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Tagay na! The humble lambanog recently scored 2nd place in Taste Atlas‘ ranking list of Best Spirit Around the World.

The local spirit made from distilled palm wine or tuba ranked behind the Speyside Scotch, which got the top spot.

Formally known as Phillipine palm brandy, lambanog got a higher ranking compared to other popular, globally-known spirits like Japanese whisky (No. 6), Mexican tequila (No. 7), French armagnac (No. 5), and London dry gin (No.18).


A Brief History

Lambanog is derived from tuba, a local palm wine, which already existed even before our country’s colonization. When the Spanish colonizers settled, it was discovered that tuba can be further distilled resulting to the spirit that we now know today. It got so popular then that the production of the liquor comepeted with the imported spirits from Spain leading to its ban of production and distribution in other colonies. Because of this prohibition in other Spanish territories and introduction of distilling industries, it was theorized that the need for liquor resulted in the development of mezcal and tequila in Mexico.

A shot of lambanog in its pure, unflavored form

During the American period in the country, the government regulated the local distilleries with modern equipment. Illegal producers were banned due to unregulated processess that could have resulted to toxic levels of methanol. It was also at this time that the liquor was formally called “Philippine palm brandy” to differentiate its marketing from other local spirits that were sold as vino.

Bottles of lambanog sold on the roadside
Current Production

Today, the spirit remains to be a proud product of the Philippines particulary in the Southern part of Luzon namely Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon where it is mainly produced. Aside from its traditional pure form, local producers have modernized it by instilling flavors such as mango, blueberry, pineapple, bubblegum, and cinnamon.

Cooking with Spirits

Did you know that you can also cook with lambanog? Aside from being a base for cocktails and other creative drinks, lambanog can also be a great ingredient in adding some unique flavor to you dishes. Here are some BiteSized.ph original dishes you can try that’s been cooked with lambanog:


Lambanog Shrimp Tortillas

Get the recipe here.

Get the recipe here.

Get the recipe here.

How do you enjoy lambanog? As a cocktail, a cooking ingredient, or just in its pure form? Let us know!

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