Cyrene de La Rosa Lets Us in on Her List of Metro Manila’s Best New CocktailsNovember 6, 2019
When it comes to boozy beverages, food writer Cyrene de la Rosa knows her stuff. She already has an impressive culinary background. But she continues to expand her knowledge in food and drink through constant explorations, whether at home or abroad. If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll know she makes her way around Metro Manila’s bar and restaurant scene pretty frequently. So we picked her mind for some of her latest cocktail discoveries—here’s what stood out.
Cyrene’s go-to cocktails are Whiskey Sour and Penicillin, “thus, [she is] always inclined to try cocktails that have a similar profile or DNA.” The Peak Bar at Grand Hyatt Manila has an impressive version, executed by Jacques Buenviaje and Sean Carlos de Vera. Their Peak Sour has “refreshing tropical citrus notes [and a] slight peaty, smoky finish,” owed to the addition of pineapple juice and basil, as well as the use of peated single-malt whiskey.
Sexy PiÑa Colada
The very first cocktail Cyrene ever tried was a Piña Colada. “[It] was ordered by my parents when they decided to introduce me to the world of alcoholic drinks.” So when she’s feeling nostalgic, the tropical drink is a top choice. “Buccaneers hands-down makes the best Piña Colada in town,” she says. The pirate-themed bar’s version was conceptualized by Captain Ulysse Jouanneaud, JD Nicdao, and their fellow “quartermasters” (bartenders). They have a “sexy” option served out of a hollowed out pineapple. Ingredients include two types of plantation rum, coconut, pineapple, and “a drop of sexiness.”
The Back Room‘s Ransom Note, executed by Poch Ancheta, has some similarities with whiskey sour. That, plus the pistachio cream finish, makes it a no-brainer for Cyrene, a self-confessed pistachio lover. The drink is exceptionally creamy, and has nice citrus-y notes.
Conceptualized by The Compound Collective, Manila Fizz is Mistral at Raffles Makati’s take on the Ramos Gin Fizz. It’s halo-halo in cocktail form, made with coconut-washed gin, ube cream, lemon, and lime juice. It’s light, airy, and creamy. And it truly tastes like the Filipino dessert. (Hats off to head bartender, Auie Benisano!) According to Cyrene, it’s the “perfect drink to have on hand while catching the sunset at [the rooftop bar].”
Classic Whiskey Sour
“I’m allergic to sweet cocktails,” Cyrene shares. So Proof’s citrus-y, spice-y take on the classic whiskey sour, as “told” by head bartender Lester Ligon, is one that’s hard to resist. Spirit, sugar, and citrus—the OG big three—come together. The drink is thickened with egg whites, then finished with angostura bitters. “I’m not surprised that this is Proof’s best-selling cocktail; it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser.”