After a long day’s toil, there’s nothing like a cold cocktail to soothe the soul. The flavors, textures, and consistency of your beverage are the essence of what determines a good drink from a bad drink, but half the fun is in the impact of colors, container holder, and presentation. From decade to decade and era to era, beverage trends change and reveal much about the current pop culture.

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MONIN Beverage Innovation Director Andrea Fidora presented a mixology workshop of the latest trends in bartending, with his own signature flair coming from years of being an international award-winning bartender and bar manager at the Magsaysay Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

Andrea pointed out there is a dual cocktail scene that thrives between two mentalities from what he dubs The Rulers (healthy tastes, conservative, responsible) and The New Dealers (adventurous tastes, technology geeks, rebels). The Rulers are driven by the question, “Is it good?” while The New Dealers are lured by the question, “Is it bad?” Getting the lectures and presentations out of the way, Andrea dove straight into what he does best—working his magic at the bar. He moved as suavely as the drinks he creates.

The masterclass was attended by Philippine’s top bartenders
A Greener Garden

A Greener Garden – The name alone gives it away, but the goodness from the muddled torched pineapple stirred in with the MONIN pandan syrup, dark rum, wheatgrass powder, and the base of coconut water shaken with ice relieves you of the heat as well as the guilty indulgence.

Hell-thy Smoothie

Hell-thy Smoothie – A concoction of MONIN blueberry and lychee fruit mix, MONIN non-dairy frappe, light rum, beetroot, and fresh calamansi juice spells healthy in every sense of the word. Poured into a mason jar glass, the sweet, earthy flavor makes you even forget that you’re sipping an alcoholic beverage.

Prohibition ends at last!; Chok & Cheese Metropole

Prohibition ends at last! – This dark and sexy drink sparks the palate with Campari, bourbon, sweet red vermouth, three dashes of Jerry Thomas bitters, and MONIN chocolate cookie syrup for a hint of sugar.

Chok & Cheese Metropole – Straying from the ordinary, this cocktail goes the adventurous route by combining MONIN white chocolate and osmanthus syrup, dry sherry, and last but not least, blue cheese cognac!

Bitter Fashion

Bitter Fashion – Another daring pursuit. Andrea puts together MONIN amaretto, bourbon and five slices of bitter gourd or what we commonly know as ampalaya. This touch adds an unusual twist to a classic.

Sparkling Hard Cascara

Sparkling Hard Cascara – Cascara is an herbal tea made from the dried skins and dried berries of the coffee plant that remain after the coffee beans have been collected from within. After the cold cascara infusion is made, the MONIN Yuzu fruit mix, MONIN white peach syrup, and white rum is stirred in with a squeeze of fresh lime, then shaken and carbonated in a Perlini. A definite thrill of something new to the senses.

Pink Grapefruit Spritz

Pink Grapefruit Spritz – With its low ABV, the spritz is magnet for those on the conservative side. A lovely Monin orange spritz syrup is mixed with pink grapefruit syrup, dry sparkling wine, and a splash of soda water in a large wine balloon.

Tiki Noodle Cup

Tiki Noodle Cup – Going eco-friendly is hopefully more than a passing trend and the reuse and recycle advocacy is more and more part of people’s mindsets. Reusing a Nissin Cup Noodles container, Andrea throws a fancy drink jumbled with MONIN falernum and elderflower syrup, MONIN lychee fruit mix, dark and light rum, fresh lime juice, and unsweetened grapefruit juice topped with ginger beer and garnished with radish noodles and mint leaves.

Popcorn Espresso Martini

Popcorn Espresso Martini – The espresso martini is bar vogue and a lot can be done in terms of presentation. With MONIN popcorn syrup, gold rum, cream, three dashes of chocolate bitters, and one shot of espresso, Andrea pours the potent and devilishly delicious drink into a bulb glass submerged in a popcorn bucket with actual popcorn!

MONIN is a brand that has withstood the test of time and its products have also expanded since it was established in 1912. Out of 150 syrups, there are 100 locally available. Among their new syrups are donut, cheesecake, white grape, honeycomb, and osmanthus which are already in the Philippines. Also locally available is MONIN’s caramel and dark chocolate flavor gourmet sauces, which can be found in either bottle or squeeze bottle packaging depending on your needs.

Andrea is accustomed to new demands surfacing—from those who want drinks with only biodegradable straws, sugar-free, healthy and locally sourced ingredients (and even mocktails) to those who want dirtier and darker drinks to never-thought-of elements, hard-to-find ingredients, and lavish ostentatious presentations. He knows that he has to adjust and swing both ways to stay relevant.

MONIN also adapts to the times as it chooses a new local distributor, World Wide Food Supply, Inc. to represent them in the Philippines. As the MONIN CUP this June draws closer, a new set of skilled bartenders and mixologists are called to the challenge, and the world will have new winners to toast.

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