Boracay Island, Philippines — Lakan and Mixology Master Class, interesting as they sound, were two elements that Boracay Island was unaware of. It was just a good thing that the people of Obama Grill Bar and Restaurant, Om Bar and Lakan Premium Heritage Liquor got together during the recent holidays to create a double event that was meant to impart the craft and the craftsmanship behind the Philippine’s true native alcohol.
At the beginning of the Mixology Master Class, a question would pop into the mind: What does it take to be a master bartender?
Being a master bartender, on one hand may pertain to his/her talent in cocktail mixing with speed and elegance, or in juggling bottles in between mixing, which is the most famous skill that is expected in a bartender to attract and entertain his/her guests.
On the other, it takes a total understanding and awareness of bartending as an art from the cleanliness and presentability of his/her area to the grace rendered in mixing cocktails and in making the guest feel valued through the manner that the digestible art, such is the cocktail, is served.
Master Mixologist Kathryn Eckstein presented these important bartending elements to bartenders and cocktail connoisseurs of the island’s foremost bars and hotels who were present at Lakan’s Mixology Master Class in Obama Grill, Bar, and Restaurant.
A well-traveled bartender and an acclaimed bar manager in some of the country’s most reputable restaurants, Miss Eckstein got everyone’s attention by enlightening them with the essential qualities that make an effective bartender.
She had touched on the importance of maintaining cleanliness in the bar area, in its aesthetic and health aspects, and also educated them on some facts and trivia about common liquors.
The participants then warmed up to Miss Eckstein’s prowess on crafting cocktails and on reinventing leftover fruits into natural enhancers.
She presented her Signature Cocktails with citrus juice extracted from fresh local fruits, such as dragonfruit, calamansi, lemon, pomelo and pineapple, enhanced with fresh flavourful syrups of vanilla, banana, lychee, lemongrass, pandan and peppercorn, as well as native Barako coffee and a frothy garnish of banana foam made from overripe bananas.
Complimenting Miss Eckstein’s cocktail creations is a true Filipino pride, Lakan Premium Heritage Liquor.
A relatively new brand in the market, Lakan Heritage Lambanog is a natural liquor of pure coconut nectar that undergoes a proper distilling process in a farm in Batangas City.
Lakan takes pride in their traditional and sustainable craftsmanship from pure coconut nectar into quality liquor, in homage to the manner of which it was done during the pre-Colonial Philippine traditions of artisans and kings, known as Lakan.
Lakan head Anthony Manguiat employs townsfolks to climb up the coconut trees at a vast plantation in Lipa and harvest numerous coconuts in a day.
What makes this process more special is that on top of the heartfelt labor that the working locals exert, they have to extract 60 liters of the nectar from the coconut flower, and distill them in order to yield a bottle full of Lakan Premium Heritage Liquor.
True to its form and strictly devoid of additives, Lakan transmits an aromatic scent with a fruity touch and a smooth finish, definitely with no hangover.
Thus, akin to the generous traditions of our Royal Filipino ancestors, Lakan awarded the Boracay participants with prizes at the end of its well-received Mixology Masterclass.
And of course, while Lakan’s Mixology Masterclass stood in honor of its heritage and clientele, a party at Om Bar, thereafter stood to commemorate its pure form and richness, as well as to introduce our native alcohol to its island guests.
With no hangover resulting from six rounds of cocktails, we could be sure that more people would make that shift to clean drinking of pure premium coconut liquor.
Thanks to Obama Grill Bar and Restaurant, Lugar Bonito Boutique Hotel, Om Bar, Lakan Premium Heritage Liquors and Miss Kathryn Eckstein. Photos by Jack Jarilla.