I Stopped Drinking Cocktails But DrinkManila Changed My Mind

I Stopped Drinking Cocktails But DrinkManila Changed My Mind

Specifically, their crash course on gin tasting



When it comes to alcohol, I prefer a non-cocktail—wine or beer please!—or if gin and whisky are the night’s poison, then a little tonic water helps. I like knowing how much alcohol I consume and cocktails, aside from being tagged as girly drinks, which they are not, are often high in sugar. Sugary drinks also contribute to terrible hangovers, so no thank you.


But when DrinkManila invited us out for a crash course on gin tasting featuring Booze Online’s Hanami Gin, Empress 1908 Gin and Langley's Old Tom Gin, I reconsidered.


The second leg of DrinkManila’s Women and Tipple series, a set of tasting events that spark conversations among women about what women actually like to drink, kicked off with a quick history lesson and taste profile of the night’s featured bottles.


Hanami Gin

43% ABV

Empress 1908

42.5% ABV

Langley’s Old Tom Gin

47% ABV

  • From the Netherlands but inspired by Japan
  • Made with a blend of cherry blossoms and herbs
  • Your best bet for a gin and tonic
  • Inspired by the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel
  • Made with eight natural ingredients
  • No coloring added, it’s natural
  • Classic gin but mildly sweeter
  • Made with a cocktail of juniper, fennel, nutmeg, lemon peel and coriander


But the highlight was perhaps DrinkManila’s resident mixologist Icy Mariñas showing us how to use the gin to make fun cocktails made for and inspired by women:


Purple Unicorn featuring Empress 1908 Gin

What: Think gin and tonic topped with cotton candy

Taste: Surprisingly not as sweet as it sounds

Serve: At your next summer party




45 ml Empress 1908 Gin

Top with Fever Tree Tonic Water (Indian)

Fresh lemon (wheel)


Grapefruit peel (express before putting cotton candy)

Grapefruit bitters

Cotton candy



Pour Empress 1908 Gin in goblet

Add herbal ice cubes, tarragon and lemon

Top with tonic water

Express oil from grapefruit peel

Spray grapefruit bitters


Make sure to serve in a goblet and to make pretty with rose tea and blue pea ice cubes.


Lady Macbeth featuring Langley’s Old Tom Gin

What: Not too sure, but she’s pretty complex

Taste: A savory drink

Serve: When you want to impress at a dinner




45 ml Langley’s Old Tom Gin

2-inch lemongrass

Ginger 2-inch pieces

20 ml lemon juice

20 ml Monin Agave Syrup

1 dash cardamom bitters

45 ml aquafaba

Orange peel—express oil

Finish with 3 drops orange bitters



Muddle lemongrass and ginger in a shaker

Add all the ingredients (except the orange bitters)

Dry shake. Add ice and shake again

Strain into glass—express oils of orange peel

Finish with orange bitters

Garnish with lemongrass    


Serve in a martini glass.


Furiosa featuring Hanami Gin

What: Like a Bloody Mary but with kimchi

Taste: Sweet, sour and spicy

Serve: When feeling bold or daring, no actual event necessary




45 ml Hanami Gin

25 ml Monin Strawberry Purée

7.5 ml Monin Mango Syrup

30 ml lemon juice

Half a barspoon kimchi powder

Lemon peel



Pour ingredients in a shaker

Add ice and shake

Strain into glass with crushed ice

Express oils from lemon peel

Garnish with kimchi chip


All three cocktails were true to form and taste, with Furiosa emerging as the crowd (and my personal) favorite. Who knew that gin with kimchi, strawberry purée and mango syrup would taste so good together? Only DrinkManila and it definitely blew everyone's mind.



Art Alexandra Lara


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