Will Filipino ingredients go together well with a Hennessy VS cocktail like peanut butter and bananas? That we had to find out at the Hennessy King of the Road event, which was held last March 2, 2016 in Shooting Gallery Yellow Studio, Makati City.

Many could have assumed that the Hennessy Very Special (VS) tastes like a serious guy’s drink, but delicious cocktails prepared in the event were surprisingly favored by everyone. Inspired by unique Pinoy flavors such as suka, bay leaf, calamansi, and ginger beer, the Hennessy VS cocktails were spicy, sour, sweet, and tangy all at once. And yes, we can never look at this henny the same way again.

Hennessy’s King of the Road Launch (Shooting Gallery Yellow Studio, Makati)

I don’t usually go out to bars and party at night, much more on a weeknight, but the launch of the Hennessy VS in the Philippines was too special to pass. French liquor Hennessy VS will be inching through bars and urban hot spots in Metro Manila and soon it will be deeply engrossed in our local culture.

Brand Manager Carlo Bautista said that the goal is to embrace Filipino culture via food, music, and art (three aspects that are very close to the Filipinos) and also reach a broader and more dynamic target market including hip millennials.


To showcase the idea, celebrated celebrity chefs Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery (soon to open) and JP Anglo of Kafé Batwan presented Pinoy dishes that perfectly matched three different Hennessy VS cocktails crafted by Lee Watson, managing partner and mixologist at Manila’s ABV.

Chef JP:

  • Charcoal Grilled Kare-Kare Soft-Shell Taco with Pinoy Sriracha (oxtail stew with plenty of rice)
  • Laing on Toast with Talangka Butter and Grilled Coconut (a local take on bruschetta)

Chef Jordy:

  • Twice-cooked Shrimp with Chili
  • Samgyupsal-like Toyo Pork BBQ
  • Beef with Star Anise and Crispy Onions
  • Chocolate Bon Bons with Hennessy VS

Lee Watson:

  • Habal Habal – Black pepper infused Hennessy BS bay leaf honey and calamansi served tail with ginger beer (best paired with Jordy’s pork barbecue and Hennessy Glaze)
  • Patok – Hennessy VS infused with sili labuyo, honey, calamansi, and a dash of vinegar (best paired with kansi panada with batwan gravy)
  • Side Trip – Hennessy VS white chocolate, hibiscus, calamansi, and egg white served up with angostura and peychauds graffiti


Radio DJ Joyce Pring hosted the event, while local artists Curtis Smith, CRWN, BP Valenzuela, Kidthrones and The Diegos took center stage and entertained guests with engaging songs and rhythms. Performances were all great, making the unveiling of Hennessy’s King of the Road enjoyable throughout the evening.


Dubbed as Manila’s Nasty Egg, street artist Egg Fiasco displayed live art in the event. His creativity reflected through his finished mural for the King of the Road, as he tried to interpret Manila’s urban lifestyle with retro futuristic images and ambiguous characters. It looked like a signature piece that’s consistent with his creations, as Fiasco is mostly known for his neo-graffiti types of murals that converge urban art with pop culture, folk arts, comic graphics, toys and tattoo culture. 

Hennessy Very Special

On the nose, Hennessy Very Special brings together an intense and fruity character with oaky notes. On the palate, powerful flavors suggest grilled almonds, supported by notes reminiscent of fresh grapes. Hennessy VS is formed with a union of warm-hearted and full-bodied flavors. It endures through the ages and pleases connoisseurs searching for a very special moment. Today, it’s marketed as a mix-drink ingredient, for cocktails and such.

Why “King of the Road”?

Hennessy is the number one cognac brand in the world, and it holds the country’s local culture of every country it reaches. In the Philippines, Hennessy crowned one of the most iconic symbols in Philippine history: the Jeepney. The Hennessy Jeepney wowed the crowd when it appeared with sleek matte black exteriors and refined gold details. The “King of the Road” truly represents the flair, ingenuity, and sense of community of the Filipino people.

Hennessy Jeepney from Hennessyph IG

Follow the trail of the King of the Road by checking out Hennessy Philippines’ Facebook pageTwitter and Instagram accounts.


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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12 Responses

  1. Mr_jeng

    Wow!!!!! You actually went to a barrish type event with alcohol!!!!yay!!!! Wohooooo! I mean… Ive rarely see you go to these kinds of events…. Hehehehehehe anyway… I havent tried henessy… But it sure looks like fun though… Cheers and see you soon!!!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha yeah, it was my first time to attend this kind of event actually and I was surprised about the mood here. It’s way different from the regular foodie gatherings we have. It’s different in a good way.

  2. Tyra

    This looks like an absolutely amazing event! The cocktails look great and the food looks amazing. Henny is smooth so this is an interesting fusion of food and drinks. Glad you had fun.

  3. Tori Gabriel

    What a great event! I love the sound of the cocktails and the food looks amazing too. I’ve not tried Henessy before, have to rectify that.

  4. Shonee

    Looks like a really fun event. I love all the cool lighting. The food looks really great too! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with all of us. I would love to attend an event like this!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I think attending to events like this isn’t all about drinking. It’s also more about sociability and getting into the new trends. 🙂 Great experience!

  5. Mike

    Oh man…I should not have read this blog! Now I totally have to revisit the Philippines so I can get some of these ingredients to make my own, lol.

    I especially LOVE the sound of this one “Black pepper infused Hennessy BS bay leaf honey and calamansi served tail with ginger beer”

    Great post!


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