“Loko loko lang ang iinom nito!,”
the infamous movie line that made the Philippine King of Comedy, Dolphy, drunk while shooting a commercial in a movie scene. Due to retakes, he jumbled the lines and ended up saying, which I think is the best-drunk punchline ever. But, was the infamous whiskey even real? As 90s kids walk down memory lane with that movie line, I walked around C. P. Garcia Ave, Quezon City to find the real Banayad Whiskey.
I already chanced upon this myth back in October while in Baler, Aurora while looking for hidden flavors of the Philippines. Even made a cocktail with it. Though I really couldn’t believe that it’s real. I mean, someone might’ve had drunkenly said, oh it’s called Banayad Whiskey. I then decided to track the maker down. However, I couldn’t just hop on a bus to Baler. And behold, I found out that it’s available in the metro, and just have to look for the “G” sign somewhere in C.P. Garcia Avenue. Well, let the hunting begin.
Braved the weather and went on the quest to find the “G” sign in Diliman Bonsai Society. As I walked around, I stumbled upon a bamboo door with ”G” on it and walls covered with vines, this had to be the place. I entered Gubat and greeted by Ate Cereb, one of the owners, who was at the door. Followed the gravel walkway in between the bonsai plants and went passed by a small hut as their kitchen. Gubat QC is a fairly new restaurant with origins from Baler, the Kusina Luntian, a homely restaurant owned by Kuya Buboy, who left Manila for the surf life in Baler. Like Kusina, Gubat is a rustic restaurant serving Filipino favorites with Baler touch such as, paco salad, tuyo, longganisa and lechon kawali with Adobo rice on a banana leaf. And oh, no spoon & fork, so definitely Gubat style of eating. Even before settling down on a chair, my eyes popped when I saw the bottle of Banayad Whiskey on the countertop.
No joke, Banayad Whiskey is real!
It’s actually lambanog, that’s distilled, blended and bottled by a group of surfers who loves to drink in Baler. It’s so smooth and guarantees no hangover at all, which coined the name ”Banayad Whiskey” at Kusina Luntian back in 2012, and now available at Gubat QC.
Aside from trying to bust a myth, I really wanted to track the maker down to buy myself a bottle of smooth lambanog. It’s for another round of cocktails in time to offer a toast for the man who gave the smoothest punchlines in the Philippines. Also to celebrate Philippine flavors, cheers!