Japanese drinking culture is fascinating, especially to those who are used to drinking sessions that are rowdy right off the bat. Refined yet convivial, they have an emphasis on savoring flavor to give tribute to the makers of the liqueur. And it’s a fascination that’s led to the continuing global surge in sales of Japanese liqueurs.
Whisky connoisseurs from all over have already ventured deep into the undiscovered world of Japanese whiskies, which have taken their place among the finest in the world. Since the first whisky distillery opened in Kyoto nearly a hundred years ago, the Japanese have created some of the most elegant flavor profiles for the drink.
It’s best to have your first taste at a place where the experience is curated by those who love Japanese whisky best but who also strive to create a connection between themselves and you, the customer-drinker.
At Lit Manila, your first taste is both experiential and emotional. Their weekly master class with different themes every Wednesday, 7:30-9 p.m., is facilitated by its resident whisky connoisseur, Francis Hasegawa, designed with a top mission in mind: to help Filipinos navigate the uncharted waters of Japanese spirits and enlighten them on the unique flavors, diversity, stories, and experiences Japanese spirits present.”
There are also exclusive quarterly special bottle events, during which bottles of several rare vintages and limited editions are opened and paired with carefully selected dishes.
These classes at the Philippines’ first and only Japanese spirits bar are a must-experience, not just for those who love fine liquors but also those who wish to experience the everyday rituals of Japanese life.
Not sure where to start? Experience a “whisky flight,” in which you savor three taste portions of whisky and a highball (a whisky soda) as your introduction to whisky in general and Japanese whisky in particular. Each flight features famous Japanese whisky company Suntory’s selection, various blended whiskies, and “Franco’s Choice,” personally curated by Hasegawa.
One unusual feature of Lit is the emphasis on bar seating; the intent is to encourage interaction between bartenders and customers. Most Filipinos will shy away from such an arrangement, but it is designed to encourage convivial discovery between bartender and customer. To this end, each bartender has been carefully schooled on pairing whiskies with mood and taste preferences, able to steer you towards the most agreeable choice.
And if all this leaves you wanting more, Lit has a deeply stocked bar; their menu features more than 60 items at any time, drawing from the offerings of the six Japanese whisky companies most prominent on the world stage. Their collection of over 300 bottles includes limited editions and rare vintages of whisky, plus other Japanese crafted spirits and liqueurs, from Nihon-shu (sake) to shochus, rum, gin, vodka, and beer.
Lit Manila is located at ground floor Serendra, Bonifacio High Street Taguig.
For reservations and inquiries, call 0917-5100014 or check out their official Facebook page, LIT MANILA.