It is an understatement to say that our "moonshine"-- nipa vodka, distilled from the nectar of the brackish palm Nypa fruticans-- has a rabid following. We have been asked "Aren't you the ones who have that moonshine?" in the strangest places indeed.
Over the months, we've made various incarnations: plain, infused with
various plants (pepper, star anise leaves, local oranges), mixed with
mascobado sugar and honey. The latest, very limited variation is an
excellent infusion of wild civet coffee beans (from a sprawling mountain
estate in Batangas) together with pure vanilla bean.
Not that we are alcoholics, but when a night of free-flowing
conversation and libations is in order, we prefer this local spirit:
sustainably grown, harvested (by cutting off the fruit, pictured above,
and installing a bamboo collector, below), and wood-fired distillation
(allowing for a carbon emission equal to only the amount captured by the
fuelwood). It is an open base, with slight sweetness, and a poweful
punch (80 proof). Not jarring like coconut lambanog, it has received raves from our friends all over the world (yes, we do pack our own alcohol).
Our expriences around the moonshine have been some of our best. Riding
small boats down several marshes, past wild crab hunters and those
collecting nipa leaves for thatched roofing, drinking our booty in a log
cabin at night, preparing our mix for the ride back home (coconut milk
and pineapple). It is an honor to throw our own little wrench into the
huge machinery of global alcohol production. We are perfectly happy to
sip our local organic spirit, with excellent quality, sans preservatives, not from concentrate, not shipped from halfway around the globe.
Locals, get brewing, get distilling. Small-batch alcohol production, thine time has come.