cough relief syrup, the oregano is now fermented, bottled, and ready to drink to help you flush out toxins

Oregano wine

More medicinal than intoxicating, oregano wine can help you flush out those toxins while soothing your throat.

It is made from fermented oregano leaves and is produced by elderly women in Tiaong, Quezon. It can also aid your body in curing cough while loading you up with vitamin K.

Ever tried any of these? Which ones are your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below. –

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