Love for gin is something that the Philippines shares in common with the world and for 184 years, Filipinos have been enjoying the distinct taste and quality of the country’s pioneering spirit, Ginebra San Miguel. Our drinking culture is so strong that we even have the concept of “tagay” – a unique way of drinking gin where one drinks from a common glass and passes it on to be refilled for the next round.
Indeed for Filipinos, drinks are meant to be shared and enjoyed with friends. This same feeling of camaraderie, friendship, togetherness and unity is what Ginebra San Miguel aims to cultivate further as it celebrates World Gin Day as One Gin Nation.
During this year’s World Gin Day, Ginebra San Miguel gathered some of the country’s top master mixologists, a highly-acclaimed chef, popular celebrity performers, and a nation of gin lovers in one big celebration held at the Axon in Green Sun Hotel Makati yesterday.
Ginebra San Miguel took guests on a “ginstronomic” and a gastronomic tour of the Philippines. Master mixologists Enzo Lim, Kalel Demetrio and Icy Mariñas created special Ginebra San Miguel cocktails to represent the country’s three island groups.
Kalel Demetrio created the “Quatro Katipunero Sour” – a cocktail that incorporates the four dominant Luzon ingredients that he loves to use: kamias, sampaguita, labuyo, and calamansi. For Visayas, Icy Mariñas crafted the Cebu mango-based “In It to Gin-It” cocktail with flavors of sinamak vinegar, peanut kisses, and Leyte pineapple. As a representation of Mindanao, Enzo Lim made the Samal Beach Cocktail, a fusion of Pinoy flavors with Davao pomelo as its dominant taste. These concoctions were, of course, prepared using Ginebra San Miguel, GSM Blue Light Gin and GSM Premium Gin as base.
Rockstar chef Rolando Laudico also prepared a sumptuous “pulutan” feast, creatively paired with the rockstar mixologists’ cocktails. Chef Lau’s cocktail food dishes aptly named “Nilasing na Sisig”, “Chicken Ginasal Wrap” and “Spicy Tuna Ginilaw”, similarly used Ginebra San Miguel, GSM Blue Light Gin and GSM Premium Gin as ingredients.
The three rockstar mixologists were also at the judges’ panel for “Mixologist Showdown”, a contest where the country’s best bartenders whipped up signature cocktails using unique and indigenous ingredients that captured the spirit of the Philippines as a gin nation.
“Gin is enjoying a wave of popularity the world over right now,” says Ginebra San Miguel Marketing Manager Ron Molina. “Owing to its versatility, gin can mix with a variety of flavors. In the Philippines, this love for gin and Ginebra San Miguel is celebrated with regional flair and flavor. Local mixes and pairing with local food takes the gin experience to a whole new level.”
Among the guests who graced the event were famous personalities like dancer/director Gab Valenciano, Mr. World Philippines 2016 Sam Ajdani, and all-around vlogger Vince Vandorpe. Travel and beauty vlogger Angel Dei Peralta, and international model couple/reality TV stars Chelsea Robato and Christian Busby also had a taste of the gin-credible night.
GSM Blue endorser Myrtle Sarrosa, singer, rapper, and songwriter Quest, and Europop Festival Gold Medalist Ana Ramsey delivered outstanding performances that captured the hearts of the audience.
World Gin Day celebrations were also held in Cabanatuan, Cebu and Davao at selected bars and establishments where Ginebra San Miguel offers the Gin O’ Clock promo. The World Gin Day celebration carried on throughout the whole Philippines, as they toasted with Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – now as One Gin Nation.
Now on its 10th year, World Gin Day was founded by British blogger Neil Houston and is celebrated every 2nd Saturday of June. What started as a day to bring his friends together to drink gin has grown into a worldwide celebration. Aside from the Philippines, World Gin Day events were also held in the UK, Australia and the US.
Here in the Philippines, World Gin Day was first celebrated in 2014 coinciding with the celebration of Ginebra San Miguel’s 180th anniversary, highlighted by the launch of a travelling exhibit showcasing the brand’s colorful history and rich heritage.
Ginebra San Miguel Inc. (GSMI) is the producer of the world’s no. 1 selling gin Ginebra San Miguel and other quality liquor products including GSM Premium Gin, GSM Blue, GSM Blue Flavors, Antonov Vodka, Vino Kulafu, Don Enrique Tequila, Añejo Gold Medium Rum and Primera Light Brandy.