Friday, August 10, 2007


Mixed with juice -- orange, cranberry or lemonade -- vodka is my choice of drink during special occasions. I have no special preference for any specific brand, but I won't deny my penchant for Absolut, which I used to always have a bottle of in my freezer -- not for solitary drinking bouts during desolate times, but chilled and ready for when friends drop by during those bitter winter months of New York.

It isn't, however, an appropriate tropical drink, at least for me, for vodka tends to uncomfortably heat up my body. Discovered such unpleasantness when after a glass of Screw Driver, on a very muggy evening at home with some cousins, I had to suddenly excuse myself so I could take a lengthy shower to cool off. Ever since then, a bottle of San Mig Light has become more ideal during local soirees.

Incidentally, my fondness for the Absolut brand of vodkas may be largely attributed to its whimsical print ads that date back 25 years ago. Among its earliest was a signature silkscreen by pop artist Andy Warhol with the message "Absolut Warhol." There was also a golf green shaped like an Absolut bottle -- "Absolut 19th," and an art deco bottle -- "Absolut Miami."

There are supposedly 1,500 versions of print ads built around the shape of this bottle of Absolut, which was modeled after those vintage medicine bottles in Europe.

The print ads playfully made use of cultural icons, landmarks and trends with the bottle. They did, however, set the standard for today's high-style, image-oriented spirits advertising. There's even a book that covers the evolution of Absolut's print advertisements and the people behind the creation of the ads, which I wouldn't mind having a copy of.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:44 AM


Blogger Photo Cache said...

screwdriver was my very first cocktail, and never had it again. maybe i should order it again next time. i believe i have a bottle for when pms kicks in, it soothes my pain.

August 10, 2007 8:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was never much of drinker, Photo Cache, and therefore, had to ask an older brother what I should drink since I wasn't into wines, either. He suggested Screw Driver. First time I had it was in Miami during school break. I got so drunk with only two glasses and had to go back to the hotel to sleep it off.

Nonetheless, got used to it and had been drinking it ever since.

I think the local older women opt for "syoktong' to ease their PMS pains. Whereas, I learned early in life to temporarily move out of town when my girlfriend suffered from one ... hehehe.

August 10, 2007 10:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

salud, senor enrique!
not much of a vodka drinker here...i sometimes wonder why the russians prefer to drink vodka. maybe to fight off the bitter siberian winters.
cognac or brandy does it for me.

August 10, 2007 11:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am reminded of this incident related by my daughter's classmate's mom.

The family was dining out. The 10-year old son, who, perhaps got curious about the name of a certain drink in the menu book, ordered this cocktail drink called 'zombie'.

Not one of them noticed as everyone was busy taking respective orders. Besides, even if someone did notice, the mom said they were not aware the bev was alcohol based. The waiter foolishly served the drink to the boy.

The boy got drunk, but he didn't know he was. He asked his mom: "Ma, I feel hot. Will you see if I have fever?" He then threw up, had rashes all over his body. The family wanted to file a suit, if not only that the owner of the resto was their friend.

August 10, 2007 12:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vodka and humidity doesn't sound like a good mix. I feel the same way too. Vodka and Siberia seems to be what people picture have in their minds most of the time hehe:) A cold beer is very refreshing in hot weather - no wonder why Australians consume the most beer per capita. I love Grey Goose vodka though:)

August 10, 2007 12:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vodka has always been my favorite drink whenever I visit bars. I prefer Absolut Vodka than Skyy and it's always Vodka Lime for me.


Yes, like you, I feel the heat after consuming a glass of Vodka too. Especially on my face and lower back. Weird, noh?

August 10, 2007 5:22 PM  

Blogger jon go said...

just chanced upon your blog and... WOW!!! i love it!

August 10, 2007 6:47 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

yes, syoktong was the drink of choice, i remember my mother prescribing that to me, but could not find it here, so i found cocktails. i dont really drink maybe a glass of wine a week that is all. btw, what is syoktong, is that a rum or something? when i was small, it did smell very strong to me. thanks.

August 11, 2007 2:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is the only alcoholic beverage i can tolerate --- mixed or straight. all the rest, i tend to get some sort of allergic reaction. and it's true what you said, it does give the body some kind of heat. should come in handy (itsy bitsy or a shot) during fall or winter time. but i would not recommend driving after. hehehe! like you mentiond, eric; better sleep it off =)

August 11, 2007 3:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Would you believe, DatuPanot, that I couldn't drink any other liquor? And thank God that never in my life did I ever find myself in a position -- social or otherwise -- in which I was coerced.

Salud to you as well :)

August 11, 2007 8:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Had that happened in the States, Rhoda, both the waiter and the restaurant proprietors would be facing serious legal consequences.

I must have mentioned this a couple of times already in previous exchange of comments -- Starbucks (in NYC, at least) would serve young people decaffeinated coffee instead. This started when Starbucks became a popular hangout for students after school, and its staff didn't want a bunch of kids running around wired on caffeine; worse, get addicted to caffeine at a very young age.

August 11, 2007 8:22 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Aha! Grey Goose, BW? A man of distinction and big spender you are ... hehehe.

Interestingly, the Absolut print ads I speak of had been dropped for a new ad campaign to attract the new generation of drinkers who don't seem to mind paying the extra 20% more for premium brands such as Grey Goose.

August 11, 2007 8:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

'd like to try Absolut Vanilla, Kyels. That seems sweeter than most.

Pina Colada, by the way is another favorite of mine, especially when vacationing down south or Puerto Rico back when I was living in NYC. And with this drink (with rum in it), I don't get that sensation as you had described.

August 11, 2007 8:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks, Jon!

Also went to take a peek of your site, very interesting as well with all those fine photos. Will be visiting it regularly.

August 11, 2007 8:44 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm not so sure about the actual contents of syoktong, Photo Cache, but now I'm really curious and will find out more about it.

There isn't much available information on it online, either.

August 11, 2007 8:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Would you believe, Nell, that vodka has supposedly become the drink of choice of most alcoholics? Hehehe ...

This is because you hardly feel anything when drinking it - such as that searing painful feeling as it travels down the throat as with whiskey - but afterwards, vodka will kick and before you know it, you're drunk as hell; worse, you'll simply blackout.

August 11, 2007 8:57 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Ginebra San Miguel Kuwatro Kantos puro-puro chased with tomato juice or V8 sa "looban" brings out the best of bastos jokes while sharing fity-fifty Marlboro with a slobbering toothless and shirtless tambay in your neighborhood. All the drinks, cigarettes, pulutan..utang sa tindahan ni aling Salud!

August 11, 2007 9:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. now you're talking about drinking. :D

I didn't have the luxury of drinking absolut as often as I wanted. I think I only had a taste of it once when I was with a group of office friends for an overnight stay in Pagsanjan, but we didn't get the chance to see the falls because the river stream was quite strong that time.

Anyway, I think the taste is sweet and unforgettable. Being new to it, I got hooked immediately to its aroma. I ended up drinking more than what is supposed to be just my share of the vodka juice.

August 11, 2007 9:13 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You had just described a typical weekend afternoon somewhere in Manila, Pete. I'm sure some of our artists can paint a wonderful picture inspired by your scenario :)

Someone told me that in certain parts of Tondo, a scene you had just described is sometimes followed by "tagaan" which explains the scars on some of the "tambays'" faces.

August 11, 2007 12:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Like I said, Jervis, ang vodka kasi hindi gumuguhit sa lalamunan pag iniinom, and this is why some guys tend to like it more than the other spirits. More so now with the variety of flavors that Absolut has added such as kurant, vanilla, lime, and etc.

August 11, 2007 12:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a coincidence! I've just survived unscathed a bottle of beer and two shots of tequila in a despedida party last friday night. Also went to seven cities of Metro Manila that day. Interesting day, I must say, but most of it are personal so I won't blog about it.

August 11, 2007 8:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A whole book for just an ad print; now that's amazing.

Yeah, I also noticed how vodka can really heat up the body temperature. I thought the cheap (as compared to Absolut or Smirnoff) brand was the culprit. This must be one trait why Russians love them so much, as it stave away the Moscow cold winds.

August 11, 2007 9:01 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

I may be your most promiscuous commenter here because I can imbibe most any drink available, and straight preferably. Make it brandy, whisky, vodka, tequila, or any wine made from grapes. As long as in moderation, like a few shots at any one setting for liquor, or 2-3 glasses for wines. But California brandy is a mainstay at home, for a shot or two before meals.

The wife prefers mixed drinks like margaritas, so she keeps a bottle of Absolut and Cuervo. Here in the US, ladies drinking is quite commonplace and cool, too.

And when I am back there, Fundador brandy will do just fine, or when the wallet complains, even the local version distributed by the same company, Emperador, will be no problem. And a pitcher of freshly made tuba preferably in the mornings will sweeten my day.

But I stay away from beer as much as possible, unless greatly diluted with ice water. More than one can or bottle and I will be courting a bad headache a little later.

From my experiences, I believe this kind of drinking is an acquired taste, and does not necessarily lead to addiction.

I had a friend at work who shared this proclivity for spirits and he would come to work in the morning already amply heated up by his daily limit of Vodka. And indeed, that was his preference because nobody could tell from his breath that he had been drinking. And at first, I myself could not tell. But then again, sometimes the slurred speech would give him away.


August 12, 2007 3:04 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Let's see ... a bottle of beer plus two shots of tequila, and a whirlwind 7-city tour of Metro Manila. I can only suspect an adventure laced with romance ... hehehe.

Good for you, Dave!

August 12, 2007 7:18 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sadly, though, Major Tom, there's a staggering case of alcoholism in Russia. But a shot of vodka must be a welcome respite from those blistering freezing winds that come with their winter.

Yes, the print ads created for Absolut are simply marvelous! Like I said, I'd want one for myself.

August 12, 2007 7:22 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You'd make an ideal party guest, Amadeo, for except for beer, you're fine with just about any liquor served by your host.

I agree with you, most are acquired taste and don't necessarily precipitate addiction. It is the addictive personality that must be put in check with just about any thing, including alcohol.

Yes, that's the other quality of vodka I failed to mention; it rarely leaves any trace in anyone's breath.

The manager of the department I once worked for while I was a night student loved liquid lunch. I sometimes had to answer his phone when he came back from lunch and had to learn how to lie, while he would sleep in his office for being too drunk. Hehehe.

August 12, 2007 7:28 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Quite close, Señor E, though that day was not just about adventure and "romance" (she said to me, "may you find your true love"). There was also some misfortune, and good thing I had to leave the party early. Else, I might have dwelled on these setbacks and get drunk like hell for the first time.

August 12, 2007 11:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolut, is absolutely great vodka for me. The taste and the smell is great.and you are right, it rarely leaves any trace in anyone's breath (at di mabaho ang smell mo unlike pag beer ang ininom).

And what about Baileys together with white cheese and olives(green or black). Sarap pampatulog. he he he.

August 13, 2007 3:53 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

True romantics don't succumb to setbacks and become slobbering drunks, Dave. They either write poetry or listen to some vintage Bryan Ferry tunes.

On the other hand, they become alcoholics when after marrying whom they thought was the woman of their dreams, suddenly notice that they've become even more charming to the other ladies, but alas! Can no longer do anything about it ... hahaha!

So, my young friend, take your time in such delicate yet tempestuous matters :)

August 13, 2007 10:08 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, Rolly, I am not one to be so adventurous with bottled spirits, lest folks want to be subjected to my nonstop belting out of Beatle tunes ... hehehe.

Worse, I might get too bold for my own safety and sing "My Way" in some local beer house ... and get shot!

August 13, 2007 10:12 AM  

Blogger Watergirl said...

I remember an Absolut ad using the jeepney as a background. I'm sure it's in one of the 1500 ads you mentioned. Hope you can find a copy.

Drinking alcohol makes me look like a lobster (red all over!!). Plus in the tropics, it's too uncomfortably hot to drink. So my bottle of vodka is now turning into vanilla extract (5 vanilla pods soaking since May or so; by xmas it should be ready for divvying up amongst baking buddies).

August 13, 2007 3:33 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


Another drink that does not have much after-taste and does not result in giveaway breath is gin. Elizalde used to(or still does) market one imported, Gilbey's, and another local.

For lunches even during working days, we used to concoct gimlet or gin fizz and as long as done in moderation one is none the worse for wear.

And of course, our Philippine cane-sugar rhum is still considered tops. But you wouldn't want to go back to work after drinking some, or go slow dancing with your inspiration.

August 14, 2007 12:37 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I've never seen the Absolut jeepney, M.Tan, but would love to! And I'm sure it is included in the book.

I know others who experience the same discomfort as you do with any kind of alcohol. Nevertheless, somehow, they manage to have a wonderful time at parties without a sip of alcohol.

August 14, 2007 10:08 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And my experience with gin is that it sweetens the breath as well, Amadeo. Actually, at intimate parties back then, I'd have a gin and tonic if I knew some kissing was about to take place with a girlfriend ... hehehe.

As for rhum, Puerto Rico's Bacardi is my choice with my pina colada :)

August 14, 2007 10:11 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

I really like the dreamy effect of this photo....literally it makes one who drinks it be in that state anyway....This reminds me too of one of my shots, should the storekeeper looked away than stared at me, I should have come closer. lol.

August 23, 2007 1:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, that was exactly my intention, G. Mirage! Quite keen of you :)

I tried visiting that URL but no photos were shown :(

Got this message:

"There aren't any Photo Albums currently available for viewing. The best way to encourage everyone to add Photo Albums is to do so yourself. Click on the Post link at the top of the page to post something new on your Multiply site."

August 23, 2007 2:30 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

hmm...I saw your comment on alexie's photo, ill add you as a contact so you can view the photo...i think it works that way.

Thanks for the vote po!

August 23, 2007 3:52 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Please do, G. Mirage. Thanks!

August 23, 2007 4:01 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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