Food & Drink

The 16 Best Filipino Craft Liquor and Spirits to Drink Right Now

From traditional Filipino liquor to brand new variations.
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Craft everything is booming, even more so in the Philippines where craft beer, liquor, and spirits have each become a universe of its own. Aside from the many craft brewers, there are even pubs dedicated solely to serving the best craft beer. But, it's high time we shift our focus to the many bottles of Filipino craft liquor and spirits that have sprouted in recent years.

With Filipino cuisine conquering cities like New York and London, it's only a matter of time until local craft liquor and spirits get the attention of the world. Here, in alphabetical order, are the best Filipino craft liquor and spirits out today.

More: The Craft Beers in the Philippines and Where to Find Them

1| Amadeo Coffee Liqueur

Photo by Paul del Rosario.
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Amadeo is an all-natural coffee liqueur that's made with four of the Philippines' main viable coffee varieties: Arabica, Liberica (Barako), Excelsa, and Robusta. Named after the coffee capital of the country, Amadeo municipality, it offers a unique, one-of-a-kind blend with a full-bodied taste and an aroma to match.

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2| Archipelago ARC Botanical Gin

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Archipelago comes from Full Circle Craft Distillers Co. Touted as the Philippines' first authentic craft distillery, its Botanical Gin uses 28 exotic botanicals including pomelos from Davao, pine buds from Benguet, dalandan oranges from Quezon Province, and more. If you want something more smokey, however, Arc's Barrel Reserve Gin is also worth a try.

SHOP ARC From P2,800, boozy.ph

3| Archipelago ARC Lava Rock Vodka

Aside from gin, Full Circle also offers its own vodka. What makes it different is that it's filtered from lava rocks from the Taal and Mayon volcanoes. It doesn't get any more Filipino than that. The special filtration process leaves a subtle minerality to the spirit that's smooth, crisp, and clean at the same time.

SHOP ARC From P1,800, liquor.ph

4| Barik Supremo Lambanog

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Barik Lambanog takes sap from the nipa palm's fruit to make authentic Filipino moonshine. Really, it's perfect for purists looking to experience the pre-colonial Filipino drink. But, if you want a more modern take, Barik offers another expression with a ginger sour flavor.

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5| Crows Gin

Photo by LIQUOR PH.

Crows Craft Brewing & Distilling Co. was founded in 2013 by Jose Mari Cuervo with a focus on beer. Three years later, the company introduced Crows Gin with 23 botanicals. Now, billed as the country's first small-batch craft gin, Crows Gin uses several Filipino botanicals including pandan, coconut milk, calamansi, lemongrass, orange, and more.

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SHOP CROWS From P3,100, liquor.ph

6| Crows Single Malt Craft Whiskey

Just this year, Crows introduced its barrel-aged craft whisky. Made with a single malt variant, it has notes of caramel, bananas, sourdough bread, and some citrus. Currently, it's the first single malt to be produced out of the Philippines, which is a feat in itself.

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7| Don Papa Rum 7 Years Old

Don Papa Rum is a premium aged, single-island rum that's made at the foothills of Mt. Kanlaon. The rum got its start after founder and Rémy Cointreau executive Stephen Carroll heard stories of Bacolod having the finest sugar canes in the world. Don Papa Rum is made with a molasses base, which is then aged a minimum of seven years. Carroll also founded the Bleeding Heart Rum Company to distill it locally. Today, the brand has become one of the most renowned Filipino-made craft spirits in the world.

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SHOP DON PAPA From P1,700, liquor.ph

8| Intramuros Liqueur de Cacao

Photo by LAZADA.

Intramuros Liqueur de Cacao was made with the Philippines' history with cacao in mind. In the 1800s, it was popularized by the Spanish as a hot chocolate drink. From there, Intramuros took inspiration from the tablea tsokolate to create a rich spirit that uses 100-percent roasted cacao.

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SHOP INTRAMUROS From P1,633, lazada.com.ph

9| Julius James Small Batch Single Source 100% Corn Whisky

Photo by Paul del Rosario.

How could Destileria Limtuaco forget about whisky? Made purely out of corn sourced from Isabela, Julius James is aged in square oak barrels for a minimum of three and a half years. The corn gives it a unique flavor profile while our climate adds something more special to it.

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10| Kanto Salted Caramel Vodka

Kanto, as explained by Destileria Barako, was created to "pay homage to Filipino's unique tagayan drinking culture." One swig of the vodka speaks for itself—just imagine the zing of smooth vodka combined with the sweet tang of salted caramel. Awarded a double gold award at the SIP (Spirit International Prestige) Awards in California, it currently holds the highest award for a Filipino-produced vodka.

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11| Lakan Extra Premium Lambanog

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In 2016, Lakan was conferred a Silver Award by the Monde Selection International Quality Institute. The Monde Selection International Quality Institute was founded in 1961 in Brussels, the capital of Europe, and evaluates spirits and liqueurs of over 80 participant-countries worldwide in collaboration with world-renowned oenologists, master sommeliers, university lecturers and professional tasters. Our silver award is a success for us that year, just like our new Lakan Silver variant. Lakan Silver is an authentic coconut liquor craft distilled in small batches by our Master Artisan. This unique liquor has hints of a jammy fruit and vanilla flavor with a pleasingly smooth finish. Visit the link in our profile to see where you can buy our newest Lakan Silver or order online! #liquor #liquer #drinkstagram #drinkup #mixologist #drinkoftheday #drinkgasm #lambanog #lamba #TheTrueFilipinoSpirit #LakanLocal #LakanLambanog #LakanLamba #LakanIsLambanog #drinklakan #lakansilver

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Lakan creates award-winning, extra premium Lambanog or coconut liquor for those unfamiliar. Lakan's process is completely artisanal: It takes approximately 10 coconut trees to make one bottle. As such, it's only produced in limited quantities, which really helps in making sure everything is of exquisite quality. Try it and decide for yourself—best served neat, of course.

SHOP LAKAN From $90, lakan.com.ph

12| Manille Liqueur De Calamansi

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Manille is probably one of the more known craft spirits today. The zesty drink comes in a vodka base, but what really makes it special is the fact that it has no added flavoring. Here, the calamansi is the main star. It's a perfect pairing to sweet and savory dishes or just as an added kick to a cocktail. Calamansi offers enough punch, but if you want the liqueur in another expression, you're in luck: Manille is also available in dalandan.

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13| Paradise Mango Rum

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The Philippines is known for its mangoes, so it only made sense to make a liqueur based on it. Using premium aged rum and mangoes, this liqueur is a tropical island in a bottle. As the world's first mango rum liqueur, Paradise Mango Rum has received several awards in Japan, London, and Belgium, to name a few.

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14| San Juan Lambanog

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Produced in Batangas, San Juan Lambanog starts with the tedious collection of sap. It's then fermented onsite and then distilled. After which, it's stored in oak barrels to add complexity. Try it straight as a shot or sip it like you would tequila. It also makes for a good addition to cocktails.

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15| Sirena Blue Pea Gin

Made with 14 botanicals, Sirena Blue Pea Gin is a small-batch distilled gin with citrus and floral bursts thanks to sampaguita, pink pomelo, and of course, blue pea flower. Because of its blue color, the gin turns pink when mixed with citruses.

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16| Sirena Vodka

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Sirena Vodka is a small-batch distilled vodka that comes from Destileria Barako. It's distilled two times and charcoal filtered six times to become one of the purest vodkas in the Philippines. Destileria Barako also has a salted caramel version of the vodka.

SHOP SIRENA From P1,000, liquor.ph

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Paolo Chua
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