sweetish 90 proof liquor made from coconut toddy
Lambanog is a Filipino sweetish liquor made from the sap of the stem of immature coconut blossom. The sap collected is fermented for a a few hours into a toddy called tuba, then distilled into lambanog. It is rather potent at 90 proof but it's not noticeable at first sip because of its sweetness.
I remember this drink as a child visiting my grandparents, aunts, and cousins in Sariaya, Quezon. Their lambanog, in a large 2-gallon jug, was deep amber in color because of the raisins that they add to the liquor. The raisins which were not meant to be eaten render not just its color but also its flavor and sweetness to the lambanog. As an adult I never tried lambanog until now, maybe because I do not particularly enjoy drinking alcohol (red and white wine are the exception) and only have mixed drinks occasionally.
Watch this video of the Three Sheets guy visiting Quezon province where lambanog is mostly produced, and trying the 160 proof lambanog which according to the distiller is not for sale to the Philippine markets or elsewhere, gee I wonder why. I enjoyed watching this video, specially the rituals when having drinking sessions. Take note: there are several middle-aged women in the drinking group, which reminds me of the after-dinner drinking events at my grandparents' house where everybody drinks except children and my mother.
I made a simple mixed drink with equal amounts of lambanog, calamansi juice, and club soda, and simple syrup to taste. Not bad at all, it's very refreshing and tastes better than vodka.