From boozy beverages to summer quenchers, these Filipino drinks will take you on a wild ride through the Philippines!
Food teaches us a lot about a culture and drinks say even more. Just take it from these Filipino beverages.
These popular recipes are unlike anything you’ll find in the United States.
There are some concoctions you’ve probably never heard of.
Though Red Horse beer and bignay wine are boozy creations every adult can get behind.
If you’re curious about what makes Filipino beverages truly unique, read on to explore these authentic drinks.
1. Kapeng Barako
If you’re the type to appreciate a strong cup of joe, you’ll want to try kapeng barako.
Kapeng barako is a popular type of Filipino coffee. Bold and robust, it comes from a variety of coffee beans called liberica.
Compared to popular varieties like arabica and robusta, liberica only makes up 2 percent of worldwide commercial production.
It has woody and smoky notes with a floral aroma. And It produces a strong cup!
2. Sago’t Gulaman
Need something ice-cold to wet your whistle? Do what Filipinos do, make sago’t gulaman.
This is a refreshing Filipino beverage you’ll find common among street food vendors.
It consists of three parts: sago, gulaman, and juice.
Sago refers to tapioca pearls whereas gulaman is agar-agar.
Produced from red seaweed, gulaman mixes with brown sugar to make it thick and sweet.
As for the juice, that’s just sugar water.
Combine all three and you get a sweet cold beverage to combat the heat.
3. Calamansi Juice
Nothing quenches your thirst during the dog days of summer quite like calamansi juice.
Preparing this beverage is super simple. All you need is calamansi, water, and simple syrup.
I know what you’re wondering, what on earth is calamansi? It’s a type of lime native to the Philippines.
So if you like limeade, you’re in for a big treat!
4. Melon Juice
Cantaloupe is the starring fruit in Filipino melon juice.
Sweet and fruity, it’s a great way to stay hydrated while appealing to your tastebuds at the same time.
You start by combining cantaloupe juice with water and sugar, then straining out the pulp.
Once you have that sweet nectar, you stir it with shredded cantaloupe, water, and simple syrup.
So you get chewy bits of cantaloupe with your beverage, too.
5. Buko Pandan
Buko pandan is another refreshing sipper for a sweltering hot day.
Buko is Filipino for “coconut,” and this tropical creation is full of it.
It calls for three forms of coconut including coconut milk, coconut juice, and fresh shredded coconut.
You sweeten that with condensed milk and thicken it with a gulaman mixture.
It contains agar agar, sugar, pandan extract, and more coconut juice.
6. Buko Shake
A buko shake is a real treat!
It’s not like a typical milkshake that calls for ice cream and milk.
Rather, it consists of evaporated milk, coconut meat, coconut juice, water, and sugar.
Creamy, rich, and decadent, it’s a coconut lover’s dream!
It takes about 10 minutes to whip up a batch and you can customize it to your dietary needs.
For instance, monk fruit sweetener works as a replacement for sugar.
You can also skip the evaporated milk for a dairy-free version.
7. Buko Salad Drink
Salad in a drink?
I know this one might be raising some eyebrows. But if you even remotely like boba tea, I think you’ll love it.
It’s a milk-based beverage with coconut meat, coconut juice, tapioca pearls, and three types of jelly.
Sweet, tropical, and chewy, it’s something you should experience at least once in your life.
8. Mango Shake
If a salad drink is a little too adventurous for you, play it safe with a mango shake.
This tropical smoothie is quite a refreshing treat.
You blend fresh mangoes with water, sugar, lemon, and ice cubes.
The lemon makes it a little tangy while enhancing the sweetness of the fruit.
Be careful, this ice-cold drink can cause quite a brain freeze!
9. Guyabano Juice
Guyabano juice is an invigorating fruit drink you can fix up in just 15 minutes.
The main ingredient, guyabano, is a rather peculiar fruit.
Also known as soursop, it has a spiky green exterior with a white flesh and seeds hiding inside.
The flavor is sweet, tart, and creamy. Sort of like a mix between pineapple and banana.
If you’re into trying new exotic fruits, give this drink a whirl.
10. Avocado Shake
Now, here’s a familiar drink you’ll have no problem finding ingredients for at your local grocery store.
In the Philippines, avocados are commonly used to make sweets.
And I for one am super happy about it because I love this Filipino drink!
Smooth, creamy, and super thick, this avocado shake is the nourishing treat your body needs.
Breakfast, lunch, or afternoon pick-me-up, it’s a 5-minute meal in a glass.
Looking for a coconut-flavored adult beverage? Then you need lambanog.
By now, you’re probably picking up on the fact that Filipinos make a bunch of stellar coconut drinks.
And lambanog is no exception.
Lambanog is a high-octane alcoholic beverage that’s around 40 percent ABV.
Also referred to as coconut wine and coconut vodka, it’s a distilled drink using coconut sap.
And boy, does it have a punch!
Filipinos make a bunch of refreshing cold beverages.
They also have some winter warmers worth imbibing like salabat.
Salabat is a tea made with fresh ginger and sweetened with honey. It’s great for digestion and an upset stomach.
It’s also nice to sip on when you need to warm up.
If you’re new to fresh tea, the process is super easy.
Bring water to a boil with the ginger and honey, simmer, then strain.
You can add a slice of lemon or leave it out. It’s great both ways.
Also called ice scramble, Iskrambol is a type of Filipino slushy.
It’s not like the slushies you’re probably used to that come from a machine.
It’s more of a milk-based frozen fruit drink.
The base consists of condensed milk flavored with banana and thickened with ice.
Give it a few drops of red food coloring and it looks like a slushie!
If you’re feeling fancy, add marshmallows and chocolate syrup on top.
Tapuy is a rice wine common in the Philippines.
The rice undergoes fermentation with a starter culture called bubod. The result is a mild and sweet wine.
Unlike lambanog, it’s around 14 percent ABV. That’s pretty standard for your average grape wine.
While it’s traditionally consumed during special occasions, you don’t need an excuse to give it a try.
Although, if you don’t want an excuse, call up your pals and embrace the full Filipino experience with these authentic recipes.
One glimpse at halo-halo and you can see Filipinos make quite the show out of shaved ice.
This whimsical creation has as many flavors as it does textures.
There are layers of interesting ingredients like sweetened beans, jackfruit, banana, and evaporated milk.
It’s creamy, fruity, sweet, custardy, and chewy. Oh, and it does have ice cream!
Guinumis is another drink that’s a bit hard to describe.
In a nutshell, it’s a milk-based dessert beverage with crushed ice.
Like many others, it uses jelly. It also calls for the food starch sago, sugar, and ice.
There are different variations, but I think you’ll like this one. It features coconut milk, melon strips, and toasted rice.
If you’re feeling squirrely, give it a try. I think you’ll find it’s a rather pleasant way to cool down on a hot day.
Taho is a very intriguing use of tofu. Specifically, silken tofu.
The velvety smooth tofu gives it a custard-like texture.
While the rest of the drink encompasses warm brown sugar and vanilla-infused water with bobbing bits of tapioca.
Ditch the straw for this one, as you’ll need a spoon!
Basi is a sugarcane wine that comes from the Ilocos Norte province.
The fermentation process takes three months, while aging takes at least a year.
So it’s not exactly a quick beverage. Yet, the flavor is rather enticing.
You can choose from either basing babae or basing lalaki. The first is sweeter while the other is more bitter and strong.
19. Bignay Wine
Bignay is a native berry to the Philippines that’s cousins with blackcurrant.
It has a sweet and tangy flavor that tastes kind of like a blackberry.
When used to make wine, it imparts a gorgeous deep red hue.
Compared to regular wine, it also tends to be fruitier and sweeter.
So if you like both those things, odds are, you’ll love bignay wine, too.
20. Red Horse Beer
Are you more of a beer geek than a wino? Then order yourself a bottle of Red Horse beer.
At 6.9 percent ABV, it’s an extra strong lager from San Miguel Brewery.
To give you some perspective, the typical domestic lager is about 5 percent.
The flavor profile is sweet with a smooth bitterness.
It’s a working-class type of beverage that’s best knocked back with good friends.
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