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Thread: BARTENDER! The DRINKS Thread

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  1. #91
    ^^^ (Cont'd )

    Turning Giraffe into a bar would prove to be an inspired decision. The loosening up would be best illustrated by the old, cumbersome divider making way for a resplendent, gleaming oval bar that encouraged guests to go around it, make friends, form connections. The concept-change didn’t seem palatable to some of the partners, so those not keen on the bar business bowed out, leaving only the five mentioned above to usher the business into its new chapter. Quicho sought out friends willing to bring in fresh capital. He found a savior in Antonio “Tony Boy” Cojuangco, then PLDT chair, who bought all the shares from the owners on their way out.

    Almost at the same time it shifted gears, Louie Cruz joined Giraffe as its PR director upon Quicho’s invitation. Son of J.V., the former Philippine ambassador to Britain, Cruz, a lifestyle columnist of Lopez-era Manila Chronicle, he of the off-the-shoulder blouses, was then best remembered for his Halakhakan parties, a series of soirees he organized after the Aquino assassination in ’83.

    “The first thing I did was invite the different groups within my circle of friends through a ‘leader’ of each group,” Cruz tells me. “And those groups represent different fields in society: the fashion designers, the business people, politics, people from entertainment.” Impressively connected, the mix of people on Cruz’s first night was any upscale bar’s dream crowd, among them the designer Budji Layug and socialite Eva Abesamis de Koenigswarter. The rest escapes Cruz now. By evening’s end, everyone had a fabulous time, and the owners present, giddy about the turnout, decided dinner and drinks would be on the house. The memorable evening would plant a seed that resulted in each guest returning the favor by patronizing the place over and over, bringing along with them their equally glamorous friends who would in turn spread the word about the new happening hangout.

    While the boldfaced names were a necessary ingredient for the bar’s early success, so were the expats who frequented it. “The Philippines then was at its peak economically, so there were a lot of transient businessmen around the Peninsula, the Shangri-La. Most of them, after work, or after a meeting, eventually ended up in Giraffe,” says JR Isaac, a regular.

    Their presence would become an essential ingredient in creating Giraffe’s seductive urbane, international vibe. Coupled with society’s crème de la crème—Baby Fores one night, Diana Jean Lopez the next, Cristina Valdez, Doody Tuason, and Menchu Soriano—it was a combination that attracted the rest of party-crazy Manila: yuppies, preppies, the beautiful people of the PMAP, or the Professional Models Association of the Philippines, Burgos girls and discreet call boys, tomboys and trannies, politicos and businessmen, cougars and DOMs, artistas and their cohorts. Cojuangco would bring Gretchen Barretto, who he was then still wooing. Melanie Marquez and Anna Bayle were at one time regulars. Pepe Smith would be seen partying with production designer Don Escudero. Rustan’s’ Nedy Tantoco would walk in with Mario Katigbak. “Where else do you see senators schmoozing with cross-dressers, expats with boy toys, debutantes with movie stars, and PR queen Louie Cruz doing his famous finger lickin’ dance?” wrote Leviste in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

    While Giraffe did start its life as a fancy dining spot, only when it was transformed into a bar did the name eventually suit its own skin. “It finally made sense,” says Louie Cruz. “Because it was like a jungle, with all these predators and prey.” Indeed, no other animal could have symbolized the Giraffe world better, itself a creature of beauty, elegance and allure, but also forever sticking its neck out, the better for calling attention and for spotting the night’s would-be object of desire.

    “There was really an undercurrent of sexual energy inside Giraffe,” says Dingcong, “so if you stayed late and drank until 3 A.M., or what we call hora de peligro [hour of peril], it was already kind of a free-for-all, choose your own target.” Even one of the bar’s signature songs expressed outright libidinous declaration. Remember Mousse T’s “Horny ’98”? That was a big hit at Giraffe.

    Cruz would be the silent witness to the nightly hunter-and-hunted goings-on, watching the proceedings from his elevated corner by the kitchen, his bottle of Fundador conveniently at arm’s reach. Older men propositioning younger women, dusky women exiting the scene with white men, straight boys going home with gay boys. On some weeknights, when there wasn’t much of a crowd, Cruz would send the best-looking man in the room a drink, with the instruction for the waiter not to mention who sent it. The idea being one more drink would make the guy stay longer, encourage him to drink some more, get him going, and with his confidence boosted introduce himself to a lady, or a group of ladies, thinking one of them his secret admirer. Eventually, he would buy them drinks. And everyone, including the cash register, was happy.

    “It was always happy in Giraffe,” says Alta Tan, the former model who worked as public relations officer at Faces before taking on the same hat at the 6750 haunt. “Kung may gulo man, naka-publish na ’yon agad, and it’s always talk of the town.”

  2. #92
    Scots left reeling as Canadian whisky named world's best

    Saffron Alexander

    20 NOVEMBER 2015 • 11:28AM

    The Scots are renowned for their whisky but, for the second year in a row, whisky from another country has been named the best in the world.

    Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, a Canadian malt whisky, was awarded 97.5 marks out of 100 in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, earning it the title of world whisky of the year.

    Despite its stellar reputation in the whisky world, not a single Scottish whisky made the top five.

    Jim Murray's 2016 World Whiskies of the Year
    Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canada) - £47 a bottle
    Pikesville Straight Rye (USA) - £33 a bottle
    Midleton Dair Ghaelach (Ireland) - £180 a bottle
    William Larue Weller Bourbon (Bot.2014) (USA) - £65 a bottle
    Suntory Yamazaki Mizunara (Bot.2014) (Japan) - £45 a bottle

    Editor of Scotchwhisky.com Becky Paskin said: "While it's disappointing that Scotch has been omitted from Murray's top five again, it's heartening to see that he's included a real mix of whiskies from around the world that aren't all selected from the luxury sphere.

    "The absence of Scotch, however puzzling, has no bearing at all on the quality of whisky coming from Scotland. Interest in world whisky is increasing and and drinkers are likely to want to experiment with the medley of styles and flavours available.

    "It's important to remember that, whether you agree with Murray's top five or not, this is just one man's opinion. My advice would be to go out and taste these whiskies for yourself."

    Despite not winning the coveted whisky of the year award, Scotland's Glenfarclas 1957 Family Cask 2110 did win the single cask of the year award.

    Whisky expert Murray tasted more than 1000 whiskies before deciding on the Crown Royal and called it a masterpiece: "Rye, that most eloquent of grains, not just turning up to charm and enthral but to also take us through a routine which reaches new heights of beauty and complexity.

    "To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice."

    Tom Sandham, one half of the Thinking Drinkers, said: "The news of a Canadian winner might surprise some, but it shouldn't.

    "The country has extraordinary whisky heritage. And rye is one of the original grains in North American whiskey production, it has long been re-asserting itself with connoisseurs and leading bartenders who use it in classic cocktails. So to see it break through here is evidence of the grains's resurgent popularity.

    "But remember this is only one view, and a nice bit of publicity for man, brand and whisky as a whole, but the only way you'll determine what you like is if you try things. Lots of different things. The great thing about whisky is that a wider demographic is now engaging, which is excellent because there are hundreds of stunning whiskies being made all around the world right now."

    Yvonne Briese, Vice President of Crown Royal said: "Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye showcases the rye whisky that has been such an integral component of the Crown Royal Deluxe blend since 1939. This is a testament to the unbelievable blending and distilling that’s been taking place in Gimli for over 75 years.

    "We are thrilled that Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye has been named World Whisky of the Year."

    Some whisky connoisseurs were sceptical of the win, with specialist whisky author Charles MacLean telling The Times the success of foreign winners was a marketing ploy: "You should compare like with like. These whiskies from around the world are all made to be different. Canadian whisky allows for all sorts of additives, such as prune juice to sweeten it.

    "This is forbidden in Scotch, which has strictly defined terms of how it can be made. It must have the flavour derived only from the raw materials: barley, water and yeast. Nothing may be added."

    However, Murray defended his choice robustly: "Last year people were shocked when I gave [Japanese whisky] Yamazaki the award - until they tasted it. Then they saw it was not the affront to Scotch they first thought and something truly extraordinary.

    "This year, doubtless there will be many more eyebrows raised because rarely is Canada mentioned when it comes to the world's top whiskies. But, again, I have no doubt people finding the bottling I tasted will be blown away with this whisky's uncompromising and unique beauty. It certainly puts the rye into Canadian rye."

    The winners in full

    SCOTCH

    Scotch Whisky of the Year - Glenfarclas 1957 Family Casks #2110

    Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks) - Glen Grant 10yo

    Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask) - Glenfarclas 1957 Family Casks #2110

    Scotch Blend of the Year - The Last Drop 50yo

    Scotch Grain of the Year - Clan Deny Cambus 1987 25yo #9320

    Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year - Compass Box The Lost Blend

    SINGLE MALT SCOTCH

    No Age Statement (Multiple Casks) - Ardberg Supernova 2009

    No Age Statement (Runner Up) - Laphroaig An Cuan Mor

    10 Years & Under (Multiple Casks) - Glen Grant 10yo

    10 Years & Under (Single Cask) - Saar Gruwehewwel

    11-15 Years (Multiple Casks) - Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Strathmill 2002

    11-15 Years (Single Cask) - SMWS 4.199 (Highland Park 1999)

    16-21 Years (Multiple Casks) - Old Pulteney 21yo

    16-21 Years (Single Cask) - Old Malt Cask Highland Park 1998

    22-27 Years (Multiple Casks) - Glen Moray Port Cask Finish

    22-27 Years (Single Cask) - Wemyss Kirsch Gateau (Bunnahabhain)

    28-34 Years (Multiple Casks) - Tomatin 1988 25yo Batch 2

    28-34 Years (Single Cask) - Glenfarclas 1985 Family Casks #2593

    35-40 Years (Multiple Casks) - Tomatin 36yo Rare Casks Batch 1

    35-40 Years (Single Cask) - BenRiach 1977 Batch 11

    41 Years & Over (Multiple Casks) - Ledaig 42 Years Old

    41 Years & Over (Single Cask) - Glenfarclas 1957 Family Casks #2110

    BLENDED SCOTCH

    No Age Statement (Standard) - Ballantine’s Finest

    No Age Statement (Premium) - Ballantine’s Limited

    5-12 Years - Johnie Walker Black Label

    13-18 Years - Ballantine’s 17

    19 – 25 Years - Royal Salute 21

    26 – 50 Years - The Last Drop 50 Years Old Sherry Wood

    IRISH WHISKEY

    Irish Whiskey of the Year - Midleton Dair Ghaelach

    Irish Pot Still Whiskey of the Year - Midleton Dair Ghaelach

    Irish Single Malt of the Year - SMWS 118.3

    Irish Blend of the Year - Powers Gold Label

    AMERICAN WHISKEY

    Bourbon of the Year - William Larue Weller 2014

    Rye of the Year - Pikesville Rye 110 Proof

    US Micro Whisky of the Year - Notch 12

    US Micro Whisky of the Year (Runner Up) - McCarthy’s Batch U14-01

    BOURBON

    No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels) - William Larue Weller 2014

    No Age Statement (Single Barrel) - Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project Barrel 20

    9 Years & Under - Booker’s Bourbon 63.95%

    10-17 Years (Multiple Barrels) - Eagle Rare 17yo 2014

    RYE

    No Age Statement - Thomas H Handy

    Up to 10 Years - Pikesville Straight Rye 110 Proof

    11 Years & Over - Sazerac 18yo 2014

    WHEAT

    Wheat Whiskey of the Year - Parker’s Heritage 13yo / Release 8

    CANADIAN WHISKY

    Canadian Whisky of the Year - Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

    JAPANESE WHISKY

    Japanese Whisky of the Year - Yamazaki Mizunara 2014 (Japan only)

    Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Barrels) - Yamazaki Mizunara 2014 (Japan only)

    Single Malt of the Year (Single Barrel) - SMWS 119.14

    EUROPEAN WHISKY

    European Whisky of the Year (Multiple) - English Whisky Co. Chapter 16 / Peated Sherry Cask

    European Whisky of the Year (Single) - Kornog Taouarc’h Chweec’hved 14 BC

    WORLD WHISKIES

    Asian Whisky of the Year - Amrut Greedy Angels 10yo

    Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year - Heartwood The Good Convict

  3. #93
    9 Old-School Pinoy Beers You Were Too Young to Drink

    Or you probably weren't alive back then for these tito tagayan hits.

    By MAAN D'ASIS PAMARAN | 3 days ago

    Craft beers may be the literal and figurative buzz these days, but it may take some time before the traditional tambays get their taste of these golden brewed beverages on tap. The market is still dominated by the bottled brews that we have all grown used to - San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Red Horse (that comes with the corresponding Happy Horse urban legend) and San Mig Light (mahaba-habang inuman!).

    For those who have started drinking from the '80s onwards, though, they would recall a time when there were more choices that could be bought from the neighborhood suking tindahan. We look back at some of these drinks that our titos, titas, and tatays enjoyed back in the day.

    Gold Eagle Beer

    It was a light-bodied low-cost beer that was made for "easy drinking" by the San Miguel Corporation. The target market was the workingman, with endorsers such as Ka Freddie Aguilar in a sepia-toned homage to the simple life in the countryside. A cheeky commercial with Idol April Boy Regino extolled the virtues of having a cold one as a reward to getting over daily challenges while dishing out innuendoes about a farmer na magaling mag-araro, and a mechanic na magaling mangalikot, with pretty girls smilingly serving the beverages.

    Stag Pale Pilsen

    Because of its cheap price, this slightly bitter beer with a "complex" aroma by Asia Brewery found an unintended market ? high school boys sneaking in a few drinks at house parties. Its most notable endorser was action star Jeric Raval, who is said to embody the young market at the time, with a campaign titled "Sa Daigdig ng Malaya" where the message is you can be anything you want to be.

    Manila Beer

    It was sold as a low-cost extra strong beer, perfect for hanging out with the boys. It was launched in 1985 and has since been reformulated and relaunched by Asia Brewery sometime in 2010 as a walang sabit and no-hangover beverage to reach a young, hip market.

    Beer Hausen

    Its main draw was that it was a "natural beer" because it was brewed using mountain spring water. It was the first beer brand launched by Asia Brewery in 1982 to go against San Miguel's decades of dominance.

    Since beer and sports traditionally go together, here's a little basketball trivia: Beer Hausen had its own PBA team headlined by El Presidente Ramon Fernandez. It was the start of the Fernandez-Jaworski rivalry as the two former Toyota teammates battled it out for several seasons for hardcourt dominance.

    Carlsberg

    In 1987, Asia Brewery received the license to brew the international brand in the Philippines, and it received so much hype. Pinoys who wanted to be seen as more worldly jumped on the chance to try this new premium beer that came in a green bottle instead of the usual amber/brown. Taste-wise, the Euro pale did not really fit with the Filipino palate, and its aroma was a sharp contrast to the sweetish smell of "chico" that Pinoys are used to.

    Beer na Beer

    It was originally launched by Asia Brewery as Beer Pale Pilsen in 1988, and it caused a big controversy in Philippine industry as San Miguel claimed copyright infringement and unfair competition. Asia Brewery won the first round at the Pasig Regional Trial Court but the decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals in 1991, Asia Brewery was prohibited from using the brand name. Beer Pale Pilsen was then renamed Beer na Beer.

    The big to-do didn't stop there either. In a battle that was said to be the clash of the Titans, Lucio Tan-led Asia Brewery filed a case at the Marikina Regional Trial court against then-Danding Cojuanco-led San Miguel in 1997, claiming that San Miguel allegedly hoarded, smashed, and illegally removed Asia Brewery's empty beer bottles and plastic crates from circulation.

    Flavor-wise, Beer na Beer is said to be preferred by 9 out of 10 beer drinkers in a blind taste test, for its "Smooth, clean, and refreshing" beer taste that won three Monde Selection Gold Medals in Brussels.

    Lagerlite

    Drinking beer was often seen as the province of manly men, but the entry of San Miguel's Lagerlite showed the successful women can imbibe too. With commercials that featured then-newscaster Loren Legarda, pop singer Joey Albert, and director Laurice Guillen taking a break, many of Manila's career women took notice and started to celebrate their own personal successes with a cold beer in hand.

    The tagline was "Lady, you deserve a break," and it was a groundbreaking move that liberated many women from societal expectations?to give you a picture of how it was, the only other alcoholic drink marketed towards women at the time was Maria Clara Sangria (you get the picture, right?). Of course, it has to be said that Lagerlite was originally targeted towards men but they did not take to it well, thinking it was not "macho" to drink light beer, so advertising shifted to women.

    Max Premium Beer

    Do you remember Max Beer? The internet doesn't. What we do know is that it was the second beer product launched by Asia Brewery, launched in 1983 as the company's answer to San Miguel's Red Horse.

    Halili Beer

    This brand of beer was said to have gone head to head with San Miguel in the 1960s. Halili Beer was manufactured by former Bulacan Governor Fortunato Halili's F.F. Halili Enterprises at their plant located in Balintawak along with non-alcoholic drinks Mission Orange and Goody Root Beer. They also had their own transportation line, Halili Transit & Taxicab. Rumor was that it was so successful San Miguel tried to buy them out.
    Last edited by Joescoundrel; 11-21-2017 at 02:23 PM.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  4. #94
    ^ I also remember Blue Ice Beer and Labatt Ice Beer, but those were from the 1990's.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  5. #95
    Why Scotch whisky is no longer just your father's drink

    By: Micky Fenix -Columnist Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM March 08, 2018

    With much food and drink vying for the attention of diners these days, it takes a worldwide event to remind us about a nation's cooking and its extraordinary spirits.

    One of these is Gout de France, a celebration of French cuisine established by Alain Ducasse in 2015. This happens annually on March 21 in 150 countries, with some 3,000 chefs participating, including 18 in the Philippines.

    Scotland, on the other hand, fetes its renowned drink through the liquor company Diageo. International Scotch Day is on Feb. 8, with many places throughout the world holding tasting sessions, lectures about this revered Scotch whisky, and general merriment with socializing and music.

    Master class

    My interest was to learn what makes each Scotch whisky different. And the man conducting the master class I attended was Ervin Trykowski, introduced as the company’s "ambassador."

    One expected a James Bond figure with a Scottish accent to charm us into the world of whisky. Instead, here was someone who seemed too young for the role - hip, fast talker, quirky movements, and who even had a flask pocket in his boots.

    But this must be the message Scotland and Diageo wanted to send: Scotch whisky is no longer just your father's drink. It is also for young men and women—drank straight (neat), on the rocks or mixed in cocktails.

    Trykowski, despite his age and demeanor, is a veteran at setting up bars in the trendy Finnieston in Glasgow. He was the Scotch ambassador in Scotland and now goes around the world promoting the product.

    In front of us, his students for the day, were six glasses. Our first lesson was how not to drink scotch. Don't swirl it as you would brandy. Just drink it, because flavor is the most important quality.

    There we were, with just a minute sampling of the 400 million bottles of scotch. And just to compare figures, our teacher said the population of Scotland is only 5 million.

    During the tasting, Trykowski said mixing the scotch whisky with ice helped to bond the atoms together, allowing the drinker to get more texture. Ice was then passed around.

    Richer and riper

    Of the six whiskies, the Johnnie Walker brand is familiar. Black Label - "considered the best whisky in the world," according to Trykowski - is blended from four different distillery areas in Scotland.

    I was made aware of a Double Black Label when I asked a friend what his favorite scotch whisky is. But his preference is Japanese whisky, which is not considered scotch whisky.

    How uncanny that, as I wrote this, there was a feature on a Japanese company that bought a Scotch whisky company and is operating at a distillery in Scotland. Thus, its product can be called Scotch whisky.

    Trykowski described the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve as richer and riper, a celebration bottle that's great with ice cream.

    The Johnnie Walker Blue Label, meanwhile, the most expensive brand, was said to have been a favorite of a former Philippine president.

    Our teacher was effusive in his praise, describing the Blue Label as the smoothest, with flavor hints of green apples, candy, ginger and rose - if you can imagine all that in one or two sips.

    But I must agree with Trykowski and with the former Philippine president. Of the six whiskies before us, the Blue Label was also this neophyte's choice.

    Single malts

    The rest were three single malts, meaning, each was processed in a single distillery, even if it takes six distilleries to produce enough bottles, such as the Singleton of Dufftown 12. Europeans are partial to this dark whisky because it exudes the fruity flavors of cherry, apple, red currant and raspberries.

    It is Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition that has a more floral scent, possibly from being double-matured in Oloroso casks that are also used to store sherry in Spain.

    Finally, there was Talisker 10, produced in the Isle of Skye in a 200-year-old distillery. It takes on the smell of the place, so the flavor is fiery, peat-smoke, a bit medicinal. When Trykowski mentioned heather as one of the aromas, that brought me back to Edinburgh, where the violet flowers of heather grow wild along the hills and roads, and made me wish I was back there - but this time with Scotch whisky in hand.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  6. #96
    From GQ Online ...

    Pick One Date Spot and Stick to It

    Without the logistical back-and-forth, you’re free to concentrate on the one thing that actually matters.

    By Kate Mooney

    September 30, 2019

    When it comes to planning first dates, folks typically fall into one of two camps (or so I’ve gathered, as I’ve opted for a different approach.) Conventionally, both people discuss what they’d like to do on the date, where to meet, and when.

    There’s another set, though, of alpha daters who can’t be bothered with fielding this discussion every single time. Instead, they take charge of the planning themselves, inviting each new person to the same establishment: a bar or restaurant they’ve locked down as their First Date Spot. It’s a crap shoot whether or not they’ll like their date, of course, but at least they know they like the bar—and eliminating this one variable makes the whole experience that much less of a hassle.

    Before she met her husband, Dr. Jess Carbino, a dating expert and former sociologist for Tinder and Bumble, took the majority of her first dates to one of three restaurants, all located within walking distance from her apartment in Los Angeles. The main impetus for Carbino was convenience: “I could sit at the bar and have a drink and wait for the person, and if I didn’t like them I would just walk home... or Uber home if I was worried about them following me,” she recalls.

    At the time, Carbino was on a quest to find the man she wanted to marry, she says, and was willing to go on as many first dates as it would take. Managing the sheer volume of meet ups—particularly in a sprawling city like LA—underscored her need for reliable, go-to date spots. “There’s so much that goes into coordinating and planning a date, so having one set thing that’s easy is really comforting,” she says.

    When Joel Kahn, a senior video producer at Lifehacker, was single, he grew impatient with the logistical back-and-forth of planning dates. “I thought, ‘Why am I producing a whole event tailored to each person when I know what I like to eat, what’s convenient for me, and we could maybe remove some of the variables by doing the same thing each time?’” he says. So he picked an Italian restaurant located near a major train hub and designated it his first-date spot.

    Kahn wrote about his “patented three-date method”—after round one, there’s a second date at an ice cream parlor, and a third dinner date at his apartment. Some of his colleagues have (lovingly) deemed his approach “sociopathic,” as it treats potential partners like contestants on a twisted reality dating show. But Kahn, who’s now engaged, insists it worked for him: “It helped me get a good read on the person because I wasn’t distracted by the ambience or the restaurant.” He patronized these establishments exclusively for dates, and wouldn’t recommend deploying the system at your neighborhood go-to, where the bartenders could blow up your spot with a well-intentioned comment.

    Brooklyn bartender Natalie Hernandez regularly observes a handful of serial first-daters where she works—folks who come in as often as three times a week with different dates. But she doesn’t think of them as regulars. “It’s their [date] spot, but not their spot to hang out,” she says. “I think they’re almost embarrassed by what they’re doing. They don’t even sit at the bar—they kinda keep to themselves.” Hernandez told me that she, too, keeps her love life separate from her regular haunts because “you don’t shit where you eat.”

    While returning to the same familiar location can eliminate some of the stress involved with first dates, it can also make dating seem “too routine, which may cause you to show up less excited or not make as good of a first impression,” according to dating coach Samantha Burns, author of Done with Dating: 7 Steps to Finding Your Person. “If you're really jazzed about someone, go out of your way to pick a first-date location that you think they'd like based on your conversations, not just because it's convenient or inside your comfort zone,” she recommends.

    But for some singles, bringing first dates to the same establishment isn’t just motivated by comfort or convenience; it’s also a smart move, safety-wise.

    “It can be especially calming for women if they know that people at the restaurant or the bar know who they are and can help them out in a situation that might be uncomfortable,” says Carbino, who didn’t try to hide from restaurant staffers that she was routinely bringing in dates to the same locations. At some bars, patrons are encouraged to ask for an “angel shot” from the bartender, code that their date is making them feel unsafe. When ordered with ice, it means “call an Uber”; with lime, “call the police”; or neat, “walk me to my car.”

    I used to work at a restaurant that drew an older first-date crowd, likely because it was a casual, small plates joint where you could share dishes like the pate or grilled octopus and have a couple of cocktails without spending a fortune or needing a slice afterwards. When one beloved regular would come in with new dudes, it was actually sort of fun for the staff because we were on her team—we’d check how the date was going, gossip about the guy when he went to the bathroom, that sort of thing.

    Another set, typically bachelors in their 40s or 50s, frequently wined and dined their dates there, but didn’t establish a rapport with the staff beyond a sort of unspoken pact: we poured them top-shelf single-barrel bourbon, or whatever aspirational menu item they’d order to flex on their latest companion, and kept mum about the fact that we’d seen their game plenty of times before. In exchange—and this is key—they tipped generously.

    Staging each new face-to-face against the same bar backdrop can exacerbate the all-too-common feeling of first-date burnout—you’re just going through the motions, having nearly the same conversations, ordering literally the same drinks. On the other hand, if having your routine spot makes the hellscape of dating easier to navigate, there really shouldn’t be any shame in that. But if you’re gonna shit where you eat, be prepared to clean up the mess—and don’t skimp on the gratuity.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  7. #97
    From Esquire ...

    10 Certified Tito Bars in Poblacion

    We present 10 hiding grounds for the young and aging titos of the world.

    By Anri Ichimura | 2 days ago

    One step into Poblacion, the inuman capital of Metro Manila, and you’ll find yourself amid a crowd of young energetic yuppies looking to get wasted at the next hottest bar on the block—and there are many. Poblacion is chock full of dive bars, concept bars, fantastic restaurants, and speakeasies each created to cater to specific crowds. And nestled in the heart of Poblacion are dens designed to act as a refuge for the ones who are just too damn tired to party like it’s 1999—the titos of Manila. All they want is good food, good drinks, and for the love of God, good air-conditioning, not to mention a crowd that doesn’t look like their parents are picking them up later.

    So without further ado, here are 10 certified bars in Poblacion for the tired tito.

    1| Buccaneers

    The pirate ship concept mixed with a brilliant selection of rum makes Buccaneers a fun experience for titos looking to relive their childhood dreams—only with alcohol. Jack Sparrow approves.

    5668 Don Pedro Street

    2| Pedro Tap House

    This bar’s idea of fun is right up our alley. Aside from good beer and music that’s not blaring from the speakers, Pedro Tap House has a set of events throughout the week like open mic Sala Sessions, '90s hits played at Kick It, and GeekFight trivia night.

    5910 Matilde Street

    3| YOI

    The sophisticated interiors of YOI Sake Bar are enough to make anyone stay. But it’s their carefully curated selection of Japanese alcohol, from light beer to hardcore drinks, that’ll make you want to bring your friends and drink the night away together.

    5579 Alfonso St. Corner Fermina Street

    4| Agimat

    The eclectic, mysterious vibes of Agimat are a magnetic force for the curious drinker. The bar’s wild concoctions are perfect for the adventurous tito, but the bar itself is a refuge from the streets of Poblacion.

    2F, 5972 Alfonso co. Fermina Street

    5| The Workshop

    Part retail store and design studio, The Workshop moonlights as a bar and music venue on Friday nights when its doors open to some of the coolest underground bands in the city. A must-try drink: gin buko.

    5856 Alfonso Street

    6| LOBO Filipino Tavern

    LOBO’s ambiance will remind you of your typical neighborhood drinking hole, but in the best way possible. It’s a comfortable spot for those looking for a down-to-earth experience, partnered with some pretty damn good Filipino cuisine.

    4898 Durban Street

    7| Kermit Manila

    Kermit’s stunning interiors have a way of making everything taste and feel better. It’s a cozy den that serves some of the best pizza in the city to accompany your beer.

    4636 Molina Street

    8| Joe’s Brew

    Joe’s Brew is the definition of a man cave. Its intimate quarters are intentional and makes every inuman session all the more memorable, especially when partnered with some smooth locally brewed Filipino beer.

    5834 Matilde Street

    9| Run Rabbit Run

    This is on everyone’s Poblacion bucket list, and with good reason. Behind its bright red door are one of the best bars and some of the best mixologists in the city.

    4991 P. Guanzon Street

    10| Handlebar Bar and Grill

    We’ve reached the end of our list, and it wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the bar that should get the tito bar award of the year: Handlebar Bar and Grill. The bar hosts screenings of some of the biggest sports events when it’s not blaring tunes from the early 2000s from its speakers. It’s the peak tito bar of Poblacion, and proud.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  8. #98
    From Esquire ...

    Get Your Liver Ready: Whisky Live Manila is Back

    There's a special Bar Show this year featuring cocktails from award-winning bartenders.

    By Paul John Caña | A day ago

    We at Esquire Philippines love our whisky, so we’re clapping our hands like seals to find out that year’s edition of Whisky Live Manila is bigger and better than ever.

    Over 130 of the world’s best whiskies will be available for sampling at the annual event. World-renowned brands as well as smaller-scale distilleries will be featured. And while the focus is on whiskies, that’s not the only spirit that will be flowing out of bottles and into drams and glasses that evening.

    Just a few of the featured brands at this year’s Whisky Live Manila are: Maker’s Mark, Auchentoshan, Jim Beam, Cutty Sark, Don Papa Rhum, Chivas, The Dalmore, Glendronach Distillery, Glencadam, Teeling Whisky, Dewar’s, Glengoyne, Jura, Glenfiddich, Highland Park, Glenmorangie, The Macallan, Jameson, Kavalan, The Singleton, Monkey Shoulder, Tomintoul, Duncan Taylor, the Belgian Owl, Johnnie Walker, The Balvenie, The Glenrothes, Akashi, Mars Whisky, Roku Gin and many more.

    As in previous years, there will also be intimate talks and intensive master classes on whisky appreciation from international experts.

    A first this year is the Whisky Live Manila Bar Show, where five of the top bars in the country—including The Curator, Backroom, and Proof (formerly ABV)—to showcase their best cocktails and unique concoctions.

    Whisky Live Manila 2019, presented by Grand Cru Wines and Spirits, Inc., is happening on October 18 and 19, 2019 at Grand Hyatt Manila in Bonifacio Global City.

    A one-day ticket is priced at P4,999.

    For ticket purchases and more details about Whisky Live Manila visit the website or call the Grand Cru office at 5180131 or 0917 5333373.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  9. #99
    From Esquire Philippines ...

    How an '80s OPM Rockstar Began Making Award-Winning Filipino Whisky

    On the 6th anniversary of Crows Craft Brewing, the ex-rocker/entrepreneur allows us a glimpse of the man behind the brews.

    By Jaclyn Clemente Koppe | 3 days ago

    Crows Craft Brewing & Distilling Company is celebrating six years in the local beverage industry and enjoys a place among the most revered brands of its genre. Aside from the intensely hoppy and aromatic ales Crows is known for, its 23-botanical gin, the first Filipino craft gin, holds its own in a heavily saturated market both here and abroad. It was even awarded bronze at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (the whisky won silver). To savor all these milestones, Crows has introduced the first Filipino eau de vie (a clear spirit made from fruit) utilizing our world-renowned mangoes.

    Crows owner and founder Josemari Cuervo, along with his small team, has many reasons to celebrate. In an industry plagued recently with controversy and distrust, Cuervo has built a brand that is known to deliver consistency in terms of flavor and quality. Crows' hashtag reads “Not for everyone,” which is accurate—the complexity and bitterness of his beers will not appeal to those looking for something light and approachable. But, the critical acclaim and recognition his products have been receiving can be credited to Cuervo’s almost compulsive need to create. An ability, actually, that did not always come naturally.

    “My first love has always been music,” Cuervo confesses. His early days as a frontman for a new wave band called Nine Lives (with Jaime Garchitorena, Javi Infante, Maimai Cuenco, among others) in the '80s was his distraction from his wayward high school days at Aquinas School in San Juan. It was school mate and rock icon Karl Roy (Advent Call, Kapatid, P.O.T) who told him to try out for a band that would eventually be known as Razorback.

    Together with original members Tirso Ripoll, David Aguirre, Tek Templo (replaced shortly by Louie Talan), and Miguel Ortigas, Cuervo was the hard-rocking vocalist belting out covers of rock classics by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Juan dela Cruz. They did the usual school fair gigs along with their weekly stints at Kalye In Legazpi Village, Makati. Things were all peachy until Ortigas got the band a deal with Sony BMG Records. The band looked to its frontman to provide them with the original music they were suddenly compelled to produce.

    “I’m not a poet,” Cuervo admits. “It just does not come naturally to me. I’m not like Basti (Artadi of Wolfgang) who is just so good at that. When Kevin (Roy) came—galing! He wrote some amazing songs. I just could not do it. That was really my frustration.” Plagued with self-loathing, Cuervo abruptly bowed out and the band had to frantically hold auditions for a replacement, which luckily yielded the younger Roy. While these changes worked out in the end for Razorback, Cuervo admits his sudden departure left his relationship with the members strained. It was only recently that old wounds have completely healed and all have agreed “to put the past behind” them. (In fact, that evening, Ripoll’s family-owned Tabaqueria de Filipinas offered samples of its fine locally made cigars for guests to enjoy at home.)

    After graduating with the pilot class of CRC (now known as University of Asia and the Pacific) from its Entrepreneurial Management course, Cuervo moved to Cebu to start working on behalf of the family’s property appraisals and real estate company. Applying what he learned in college, he also opened the first all-you-can-eat Mongolian barbecue with the Chiongbians and the Borromeos, a food concept that swept through Metro Manila in the late '90s and early millennium.

    Even after he returned to Manila, his family continued to entrust the property appraisal side of the business to Cuervo, ushering it into the digital age. He monitors and works with his staff through a digital platform that allows them to maximize office hours and mobility. This setup, of course, gave Cuervo more free time for family and friends.

    It was during his hangouts at Jim Araneta’s The Bottle Shop (first in Legazpi Village then in a bigger space in Magallanes) where he was introduced to imported craft beer. “I really enjoyed the flavors,” Cuervo says. “I started seeking out the good ones. I would order from Jim and just try everything, then I slowly developed my preferences. Sol (Ramirez, his longtime love) has a home in San Francisco and so we would visit the breweries there. Those were my types of beer.”

    A shopping trip to WASP wonderland Williams Sonoma would be the surprising catalyst to Cuervo’s current passion. He bought a beer-making kit there, not much different from those cheese-making kits a Stepford mom would pick-up as a welcome distraction from the mundane. For Cuervo, that small taste into beer-making drove him to keep producing brews that are better, hoppier, and more balanced.

    His gin—the first small batch variety in the Philippines—is a commercial and critical success. Made from 23 botanicals, including distinctly Filipino citrus calamansi and dalandan, it has caught the attention of local and international gin drinkers with its delicately fragrant nose and exotic palate. Cuervo has started producing this in the U.S. and Spain. Not bad, really, for an operation that began in his house and Ramirez’s basement.

    Years ago, when he launched his gin in 2017, I asked Cuervo: What kind of person makes his own gin? We both had no answers then or perhaps Cuervo was just simply uncomfortable about sharing the journey that took him there. However, two years since, I believe he now has the confidence to paint a clearer picture of that man. “Brewing the beer and distilling the spirits,” Cuervo explains, “this is finally my way of making music. This is my chance to create when before my frustration was—I cannot. This is me. This is me in a bottle.”
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI


 
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