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Cheers! What tipple tickles your fancy?

Do you ever arrive at a bar and suddenly realise that you have no idea what to order? With such a breadth of beautiful tipples available on cocktail menus these days, it is no wonder why the average drinker is often conflicted, confused, or overly curious when it comes time to make that final choice.

While classic cocktails are glorious, there is a certain allure to modern, innovative creations inspired by world travels or personal experiences. They say that you are what you eat, so what does your cocktail order say about you?

We spoke to some top bartenders in the country to find out what these experts love and consider to be their favourite orders:

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1. Alexandre Renoue

Beverage manager, Shangri-La The Fort

My favourite style of cocktail would be a Clarified Milk Punch. I love the texture and the intricate process behind it, which allows you to experience all the different aromas. For me, it is a good indication of the creativity and ingenuity of each bar/bartender.

I personally love and enjoy making them. The process can be lengthy as it involves filtering the cocktail through milk with a micro bag, and the result for me is always a surprise.

One of the things on my bucket list is to be able to curate a special menu that features milk punch. The technique dates to the 17th century, and it regained popularity recently through a sort of renaissance brought by bartenders like Nico de Soto.

For now, I’m able to incorporate [this technique in one of our] drinks in The Back Room. It’s called Bushido—which is a clarified milk punch using our own Bee’s Knees mixed with Sakura vermouth, coconut water, citrus, tea, and a variety of spices.

See also: Asia's 50 Best Bars 2022: Coa Hong Kong Takes top Spot

2. Audrey Gustilo

Bartender, Oto 

As much as I don’t want to deem a singular cocktail as my favourite (because I believe there is one for every mood), it would be the Tommy’s Margarita if I absolutely had to choose. I find that it’s more balanced than a classic Margarita and the use of agave nectar lends an earthy flavour which I personally enjoy. I like to add Ancho Reyes Verde to it for a hint of green chilli brightness on days I’m craving more complexity in flavour.

3. Enzo Luna

Head beverage manager, Square One (La Vie En Rose, Dear Adam Sweet Lucy, Yours Truly) 

My favourite cocktail of all time is a cocktail called the Last Word. It’s a prohibition cocktail that stood the test of time—generations have been enjoying this cocktail. The prominent features I enjoy about it are its crisp boozy notes with a subtle taste of sweetness and cherry.

See also: Learn all About Agave, Tequila and Mezcal from Expert Jay Khan

4. Kia Opeda

Chief of staff/beverage & hospitality consultant, Notorious Concepts 

My favourite cocktail is the Tommy’s Margarita. It’s such a simple cocktail that one can’t go wrong with—tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar served over ice with a salt rim. I love agave spirits and simple three-ingredient cocktails as they’re well-balanced and each component is represented well.


5. Rian Asiddao

Brand ambassador, Diageo

Bee’s Knees is my all-time go-to cocktail. I like it [because it is] simple, refreshing and easy to replicate; all you need is gin, honey, and lemon. I am sour cocktail kind of guy, so anything with citrus and a sweetener is good for me, but Bee’s Knees is my top choice above a whisky sour, penicillin, or a daquiri.

See also: What Cocktails do Bartenders Order to Judge Other Bars?

6. Kate Osmilo

Brand ambassador, Remy Cointreau

I’m a fan of classic cocktails. One of my favourite cocktails is the Negroni. A Negroni is a classic cocktail which is composed of London dry gin, sweet vermouth and bitter liqueur, stirred with ice, served in a rocks glass with a chunk of ice and garnished with orange peel. As I have always said, this cocktail is a hit or miss one to make, either you under or over stirred it which will either under or over dilute the drink.

Why do I love a Negroni? I love how the bitterness, astringency of the gin and sweetness of the vermouth blends together and creates good layers of flavours.

This cocktail is a sipping type, not the one you choose to drink in one go. That’s why it is best to be served with a big chunk of ice to maintain the coldness and to avoid water down for you to enjoy until the last drop.

7. Lawrence Gabriel

Head bartender, Baccarat Room and Bar, Solaire Resort & Casino

Currently, I don’t have a favourite cocktail because my palate is constantly evolving, and I drink depending on my mood. Most of the time, when I try something new and I like it, I’d drink it regularly.

But if I’m going to be stuck on an island and I have to choose one that I have to drink for the rest of my life, I'd probably go with a tequila and tonic which is a very light and easy drink, and very sophisticated.

I’ve always been fascinated by how tonic water can bring out the botanicals in a gin. But, when you swap gin with tequila, it does wonders to make a simple drink become so complex. Plus, the weather in the Philippines is usually hot and humid, so refreshing types of drinks are really my go-to.


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