Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Beverages to Go With My 'American Adobo' Filipino Dinner

With the exception of the Muslim population in the south, the consumption of spirited beverages is an integral part of everyday life for the inhabitants of the Philippines. Bars and outdoor beer gardens are popular meeting spots for the locals, where Tanduay is a favorite brand of rum, and San Miguel beer is not only the most prevalant local brand, but is also exported to countries all over the world.

The rural areas are known for several types of home brews, including a wine called tuba, made by extracting the sap of the coconut trees, which is then allowed to ferment. This same coconut sap can also be distilled into a stronger spirit called lambanog. In the Cagayan Valley, the Ybanag people make a very strong corn spirit called layaw, and in the northern province of Luzon, a wine called tapuy is fermented from rice. The Kalinga and Ilocano people make a sugarcane wine called basi, and the vineyards of Cebu and Ilocos produce wine made from grapes.

The coconut wine sounds especially appealing, but if I can't find any, a nice cold San Miguel will do nicely as an accompaniment for my 'American Adobo' Filipino dinner.