Food & Drink

Local Drinks to Try in the Philippines

Written by Patrick

Traveling to the Philippines means enjoying not only the beaches and the islands but trying the local food and drinks as well.  Drinks, along with food, are an important part of Filipino culture.  And since the Philippines is an archipelago with more than 7,000 islands and several ethnicities, the drinks vary depending on the abundance of natural resources on the island and traditions.

From the refreshing fruit juices to cocktails and alcoholic drinks, here are the most popular local drinks in the Philippines.

Kapeng Barako

Kapeng Barako

Caption:   Kapeng Barako

Need something strong to start your day?  Help yourself to a cup of kapeng barako, a local coffee known for its strong aroma and taste.  Kapeng barako uses coffea liberica, a species of coffee grown in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite, hence the coffee is also referred to as Batangas coffee.

The term “barako” is the colloquial term for “stud” which is associated with the strength of the coffee.

Basi

Basi

Caption:   Basi | Image Source

Basi is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane.  It is pale red in color and flavored with ground glutinous rice (sticky rice), java plum (duhat) bark, or other fruits and bark.  Basi comes in two varieties – “basing lalaki” which has higher alcohol content and “basing babae” which is sweeter and has lesser alcohol content. 

Basi is a local drink of Ilocos and has been consumed long before the Spanish first step foot in the Philippines.

Tapuy

Tapuey

Caption:   Tapuey | Image Source

Originated from the Cordillera Region, tapuy (also spelled tapuey and tapey) is a fermented rice wine made from rice or glutinous rice with onuad roots, ginger extract, and bubod, a local sun-dried yeast.  It has a strong alcoholic flavor with 14% alcohol content.

Tapuy is a staple in the region and is always present during celebrations including rice harvesting ceremonies, weddings, fiestas, and others.

Calamansi Juice

Calamansi

Caption:   Calamansi Fruit

Calamansi is one of the most popular fruits in the Philippines.  It is a type of citrus with a unique and intense tangy flavor.  It is a popular ingredient in cooking and is made into the Filipino version of lemonade.  It is served cold during hot summer days or warm for flu relief as calamansi is a good source of vitamin c, antioxidants, and electrolytes.

Lambanog

Lambanog

Caption:   Lambanog | Image Source

Looking for something stronger to cap off your day?  You surely will never go wrong with lambanog, a distilled palm liquor made from either coconut or nipa palm sap.  It is known for its milky white color and very high alcohol content which is about 80 to 90 proof (40%-45% abv).

Lambanog originated from Southern Tagalog but is now produced all over the country.  It is originally flavored with raisins but is now available in mango, pineapple, cinnamon, blueberry, and bubblegum flavors.

Tubâ

Different Colors of Tuba

Caption:   Different Colors of Tuba | Image Source

Tubâ is an alcoholic drink derived from sap of palm trees.  The drink comes in different variations including bahal or bahalina (mixed with added dried bark of mangrove), kinutil (mixed with raw egg yolks, tabliya, milk), tuhak (made from kaong palm sap), and tunggang (made from fishtail palm sap).  Tubâ must be consumed within two days.  Longer than that and it will ferment into vinegar.

Tubâ is a popular local drink of Visayas and Mindanao.

Salabat

Salabat

Caption:   Salabat

Salabat is made of peeled and sliced or crushed raw ginger and then boiled for a few minutes.  Honey, calamansi, or sugar can be added to sweeten or enhance the flavor of the drink.  Salabat is commonly served during cold months or as home remedy for cough, sore throat, and flu.

Strawberry Wine

Strawberry Wine

Caption:   Strawberry Wine | Image Source

With the abundance of strawberries in Benguet, it perfectly makes sense for them to come up with various strawberry products including strawberry jam, strawberry taho, and strawberry wine.

Bignay Wine

Bignay Wine

Caption:   Bignay Wine | Image Source

Bignay wine is a fruit wine made from bignay tree (Antidesma bunius), a type of berry native to the Philippines.  The ripe fruit is deep red in color and has a tarty yet sweet taste.

Taho

Taho

Caption:   Taho

Taho is made of fresh or silken tofu, arnibal syrup (sweetener), and sago (tapioca) pearls.  It is often served in a plastic cup and can be sipped up with a straw as it is so soft.  Vendors are known to peddle their taho around the neighbor while shouting the signature “Tahooooooo!”.

Baguio has a strawberry version of this popular breakfast alternative.

Other local drinks popular in the Philippines are sago’t gulaman, buko juice, and tsokolate (made from tabliya).

READ MORE: Filipino Food & Drinks

Have YOU tried any of these Local Drinks?

About the Author

Patrick

Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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