Tag Archives: soju

An Excerpt from The Diary of an Alcohol Specialist (Part 1)


Hello, my name is Gail and I’m a slasher.

Not the kind that gets locked up behind bars because of bloody violent tendencies… But the kind that, as an acquaintance pointed out, wears so many hats that my job title requires a lot of “slashes”.

Technically, I’m a beverage specialist/blogger/restaurant consultant/housewife/student. Explaining that to people I’ve just met normally requires a long story, so I decided to dedicate a couple of entries to taking an in-depth look into my life.


26 July 2016, Tuesday

Manic-edited and released article about Korean beverages. Felt the effect of my absence from the blog, my stats dipped slightly… But I think it was good to have taken a break. It has been a nutty few weeks, and taking my friend’s suggestion of just being a couch potato was great.


This of course means that I have a backlog the size of Everest.

Edited my article on Rosés, but I have to go out tomorrow and buy that Hoegaarden Rosée I saw from a friend’s feed… It’s so pretty!

When I decided to avoid getting freebies to make sure my articles are 100% unbiased, I knew there was a hell of a price to pay to maintain some semblance of integrity. It was even worse when I decided to make sure that all the photos that come out in the blog either came from me, a friend (with permission), or any source with explicit consent.

With that in mind, I have to finish my dark beer shoot… Thank goodness our home/office has great lighting and windows. I’ve never had any lessons on photography or photo editing… I’m grateful for my Samsung Note’s camera and Fotor.


27 July 2016, Wednesday

Made a mad dash for Bottle Shop along Jupiter Street to get the bottle of Hoegaarden Rosée.


Must tell the marketing manager about my thoughts (all positive!). Heaven forbid I forget, I’ll send him the link to the article (and blame it on the alcohol)*.

Thank goodness I left when I did, I think our yaya almost throttled the plumber for his incompetence.

I have to make sure I give her an extra hug when I see her again on Friday.

My business is practically a one-woman show, and I’ve been infinitely blessed with wonderful people who I get to work with on a regular basis (suppliers and clients alike)… However, I’m especially thankful for the people that work for us and keep me sane. Our yaya is indispensable (I call her a 5’1” bouncer), our driver is amazingly patient with my direction and schedule-challenged self (and would take a bullet for us), and our ironing lady is a fabulous mix of formidable and sweet (she gives me hugs and cries tears of joy whenever I do any favour for her).

Got inquiries for cheese suppliers… I honestly get mine from Rustan’s Marketplace. They have a wonderfully diverse, delicious selection of about 270 cheeses from different parts of the world.


Kitty from the Park

Walked around the neighbourhood (need the exercise!) with Chad and met one of the sweetest street cats, which we named Kitty from the Park.


28 July 2016, Thursday

I had to do an intense, manic research on beer styles for the dark beer article. It took me about an hour and a half to find decent text on Russian Stout, and a lot of the literature I found emphasised the difficulty in producing this style of beer. It made me appreciate the guys of Baguio Craft Brewery even more for their ingenuity.

beer research

Exhaustive Research!

Here’s the thing about my articles: I never, ever release any without research, preferably from books. I get practically obsessive in getting the details accurate… After all, the goal of the blog is to provide an entertaining resource. It isn’t a lifestyle blog (and I’d rather kill myself than spend 80% of an entry talking about myself and 20% on the beverage), although I do try to entertain (my French teacher, Olivia, says I should work on putting a bit more of myself in my articles).

Speaking of Olivia, I gotta finish my French homework.


29 July 2016, Friday

Released my Rosé article… I can’t get over the fact that the Sospechoso from Barcino’s worked well with the longganisa our friend, fashion designer and chef Ryan Madamba brought over.


I love having friends over for dinner… It makes for excellent conversations, challenges my food and wine pairing and mixology skills, and… Food. Cooking is therapeutic for me.


The gratin I made for friends during one epic dinner (over tons of alcohol and food!)

Speaking of friends, one of ours is in Korea… Her adventures are making me envious. Maybe it’s time to schedule a trip to Korea.

Olivia came over for my lessons. It was also her birthday! We gave her an H&M gift card, and had dinner with her.

People wonder why I’m still continuing my French lessons. Honestly, I need to know a Latin-based language to help me decipher wine terms, and I decided on French during the time when Chad was working for a French company (it was useful for both of us). I’m not a total pro at it, but the French winemakers I’ve met so far were kind enough to meet me halfway and correct me when needed.


End of Part One. The next article will showcase what normally happens when I have events. 🙂


*I eventually forgot, eheh…

Korean Style


After several events, parties, deadlines, meetings, homework, chores, and appointments, I found myself in a major state of burnout a couple of weeks ago. It was the type of burnout where I seriously shied away from the outside world (more so than usual) and wanted to live like a hermit for a couple of days.

So, like a responsible adult, I fixed my schedule to avoid any and all human contact, and searched for entertainment the best way I knew how: iFlix and Netflix.

After looking around for what seemed like an eternity, I decided to forego the usual western TV series and documentaries and try out a Korean drama.

Yes, my name is Gail, and I watched a Korean drama (with English subtitles, of course).

Backtrack: I never had any interest in Korean culture and entertainment. I think it was because the first Koreans I’ve met in Manila weren’t the nicest people… Those encounters left a bad taste in my mouth.

I only began to give it a chance when my husband started working for a Korean company. I started meeting really nice Koreans who taught me their brand of indulgence: cheap and effective beauty products (I have yet to meet a Korean with bad skin), amazing Korean food (although I have yet to figure out where they put them, they’re so skinny!), and Korean drama.

Korean drama is how Latin Americans treat their telenovelas: Everyone has a favorite, and watching them is almost a religion. In fact, given Korean technology (and their breakneck bandwidth speeds), a lot of these dramas are made available online and accessible to anyone with a smartphone.

Which brings me back to my original story: To chill out, I decided to indulge myself in a nice Kdrama, put on a much-needed facial mask, and, because I’m a beverage geek, drink something totally Korean.


aloe vera_Fotor

Refreshing Aloe Vera Juice from Landmark Supermarket


Aloe Vera Juice

I heard of Aloe Vera for hair, but never as a beverage. The drink tasted like really sweet candy and promised to decrease bloating. Online research produced conflicting studies (some studies say too much of the stuff can pose health risks, others say it’s great for detox), but the cute bottle and refreshing characteristics were enough to make me want more.


Acaféla Bottled Caramel Macchiato from Landmark Supermarket

Bottled Coffee

Honestly, I got this because of the bottle and the wordplay on acapella. It was a choice between this flavor and a dark coffee, but I was craving for something sweet at the time. This did the trick… The caramel flavors were the roasted, creamy kind (my favorite).



The Korean staple, Soju


I heard about Soju when Chad was hunting down a store to buy some for his Korean officemates. I heard of it again while I was watching a Kdrama, where I discovered… Man, Koreans love (and get drunk on) Soju. It’s as readily available in South Korea as San Miguel is to us. Essentially, it’s a distilled beverage containing ethanol and water, made from rice, wheat, barley, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca, and is consumed neat. The alcohol percentage varies from 16.5-45% ABV… Which makes it quite potent.

If this isn’t enough, some people turn them into Soju Bombs: Similar to boilermakers, a shot glass of Soju is dropped into a pint of beer and is consumed fast.



Plum Wine, available in Kang’s Salcedo Village

Plum Wine

While shopping around for Soju, I discovered this bottle of plum wine. It’s made out of maesil plums (which are bottled along with the alcohol). It’s popular, cute, and is about 14% ABV. It’s sweet, fragrant, fruity, and packs quite a punch. There’s a premium gold edition, which has a smoother, more elegant texture to it. Personally, I couldn’t drink this on its own, it needs food (preferably Korean, of course!).


That being said, excuse me while I return to my self-exile vacation, while I enjoy what’s left of my Soju, Japchae, facial mask, and Kdrama. 😉 Let me know your favorites. Geonbae!