Chilled Refreshments and Drinks
Due to the geographical location of the Philippines, it resulted in invariably high temperatures and high humidity, especially during the summer. However, despite the weather changes, the Filipinos are quick to adapt to these shifts producing a variety of Filipino drinks created mostly from the country’s natural resources of fresh tropical fruits. These beverages range from chilled, hot, and tropical fruits mixed with alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.
Kiosks selling refrigerated fruit drinks and fresh fruit shakes are already very popular along the streets of the Philippines. The most common tropical fruit drinks you might encounter may vary from dalandan or kahel (orange), pinya (pineapple), guyabano (soursop), ripe banana, suha (pomelo) and kalamansi (Philippine limes). Ordinarily, fruit shakes consist of shaved ice, condensed or evaporated milk, caramel syrup and of course fruits such of the perennial fruit – mango. There are also various fruit flavours available like papaya, melon, avocado, strawberry, and exotic durian among others. But there are also other healthier fruit blends, a combination of two or more fruit shakes like melon & banana or banana paired with mango.
Sago’t gulaman or samalamig is also a famous chilled drink in the Philippines. It is a flavoured iced refreshment with gulaman jelly cubes, tapioca pearls suspended in milk, and dissolved brown sugar in water flavoured with extracts from pandan leaves or fruit juice. Abundant in coconut trees, Filipinos use the sweet tropical taste of the coconut juice to have a refreshing drink and they call it fresh buko juice (young coconut or coconut milk drink) using a straw or straight from the mouth of the coconut shell. Filipinos also scrape the meat of the buko, mix it with its own juice added with condensed milk and fruit cocktail produces a tasteful buko salad.
The Philippines also have some well-known variations of tea. Salabat (ginger tea) ranks the first, is from brewed ginger root. Kapeng barako (Barako coffee) is a variant of coffee grown in the provinces of Cavite and Batangas, which are known for their strong taste and aroma. Tsokolate is the Filipino adaptation of hot chocolate is made from tablea. Pandan leaves extract combined with tanglad (lemongrass) and crushed ice creates a soothing blend of Pandan iced tea.
Long before, native farmers discovered a red alcoholic drink called tuba (palm or coconut toddy) derived from the freshly harvested sweet sap of a young palm/coconut. If tuba is left unconsumed for too long, it will become too sour to drink and thus have to become palm vinegar. Tuba can also be distilled and create a new type of alcoholic drink called lambanog (arrack or coconut wine or coconut vodka). Lambanog is often recognized for its relatively high alcohol concentration. Additionally, there is tapuy (alcoholic rice wine) produced from fermented glutinous rice.