Philippine-made craft spirits have been available to Australians since 2020, with more expected to arrive in the coming months, according to the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry’s overseas office in Sydney,
“Australians have been enjoying Filipino-made alcoholic beverages for years with the availability of our world-famous San Miguel beer across Australia, but I am delighted to hear that more alcoholic beverages and craft spirits are breaking into the market for Australians to enjoy,” Philippine ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen De La Vega said.
Philippine Ambassador De La Vega noted that beer is Filipinos’ most popular alcoholic drink. Recently, however, there have been an increase in premium and craft-driven brands offering rum, gin, tropical liqueurs, and wines made from indigenous fruits such as coconut, duhat (black plum), and bignay (Philippine wild berry).
“Philippine alcoholic beverages and craft spirits have been making waves across the globe with several distillers garnering some of the largest awards available in the spirit industry. This is an interesting opportunity to highlight not only our Philippine drinks, but also share the traditions, stories, and provenance of the product,” Philippine trade representative to Australia, Alma Argayoso said.
Stuart Alexander, one of Australia’s oldest and largest privately-owned companies that imports and distributes premium global brands, added Don Papa Rum to its expanding range of beverages in 2020. Developed on the lush island of Negros, the sugar capital of the Philippines, Don Papa Rum is a premium-aged small-batch rum.
Kasama Rum is another rum with a sunshiny spirit conquering the Australian market. In Filipino, kasama means “together”; and it is a celebration of family and friends gathered together. With a tropical Philippine archipelago as inspiration, Kasama Rum is a seven-year-old rum distilled from freshly pressed noble cane juice and aged in American oak barrels.
7000 Islands Wine Co.
Through their unique range of Australian small batch wines and craft spirits from the Philippines, Filipino-owned 7000 Islands Wine Co. aims to leave you smiling with a sense of place and taste.
“We are a new company that seeks to break down barriers in the world of wine and expose Aussies to Filipino craftsmanship,” 7000 Islands founder Siegfrid Gueco Bacani said.
Bacani was formerly with Bacardi-Brown Forman UK and Moët Hennessy Australia. He expressed to DTI Sydney his vision to both ‘demystify wine’ for Filipinos and help Australians ‘discover Filipino flavours’ that are foreign to their taste buds. As a child of Kapampangan immigrants, Bacani was raised in Australia after migrating with his family in the late 1980s.
“Our vision is to create Australian wines that are in perfect harmony with the tropical gastronomy of the Philippines – the cuisine of my upbringing. I’m also immensely proud to be bringing to the Australian market “The Finest of Filipino Craft” spirits from the 7000 islands of the Philippines. It’s about time our fellow Aussies discover the craftsmanship of the Filipino,” Bacani said.
First in their Filipino imported spirits portfolio is the award-winning Ube Cream Liqueur. The prestigious World Drinks Awards just named Destileria Barako’s award-winning Ube Cream Liqueur™️, produced in their distillery in Malay, Aklan, Philippines, as the World’s Best Cream Liqueur for 2022. The star of the show is natural Filipino “Ube,” which is creatively made into this one-of-a-kind beverage with sugar cane vodka from Negros, Philippines, real cream, and other ingredients. The Philippines’ ube imbues a lovely purple hue and a smooth, earthy, vanilla flavour. This alcoholic beverage made history and is today regarded as World’s Best Cream!
The 7000 Islands is also bringing to Australia Proclamation Gin, a socially conscious gin made with hand-picked Sampaguita flowers. This gin is the brainchild of Carlo Calma and Cheryl Tiu, who responsibly source their Sampaguita flowers from women farmers in Pampanga, Philippines. These Sampaguita buds are purchased at a premium, which not only contributes to the farmers’ livelihoods but also supports their communities. As a tribute to both the Philippines’ national flower ‘Sampaguita’, which means “Sumpa kita” or “I promise you”, and rice, a staple of Philippine cuisine, this gin is perfectly balanced.
Filipino cuisine has become more mainstream in Australia over the past few years, according to Bacani.
“I strive to promote Australian wine regions and varieties that are perfectly matched with our delicious Filipino cuisine. Our ‘Finest of Filipino Craft’ range is also growing, and we continue to champion 100% proudly Pinoy products that shine a light on Filipino artistry. Our world-class Filipino alcoholic beverages are available to order online and via wholesale,” Bacani said.