There are a wide variety of alcoholic drinks in the Philippines manufactured by local breweries and distilleries.
Beer or servesa is the most preferred alcoholic drink in the Philippines. San Miguel Pale Pilsen is the most popular and widely known brand with Beer na Beer a close second. San Mig Light is preferred mostly by yuppies and the young drinkers. Gold Eagle Beer is more common in the Rural Areas of the Philippines. Colt 45 and Red Horse beer with its high alcohol content is favored by hard drinkers. Other beer labels include Lone Star, Lone Star Light, Lone Star Ultra, Carlsberg, Coors Light, San Miguel Superdry, San Mig Strong Ice, and just recently, Manila Beer. Several bars in the urban areas also serve international brands.
Rum is often associated with Tanduay. For serbesa (beer), the most popular choices in restaurants and bars are San Miguel Beer, Red Horse Beer and San Miguel Light.
Several gins, both local varieties like Ginebra San Miguel (as well as GSM Blue and GSM Premium Gin) and imported brands like Gilbey's, are commonly found. Some people refer to gin by the shape of the bottle: bilog for a circular bottle and kwatro kantos (literally meaning four corners) for a square or rectangular bottle. Gin is sometimes combined with other ingredients to come up with variations.
Tuba (toddy) is a type of hard liquor made from fresh drippings extracted from a cut young stem of palm. The cutting of the palm stem usually done early in the morning by a mananguete, a person whose profession involves climbing palm trees and extracting the tuba to supply to customers later in the day. The morning accumulated palm juice or drippings from a cut stem is then harvested by noon then brought to buyers then prepared for consumption. Sometimes this is done twice a day so that there are two harvests of tuba in a day occurring first at noon-time and later in the late-afternoon. Normally, tuba has to be consumed right after the mananguete brings it over or it becomes too sour to be consumed as a drink. Any remaining unconsumed tuba is then often stored in jars for several days to become palm vinegar. Tuba can be distilled to produce lambanog (arrack), a neutral liquor often noted for its relatively high alcohol content.
Lambanog is an alcoholic beverage most commonly described as coconut wine or coconut vodka. The drink is distilled from the sap of the unopened coconut flower, and is known for its potency and high alcohol content (80 and 90 proof). Most of the Lambanog distilleries are in the Quezon province of Luzon, Philippines. Constant efforts at standardizing lambanog production led to its better quality. The Lambanog now is already being exported to other countries and continues to win foreign customers due to its non-chemical ingredients as well as its potency.
Tapuy is a traditional Philippine alcoholic drink made from fermented glutinous rice. It is a clear wine of luxurious alcoholic taste, moderate sweetness and lingering finish. Its average alcohol content is 14% or 28 proof, and does not contain any preservatives or sugar. To increase the awareness of tapuy, the Philippine Rice Research Institute created a cookbook containing recipes and cocktails from famous Philippine chefs and bartenders, featuring tapuy as one of the ingredients.
Philippines Cuisine Characteristics
The traditional way of eating is with the hands, especially dry dishes such as inihaw or prito. The diner will take a bite of the main dish, then eat rice pressed together with his fingers.
This practice, known as kamayan, is rarely seen in urbanized areas. However, Filipinos tend to feel the spirit of kamayan when eating amidst nature during out of town trips, beach vacations, and town fiestas.
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