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