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Local Alcoholic Drinks

Filipinos were known to have been making alcoholic beverages long before the Spaniards came. Up until now, local wines and alcoholic beverages are still made the way our early ancestors did. Here is a list of the most well known Local Filipino Alcoholic concoctions.

Lambanog is the fermented juices of young coconut flower buds. It is a strong alcoholic drink, usually ranking in at 90 proof alcohol. The most popular producer is the province of Quezon, where Lamabanog supposedly originated. The American G.I.’s back in the World War II era named Lambanog as “Jungle Juice”.

Tuba is made from the saps of the Sasa tree. Sasa is a kind of Palm tree usually found along the banks of marshes and swamps. Although saps of other kinds of Palm trees such as the coconut and Buri can also be used, the Sasa is still preferred since it makes a better Tuba. The fermentation and distillation process is the same with that of the Lambanog. But Tuba is only 30 proof, and tastes more like wine. The Tuba is best consumed right after distilling since if you let it ferment for a little longer, it would eventually end up as vinegar.

Basi is an alcoholic brew made by Ilocanos. It is created by slowly cooking the juices from crushed sugar canes. The cooked juices is then poured into large clay vats and allowed to ferment. During the Spanish Era, the Spaniards outlawed the production of Basi. The Ilocanos revolted, this is known in the Philippine History as the Basi Revolt. This shows how much the Ilocanos love the Basi.

Tapuy is another Ilocano alcoholic brew. Tapuy can be described as similar to the Chinese rice wine. Glutinous mountain rice (which is dark purple in color) is cooked, then yeast is mixed with the rice. The rice-yeast mixture is then packed in banana leaves and stored in clay jars. The rice is then allowed to ferment for 10 days to two weeks.

The Ibanag Tribe of the Isabela province in the Northern Ilocandia has the distinction of creating possibly the strongest alcoholic brew in the Philippines. Called “Lay-aw”, this alcoholic beverage is similar to Tapuy, but instead of using rice, the Ibanag tribe uses corn indigenous to the Isabella Province. Some say is rivals the Mexican Mezcal in potency and alcohol content.

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