Quoting Katy Perry



Matcha and Sparkling Apple Cider

This Christmas season in Manila is unusual. One moment it’s hot, the next it’s cold… Not for the best reasons (blasted typhoon Ruby).

One of the best remedies to fight extreme warmth or extreme cold is to drink. For example, some cold parts of the world mandate a drink of Vodka to counteract the effects of freezing temperatures. There’s also the delicious Samalamig during summer in the Philippines.

Two schools of thought come into play when it comes to drinking the temperature away: Some people think, for instance, that drinking cold beverages during a cold day makes your insides cool enough, you wouldn’t feel the outside cold. Others (myself included) believe that a warm cup of tea/coffee/hot choco on a particularly chilly day is just heavenly.

Whatever your belief is, here are a couple of drinks I’ve come across lately, whether you want something hot or cold:

THE UPPER YEAST CIDERS – Sparkling Apple Pear Cider (Facebook, or @theupperyeastciders on Instagram)

Admittedly, I was tempted to start the paragraph in full Gossip Girl glory with a good old, “Hey, Upper Yeast Ciders”. The branding is just that cool, and what with people getting into the home brew craze, this is something interesting to look into.

Traditionally, an apple cider is a drink during autumn/winter/the holidays/in an ice skating rink (see Preacher’s Wife). Unfortunately, we don’t have the cold weather conditions to merit large amounts of consumption.

Thankfully, the Upper Yeast Ciders has a refreshingly crisp alternative to give that festive holiday feeling without making the already brutal humidity in Manila feel worse. Yes, it is alcoholic, but not by much (6%). It blasts you head on with full flavors of apple, then tapers off with notes of pear, all wrapped up in a wonderfully fizzy consistency. Best served chilled and consumed immediately. I would recommend drinking it alone (not-all-by-yourself alone, I mean without food), or with chips.

Japanese Matcha Green Tea – Narita Airport

My 29-hour flight back from Chile required a stopover in Dallas and Japan before making it back home.

The 4-hour layover in Narita made me think of drinks in the airport… But oh, what to choose…? I thought to myself, Japan’s correlation with beverages involves a hefty amount of beer (Asahi and Kirin), Sake, and the fabulous tea ceremonies I’ve seen in movies.

I thought my liver was probably shrivelled up because of all the wines (and pisco sour) I had in Chile, so I thought it wise to get myself tea.

After much translation issues, I settled on a can of green tea. At first, I thought I screwed up and got myself yet another loose leaf, regular green tea (the sales lady and I just did NOT understand each other). I supposed, what the heck… I am rarely in Japan, and the packaging is pretty darn cute (this is SO how marketing people get women to buy so many things…).

When I got home and opened the can, I was so happy to find out I had bought Matcha.

I love Matcha as an ice cream flavour or on a Kit Kat bar, but I’ve never tried it as a straight up tea. I neither possess the patience to do the traditional whisking, nor the willingness to venture across Japan to get myself the proper Matcha kit.

Fortunately, I got the instant version that comes in single serve sachets (yay!). I prepared myself a cup and immersed in the creamy goodness of this tea. Deliciously warm and fuzzy in the tummy, it was the perfect drink to wait out the typhoon. Reading some text on it, it apparently has a very high amount of antioxidants and can relieve mental stress.

So, whether you’re hot or you’re cold (you’re yes or you’re no… Couldn’t resist, Katy Perry!), there is always a drink for you. Let me know what you’re having. Cheers!

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