NOTHING beats catching up with good friends after a long day at work or on a weekend, having long conversations about anything under sun, and devouring almost all the dishes on the table over a bottle (or more) of good liquor. And there is a new place to do all that.
Fundador, Spain’s largest and oldest brandy company which has been operating in the Philippines for about 120 years, opened its first concept store at the Venice Grand Canal Mall in McKinley Hills, Taguig City. The café offers an innovative selection of hot, cold, and ice blended beverages, cupcakes, and gelato flavors — all infused with liquor.
“We’re focusing on new ways to enjoy the products,” Emperador, Inc. Executive Director Kendrick Tan told members of the media at the launch of the café. “The days of just buying a bottle, sitting down at a table and drinking it with friends is the old-fashioned way. Now you [want to] figure out how to do it [on your own],” he said, pointing out that Fundador has been previously used for cooking sauces and as an ingredients in savory dishes and pastries.
The 50-square-meter café’s interior is reminiscent of the traditional bodegas in Spain where wine barrels are stored. The café is surrounded by a selection of sherry, brandy, and whisky displayed on its walls. The guests are also welcome to sign their names on an original Fundador barrel — a tradition in Spain when guests visit a liquor store for the first time we were told.
The café exclusively offers Harveys Bristol Cream sherry, the most popular brand from the largest winery in Jerez, Spain. It is crafted from a blend of Jerez’s fine wines — delicate finos, aged amontillados, fragrant olorosos, and a special Pedro Ximenez grape.
“Our Fundador café has the largest selection of sherry wines in the Philippines. Sherry is [practically] non-existent in this country. It’s a traditional fortified wine from Spain… It’s not really a known commodity in Asia so we’d like to be the ones responsible to introduce this type of wine,” Mr. Tan said.
Other sherries at the café include: Harveys Fino that is easily recognized thanks to its pale yellow appearance and is blended with a herb-like flavor; Harveys Signature, which is a complex blend of special wines aged for an average of 12 years; Harveys Rich Old Olorosso V.O.R.S (very old rare sherries), a blend of ancient soleras; and Harveys Pedro Ximenez V.O.R.S made of 100% Pedro Ximenez grape.
The café offers inspirations on how people may enjoy drinks thanks to its liquor-infused hot, cold, and ice blended beverages, cupcakes, and gelatos.
The café serves three hot drinks, three ice-blended drinks, and two cold beverages that are infused with a variety of Fundador brandies.
There are five Harveys Bristol Cream-infused cupcakes, served with a plastic tube containing a teaspoon of alcohol stabbed into the cupcake next to its icing. The liquor may be added to the cupcake or consumed separately. The two gelatos — Amara dark chocolate and dulce de leche — are also infused with sherry.
Mr. Tan said that there are plans to open other branches of the café, as well as introducing it to other countries.
Fundador was acquired by listed Filipino liquor company, Emperador, Inc. in November 2015. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman