The Jelly List: Crazy Cocktails of QC’s Top Bars for #ThirstyThursday

Thanks to its vibrant food scene and the proliferation of bars, pubs, gastrolounges and watering-holes in it, Quezon City’s nightlife is hoppin’ and happenin,’ at par with those of BGC or Poblacion.

Here, you can expect bartenders to bring their A-game in mixing and concocting spirit blends that can refresh you, give you that satisfying buzz, or knock you out, whatever your trip may be.

So check out the craziest cocktails I’ve tasted among QC’s top bars:

HidN Agenda (Php 330) at HidN Lounge

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge’s signature drink consists of ten different spirits combined together in a large goblet and, with great aplomb, set aflame right before your eyes. This is definitely not for lightweights: with just a little sip, you can feel the drink warm its way down your throat.

HidN Lounge is located at 21 Scout Rallos Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City.

Read more about HidN Lounge.

Sangria Rosa (Php360) at Sabor Bar de Vinos

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sangria is an alcoholic drink that originated from Spain. Technically a variation of the fruit punch, it consists of red wine mixed with chopped fruits and sweetened with sugar water and fruit juice. Sabor Bar de Vinos’ Sangria de Rosa, in particular, is a mixture of rose wine, tequila, pureed guava, strawberry syrup, the juices of pineapple and lime, and as well as mint leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos is located at the Ground Floor of Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.

Read more about Sabor Bar de Vinos.

Cigarettes After Sex (Php350) at INT.Bar

INT.Bar, Cubao Expo

This concoction does call to mind dark deeds in dark places, with its smoky aroma and decadent feel. Served with great fanfare, the drink unveiled amidst smoke once the dome cover is taken off, it’s made with Lapsang Souchong infusion, Laphroaig 10 year old Scotch whiskey, honey, egg whites and rosemary smoke.

INT.Bar is located at Cubao Expo, General Romulo Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City.

Read more about INT.Bar.

Purple Potion (Php320) at BOA Kitchen + Socials

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

One of the ever-changing drinks served at BOA, this blue gin changes to a purple hue when tonic water is added.

BOA Kitchen + Socials is located at Mezzanine Floor, 45 ABDC Building, Scout Rallos corner Scout Tuazon, Laging Handa, Quezon City.

Read more about BOA Kitchen + Socials.

Pedro’s Uprising (Php280) at Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Named after the leader of the 1807 Basi Revolt which came about when the Spanish colonial government banned the private manufacture of basi, the fermented sugar cane beverage, this drink that features basi, lemongrass, brandy and mint is a testament to the Filipino fighting spirit.

Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar is located at Second Floor, CKB Centre, Tomas Morato Avenue Corner Scout Rallos Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City.

Read more about Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar.

In Love with Cacao (Php295) at Wyld Kitchen x Bar

Wyld, Tomas Morato

A dessert cocktail that packs quite a punch, it is a mixture of cacao liqueur, coffee liqueur, amaretto, brandy and cinnamon powder. Whether you’re in it for the sweet or you’re after the buzz, you’ll get both in great supply.

Wyld Kitchen x Bar is located at Second Floor, The Grandia Place, 143 Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Read more about Wyld Kitchen x Bar.

Ibong Adarna (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher) at Salamangka

Named after the mythical bird whose song has healing qualities, this drink is made with tequila, pineapple, calamansi and chili placed in a salt-rimmed glass. A sip of this drink is multi-layered: the citrus flavor from the calamansi, the spiciness from the chili, the saltiness from the rimmed glass and the fire of the tequila as it travels down your throat.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am.

Read more about Salamangka.

So if you find yourself prowling the streets of Quezon City for #ThirstyThursday, or any day of the week, drop by any of these bars and get a taste of their crazy signature drinks, the ones with the personality and spirit that will give you a rollickin’ good time.

Photo Credit: Header image by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash. All other photos are mine.

Tastes of the Pacific Northwest’s own Single Malt Whiskey at Westland Distillery

We usually associate the strong and astringent whiskeys to Scotland where the traditions of brewing and distilling of this spirit were said to be first established. The name whiskey, in fact, was derived from the Gaelic word uisce.

However, the folks at Westland Distillery are advocating a new category of single malt whiskies: that which is home-grown in the Pacific Northwest. While still honoring the same core ingredients – barley and water, and the same time-tested equipment and processes, Westland Distillery produces outstanding whiskies that are defined by its environs: whiskies that are truly American.

It turns out that the Pacific Northwest’s area and climate are ideally suited to the production of single malt whiskey. For one thing, Washington State covers two of the world’s best barley-growing regions, and water from the Cascade Mountains provide the water.

During the fam’s visit to Washington State, Hubby and I were treated by my bro to a whiskey tasting event at Westland Distillery’s Cantilever Room, where we enjoyed the rustic atmosphere along with the distillery’s signature whiskies.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Before the whiskey tasting, we were given a tour of the production floor where we learned the science and artistry that goes into making a very American single malt whiskey.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Whiskey production starts with barley which form part of local farms’ crop rotation practices, thereby further enriching the soil.  These grains are then malted (soaked in water to allow to germinate to release enzymes then quickly dried through a kiln or peat smoking) to achieve five malt flavors that Westland Distillery mixes together according to their ratios or recipes called grain bills: the Washington Pale Malt, the Munich Malt, the Extra Special Malt, the Pale Chocolate Malt and the Brown Malt.  The Peated Malt factors into the Peated whiskey that the distillery produces.

With these many types of malted barley used in whiskey making, how can the distillery’s product still be considered single malt?  As clarified during our tour, for a whiskey to be considered single malt, it just needs to be made of malted barley produced by a single distillery.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

The grains are taken to the mill room for mashing wherein they are combined with water and allowed to ferment to produce wort, which contains sugars that will then be mixed yeast to produce alcohol.  Westland Distillery uses Belgian yeast which adds a floral flavor to the brew.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

In the still room, the brew is distilled first in the onion-shaped copper wash still, then in the spirit still to concentrate and isolate the alcohol.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Westland Distillery, Seattle

The distillation process also cuts the brew into heads, hearts and tails.  The heads are mostly made up of volatile alcohols which are disposed of as these should not be consumed. The hearts, on the other hand, contain most the rich flavors of what goes into the whiskey, while the tails contain the more bitter and musty portions which are also disposed of.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Distilled alcohol is actually clear: the amber color that we associate with whiskey comes from the charred oak barrels used where the alcohol is allowed to mature for a minimum of three years.

The aged whiskey is then blended with those from other barrels to create flavors and achieve consistency per variant.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Westland Distillery, Seattle

After the tour, we proceeded to the tasting area where we were provided with glencairn glasses.  These feature a tapered mouth and are designed specifically to allow the drinker to appreciate the complex flavors and aspects of fine whiskey.

Here, we sampled Westland Distillery’s signature flavors:

American Oak. Made use of the five-barley grain bill together with new American oak casks.  It has a combination of cream and citrus smell and has a fruity and chocolatey taste. This has won the Chairman’s Trophy in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

Sherry Wood.  Made use of the five-barley grain bill but, this time, with casks previously used to age sherry wine.  It has a sweet maple-y smell and taste.  It won as the Craft Whiskey of the Year in the SF World Spirits Competition.

Peated.  Peated malts were combined with non-peated five-barley grain bill to produce a whiskey that calls back to older traditions.  It has a nuttier smell and has a smokey flavor.  It was awarded Whiskey of the Year by the American Distilling Institute.

Single Cask Release (Cask No. 2549).  Made with pale malt barley matured in casks previously used for bourbon.  It smells of pear and tea and has a fruitier taste.

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Other flavors

Westland Distillery, Seattle

Westland Distillery, Seattle

The whiskey tasting was a fun learning and foodie experience for me. I’m not much of a drinker but now I can say that I have a greater appreciation for whiskey.  Whiskey tasting tours are offered from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 12 noon and 4pm, depending on availability.  You can schedule your visit using the distillery’s website.

Westland Distillery is located at 2931 First Avenue South, Suite B, Seattle, WA 98134, open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 12 noon to 7pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For more information, call (206) 767-7250 or visit westlanddistillery.com.

Westland Distillery, Seattle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other beverage tastings:

Winter is here with Johnnie Walker’s limited-edition GOT-inspired label

The Game of Thrones fever is in full swing with the last season set to premiere less than a month away.

Johnnie Walker, the world’s No. 1 whiskey, recently pulled out all the stops with its Game of Thrones-inspired Winter is Here event held at White Space Manila. Here, we die-hard GOT fans, togetger with whiskey enthusiasts, influencers and media guests were treated to an experiential journey through the different GOT-themed houses celebrating by Johnnie Walker whiskey labels.

Together with my coworkers from SKY, I was honored to take part in this exciting event as well.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Prior to entering the venue, we were treated to fingerfoods, fruits, cheeses, breads and meats, as well as sparkling pomegranate juice. This medieval-inspired dining experience was catered by Italian restaurant Cibo.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

At the SKY booth, guests peered into a magic mirror to discover which denizen of Westeros is their spirit Game of Thrones character. (Apparently, mine was the Night King, brrr!)

Johnnie Walker Event

At the stroke of eight, we were escorted inside the venue to make our way through the different houses of Johnnie Walker Whiskey labels.

House Red.

Driven by spice and fire, House Red was vibrant with heat and flame, especially the fiery scenery depicting Oldtown’s Citadel, punctuated by the exciting LED fire performances.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Here was celebrated the Johnnie Walker Red Label, the fruity, spicy and smokey blend that introduced the brand to the world. Today, it is one of the world’s best selling Scotch whiskey.

House Black.

Rising from the ashes from its test of fire was House Black.  Cosplayer Alodia gracing the path through the Dark Forest of Ravens also set the mood for magic and mystery.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

The iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label, with its bold and complex flavors of dark fruits, sweet vanilla and signature smokyness, was embodied by this house.

House Gold.

With the sun-kissed city of Dorne as a backdrop, House Gold was the seat of decadent luxury, where guests can touch the flavors of gold then show off their fabulousness at the glam photo booth hosted by Sam YG.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

The luxuriously smooth Johnnie Walker Gold Label, with its delicate sweetness and rich flavor, was the drink given tribute to here.

House Blue.

Calling to mind the throne room in King’s Landing, guests were treated to the royal treatment by Tim Yap in House Blue where they can lord over everyone while seated on the throne.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Marked by the velvety combination of vanilla, honey, orange, hazelnut and dark chocolate, Johnnie Walker Blue Label was royally paid homage to here.

We gathered in front of the wall where warrior-dancers representing the various houses mock-battled culminating to the Breaking of the Wall.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

House White.

With the fall of The Wall, we guests entered the Winter’s territory where took our drinks at the Ice Lounge and where we awaited the arrival of the Night King.

Johnnie Walker Event

Inspired by the frosty and enigmatic inhabitants North of The Wall, the White Walker is Johnnie Walker’s limited edition variant launched late last year. It was served to guests directly from the freezer to bring out its best tastes and features along with other mixed drinks to further liven up the revelry. (And here’s a tip, when you freeze the bottle, the hidden message “Winter is here” appears in frosty lettering.)

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

The night’s revelries were hosted by Nico Bolzico (who gamely posed with us SKY folks), bolstered by the party music provided by Patty Tiu while scenes from the past and upcoming Game of Thrones seasons were flashed on the screen.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

Winter is definitely here. And the fun has just begun.

Johnnie Walker Event

Johnnie Walker Event

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will premiere on April 15, 9am on HBO (SKYcable ch 54 SD and 168 HD in Metro Manila).

Want to binge-watch the previous seasons? You’ll be happy to know that access to HBO GO is free until April 15. Here, you can watch all past episodes of HBO Original series on-demand as well as watch live telecasts of HBO, HBO Signature, HBO Hits and HBO Family wherever you are using your mobile device! HBO GO is available exclusively to SKYcable subscribers whose subscriptions include HBO. Click here for more details.

Photo Credit for group shots: Jay Redondo of SKY

Speakeasy-type bar scene at Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Don’t Tell is a bar tucked away in a building along with other dining establishments along Scout Rallos Street in foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area. Taking its cue from Prohibition Era speakeasies in the US, this bar serves as a haven for young professionals, a place where they can unwind after their work day or party it up during the weekend to hip-hop and R&B tunes.

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Together with fellow Zomato foodies, I was invited to its exclusive #KeepItHush party where we were treated to free-flowing drinks along with performances from celebrity DJs.

The free-flowing drinks consisted of one’s choice between Jack Daniels whiskey or vodka, with option to add either Coke or Sprite. I then opted to sample a Jack-with-Coke and, the drink I used to have during my college days, Vodka with Sprite. And since I’m in a bar, I thought I might as well order my favorite drink: so I got myself a shot of Bailey’s as well. 🙂

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

The bar chow that we ordered were pretty standard and were served immediately:

Chicken Tenders (Php299). Chicken tenders glazed in a spicy sauce.

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Truffle and Parmesan Fries (Php289). Large wedges of fried potatoes seasoned with truffle oil and parmesan crumbs.

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Chili Beef and Cheese Nachos (Php450). Crisp nacho chips topped with jalapenos, chili beef, shredded lettuce and salsa.

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Beef and Mushroom Salpicao (Php389). Beef tenderloin and button mushrooms sauteed with garlic confit in olive oil.

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

I had to pull a “ninja move” and disappear before the party really got going as this bar scene, with the constant music and dim lighting, isn’t really my thing. However, those who like to party will surely appreciate the youthful energy of the place.

As for me, I got some good chow and a couple of great photo opps, so I’m not really complaining. 🙂

Don’t Tell, Tomas Morato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a party held in this bar.  The food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself. The exception to these are the Chicken Tenders and Bailey’s shot which I paid for.

Don't Tell Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes: