It’s official—the Philippines has firmly tacked its pin on the world’s liquor map. With choice premium liquors from local purveyors such as Don Papa and Destileria Limtuaco circulating booze stalls, international conferences, and watering holes around the world, it is only inevitable that a younger breed of libation enthusiasts start making their appearance in this highly inebriated show. Enter Proudly Promdi, a homegrown liquor brand from Pagudpud by Ken Alonso, whose focus centers on two main products fresh off the province of Ilocos Norte: Bugnay wine and Tapuey.
Both are surprisingly sweet and smooth. Baskets of bugnay—known as bignay in other places—a local cherry found in Ilocos Norte, are handpicked and fermented by locals from the Adams tribe. Despite its tart, punchy flavor, its wine version lies more on the sweeter side—a bit like merlot with slight pungent nuances. Tapuey, on the other hand, is a popular drink served in various rituals and noteworthy occasions. While its original recipe dates back to ancient days, it has evolved through the generations. It is made by fermenting glutinous rice that is fermented in earthen jars for two months. The result is a shiny, tangy drink—identical to moonshine in appearance, and sake in flavor and smoothness. It doesn’t hold the bitterness of a lambanog, but instead leaves a lingering licorice-like sweetness on the palate.
What are your favorite provincial liquors? Tell us with a comment below!
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