Alamat – Sampalok Candy
Sampalok Candy – PHP 150
Alamat’s Sampalok Candy tastes just like it’s named, with it being more sweet than sour but not overwhelmingly so. The bar that celebrates all things local uses a local blended rum and fresh sampaloc that they boil to extract the juice. This results in a mouth spice that lingers on your lips and the tip of your tongue, but it’s balanced out by the freshness of the mint leaves, which give the drink a mojito quality. It’s a drink that goes down easily, and the salt-sugar rim sure helps.
Bad Bird – Kim Jong Mary
Kim Jong Mary – PHP 190
The Kim Jong Mary is a Korean-inspired take on the classic Bloody Mary drink. It still has the vodka and tomato base that any Bloody Mary needs, but also incorporates gojuchang, kimchi, black peppercorns, and a Korean chili salt rim for the spice, and some soju to bring the flavors together. What you get is an almost soup-like, robust drink that is as tasty as it is intoxicating. This drink is not for the faint of heart! It should be taken slowly as it has the kind of spice that reaches your ears. Because of its savory nature, we suggest drinking one slowly while going through a plate of Bad Bird‘s signature chicken to complement the flavor. It’s served with a straw, but you can drink it from the rim for a more intense spice.
Batala Bar – Bloody Maria
Bloody Maria – PHP 290
Another iteration of the Bloody Mary, Batala Bar‘s Filipino spin on the savory tomato cocktail adds a refreshing flavor from cucumber stock, and local tomatoes give it a tartness that match the grassy tones of the cucumber. But don’t be fooled as the cucumber does nothing to hold back on the spice as it uses the formidable siling labuyo. The intensity of this grows more and more with each sip, challenging even our spice tolerance. What you can do is chew on the long slice of cucumber in between sips to manage the spice.
Belle & Dragon – Hot Bitch
Hot Bitch – PHP 322
We’re not going to comment on that name, but B&D‘s spicy cocktail tastes almost like a Sour Patch Kid rolled in some chili. It has a fruity sweetness with an intense fizz to complement it. The brown sugar rim tempers the spice, which isn’t the type to stick to your tongue. Instead, it introduces a warm burn in your throat similar to ginger tea (possibly because there’s ginger syrup in it). It’s a fun and accessible spicy drink that won’t leave you crying for a glass of milk afterwards, so it’s a great place to start if you are unsure about spice in your cocktails. Don’t drink it too fast though—this drink is a traydor.
Black Pig – Chili Pineapple Margarita
Chili Pineapple Margarita – PHP 290
Anyone who has a taste for Mexican cocktails (or even Mexican food) can understand why a spicy margarita just makes sense. In fact, it isn’t an uncommon twist on the classic drink, though Black Pig makes their version more tropical by incorporating pineapple. While you may worry that the pineapple’s inclusion may make it too sweet, it is just right, with the drink allowing the fruit’s natural juices speak for itself. The spice base comes from green chili, giving it a more fresh take and subdued spice that results in a mouth tingle that dissipates, leaving a whisper of spice on the lips.
Exit Bar – Wild Juan
Wild Juan – PHP 200
The latest drink on Exit Bar’s menu, the Wild Juan is derived from the El Guapo, a spicy tequila or mezcal-based cocktail with lime, cucumber, syrup and hot sauce. Exit Bar’s version uses tequila and cucumber, but adds agave syrup, creme de cassis, tabasco and ginger syrup, making it a handsome drink that you can hang onto. The spice hits you with a hip and prickles your mouth, then eventually mellows out. Because the drink has a bold character, it goes well served on ice.
POLILYA – POLILIYA FIRE
Poliliya Fire – PHP 350
Inspired by the popular Mexican cocktail Paloma, a tequila-based cocktail mixed with grapefruit soda, Polilya fancies and fires it up with their version. This drink belongs on Polilya’s ‘cocktails with a beer twist’ list as it has a touch of Engkanto Brewery’s IPA foam, which adds some depth to an otherwise summery drink. Grapefruit cordial is used instead of soda, and the drink relies on Thai chili and serrano bitters to fuel its fire. It has a steady heat that you can sip on (but we wouldn’t recommend guzzling), and because it’s served with a straw, leaves no burning sensation on your lips.
Pura Vida – Chili Guaro
Chili Guaro – PHP 150
We are ending this with another tomato-based spicy drink, though the Chili Guaro is not Bloody Mary-inspired but is a typical drink in Costa Rica. It is served as a shot but don’t be afraid as it’s more bark than bite, both in alcohol and spice level. It’s more fun to take in order to experience its taste. It has a fiery spice that you feel go down the entrance of your throat. It’s hot for 2 seconds, but gone the next, and ends on a sweet tomato note that soothes the flaming flavor. The salt cuts the tomato sauce so that the shot ends clean.