From tattoo ink-infused whiskey to milk tea-inspired scotch, drinks are becoming innovative. Though some may prefer liquor in its original form and taste, seasoned drink enthusiasts are craving for something to thrill their senses. The World’s Most Experimental Bartender Philippines introduces these experimental drinks. Hosted by Glenfiddich, the competition pairs up innovative bartenders and non-conforming collaborators. Together, they craft unique serves using a 12-year-old Glenfiddich. Through expertise and talent for mixing drinks, bartenders elevate the experience of drinking the single malt.

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(Photograph courtesy of Glenfiddich)

The experimental serves

The competition challenges bartenders to submit their proposed serve using Glenfiddich 12-year-old. This year, nine pairs of bartenders with their collaborators made the cut and competed at the Fair. Guests voted for their favorite drink among the nine. In the end, three finalists won the competition. The first pair is Cove Manila‘s Faye Fernando and Beverage R&D Specialist James Llamera for their ‘fermentation‘ drinks. It consists of taho, coffee milk tea, and mango milk tea. Although you may expect the three serves to be sweet, they only carry a subtle sweetness. You can taste key ingredients like coffee and mango yet they do not overpower the Glenfiddich.

Amuse-Bouche infused with Glenfiddich 12. (Photograph courtesy of Glenfiddich)

The second finalists are OTO‘s Kathrin Osmillo and Lampara‘s Pastry Chef Fonso Sotero. For their entry, they served Roasted Malt Ball, Soaked Munchkin, and Highball Rock. The crisp and oaky flavor of the Malt Ball complemented the fruity taste of the Munchkin soaked in Glenfiddich. The Highball Rock distilled in Rotavap and sprayed with the single malt whiskey offered a sharp burst of sweetness. This was among the favorites of the guests for its tasteful and clever incorporation of Glenfiddich.

‘Filipino breakfast’ serve. (Photograph courtesy of Glenfiddich)

Run Rabbit Run‘s Enzo Luna and Pastry Chef Don Carpio’s ‘Filipino breakfast‘ are the last of the finalists. The pair took inspiration from the different components of the first meal in the morning like pan de sal and batirol. At the fair, they served Malted Barley Sourdough Pan de Sal, Whisky Butter, Apple Whisky Jam. Their Hot Cocktail is memorable for its sweet taste coming from the apple jam and dark chocolate. Glenfiddich complements this highball cocktail making it perfect to pair with any bread.

Glenfiddich-infused milk tea serves. (Photograph courtesy of Glenfiddich)
Ink Fiddich. (Photograph courtesy of Ted Claudio)

The creations of the remaining six may not have won but some are worth mentioning. ‘Ink Fiddich’ of The Corner‘s Eric Miro and Tattoo Artist Denzio Hilapo contains vegan ink. The black ink from the feather writing instrument swirling in the drink made for an interesting effect. The boba milk tea-inspired drink of Three Little Pigs‘ Miguel Salamilao and Tea Master Ralph Tan was another crowd’s favorite. Glenfiddich with old spices infuses the drink nuanced with sugar for a sweet, juice-like texture and taste.

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LEFT: Salted caramel. RIGHT: Fruitcakes. (Photographs courtesy of Glenfiddich)

Complementing recipes

Apart from the experimental serves of these local bartenders, you can also enjoy Glenfiddich with its recommendation of global recipes. The chili and coriander of the Scampi Sashimi complement the pear and oak notes of the Glenfiddich 12-year-old. For 15-year-old, pair it with a delectable fruitcake for a sweet and spicy combination. For an 18-year-old, a rich apple pie with raisins and cinnamon balances the whiskey’s flavors. The sweetest expression goes to a 21-year-old together paired with salted caramel and rich chocolate. These global recipes will certainly bring out a unique experience of drinking Glenfiddich.

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