Metro Manila is one of many cities around the world that celebrates its nightlife with great tunes that pair with great drinks.

From intimate gigs to grand concerts, the rhythm of music is often accompanied by the clinking of glasses, with attendees and patrons savoring inventive cocktails that echo the spirit of the melodies around them, as a seamless blend of auditory and gustatory pleasures that can amplify the ambiance of the nightlife experience — creating memorable moments that can linger long after the last note or drop has faded.

In recent years, several establishments across Metro Manila have evolved significantly, with local mixologists drawing inspiration from various musical references to craft drinks that not only tantalize one’s taste buds but also pay homage to iconic tunes and artists in the music industry. More than just being catchy, this innovative presence of music-themed cocktails evokes the essence of a song, a band, or an album — offering a unique way for enthusiasts to indulge in their love for both music and mixology.

In this article, Billboard Philippines lists down our favorite picks for the best cocktails to try around Metro Manila — highlighting the signature drinks that have captured the hearts (and palates) of the city’s cocktail enthusiasts. Whether you’re a die-hard music fan or simply someone who appreciates a well-crafted cocktail, get ready to raise your glass to a well-crafted drink that fits your love of music.

Spiced Girl (Polilya)

spiced girl polilya

Courtesy of @polilya.mnl

Ingredients: Triple Gin House Blend, Strawberries, Fresh Tarragon, Black Pepper

Just like the iconic girl group that it’s named after, Polilya’s Spiced Girl cocktail features a varied mix of ingredients that couldn’t be any more different. Yet with each ingredient’s distinct flavor, it results in a surprisingly refreshing cocktail that’s as vibrant and popping as the Spice Girls’ discography. 

The smooth, pure taste of the triple gin base pairs well with the sweet tinge of strawberry, though it’s the subtle kick of the black pepper that rounds up the gustatory experience of this drink. Along with the fresh tarragon’s light sweet aniseed and mild vanilla taste, it allows each component to complement one another — just like how the Spice Girls members did.

It’s the perfect drink to dance the night away to with your girl friends, whether it’s to ’90s Britpop anthems or the bubble gum pop sounds of artists like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and of course, the Spice Girls. With its varied ingredients and round up of flavors, there’s no doubt about this how this cocktail features a fitting name for a drink that’s named after one of the most iconic girl groups of all time.

Polilya is located at 5767 Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.

Studio 54 (Nokal)

studio 54 nokal

Courtesy of @nokal.manil

Ingredients: Silver Tequila, Passionfruit, Grapefruit, Citric Acid, Agave, Peychaud’s Bitters

The iconic Studio 54 may have been one of the most iconic disco clubs in New York City back in the late ’70s, so it obviously deserves a drink that retains the same spirited nature it had during its prime.

Nokal’s cocktail of the same name is a well-balanced mix of sweet, tart, bitter, and earthy flavors — making it a refreshing and sophisticated drink that’s perfect for unwinding and having a great time. Its little disco ball attachment may be a cute addition to the drink, but it’s well worth trying for its layer of tropical sweetness and tartness that’s bound to become the favorite aspect of those drinking it, even as it gets balanced out by a subtle aromatic bitterness that enhances the overall complexity of the cocktail.

There’s no doubt about how well this cocktail pairs well with the sounds of artists like Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, and Grace Jones –– easily transporting just about anyone back to the golden age of disco wih its distinct taste.

Head down to Basement 1 of the parking area of Makati Central Square to get to Nokal.

Plastic Love Talkin’ (OTO)

plastic love oto

Courtesy of

Ingredients: 1800 Tequila Blanco, Edamame, Kyoho, Genmaicha

With its infusion of Japanese ingredients within the cocktail, OTO’s Plastic Love Talkin’ is the perfect pairing to any ’80s city-pop tunes. 

Named after Mariya Takeuchi’s beloved classic, this drink is a standout entry on this list because of buttery caramel base, mild spice and a touch of smokiness accentuated by the notes of the edamame and genmaicha’s nutty taste. The kyoho grapes give it a rich taste that is both fresh and sweet, making this as easy as it is delicious to down if you’re looking for a more chill drink when you’re out and about.

Find OTO at 5883 Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati City.

Maiden Voyage (Fat Cat PH)

maiden voyage fat cat phj

Courtesy of

Ingredients: Vodka, Cocchi Americano, St. Germain, Lemon, Cinnamon, Yuzu-Kosho Syrup

Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage is a timeless jazz record that stands as a staple to the genre itself. This Fat Cat signature cocktail honors Hancock’s classic with its complex yet intriguing flavor profile with a balance of sweetness, spice, citrus, and herbal notes. 

Just like Hancock’s composition, there are bright tones to it — coming from the lemon juice and yuzu-kosho syrup, with the latter adding a little heat and spice together with the cinnamon. The Cocchi Americano adds bitterness and depth, while the vodka keeps the profile clean and allows the other ingredients to take center stage, resulting in refreshing cocktail with a layered flavor profile, making it interesting to sip and explore just as Hancock did with his voyage.

Ascend the staircase by the Amorsolo Street entrance of Makati Central Square (near KFC) to visit Fat Cat PH.

Smooth Like Butter, Hot Like Summer (OTO)

smooth like butter oto

Courtesy of

Ingredients: Brown Butter Bourbon, Sour Green Apple, Sugar, Aromatic Bitters

This BTS-Inspired cocktail offers an interesting palette of flavors with its delightful blend of rich, sweet, tart, and complex taste. The brown butter bourbon provides a warm and nutty base, while the sour green apple adds a refreshing tang, the sugar sweetens the mix, and the aromatic bitters introduce a sophisticated complexity. 

Upon first sip, it’s easy to note the the smooth, rich bourbon and the sharp tang of the green apple. Yet it’s slight aftertaste of a lingering finish of spices and herbs from the bitters is what makes this ‘hot like summer,’ resulting in a well-rounded and intriguing cocktail combination that is both comforting and refreshing.

High Violet (Big Fuzz)

high violet whats the big fuzz

Courtesy of @whatsthebigfuzz

Ingredients: Butterfly Pea Gin, Peach Liqueur, Pandan, Lemon, Cucumber Bitters

It’s not everyday that you get to experience a drink named after The National’s critically acclaimed 2010 album, but Big Fuzz’s High Violet is something that is undoubtedly a must-try entry from this list. This cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, aromatic, and refreshing flavors with a visually striking appearance of a frothy, yet smooth surface. 

From your first sip, it’s easy to note the burst of citrusy freshness from the lemon, combined with the fragrant, if slightly sweet, and nutty notes of pandan. The sweetness of the peach liqueur then comes through, complementing the subtle floral and botanical flavors of the Butterfly Pea Gin, while the cucumber bitters add a crisp, refreshing element that make it perfect as a sophisticated summer drink that can impress with both flavor and presentation.

Find the red door at the end of the 2nd floor of Creekside Mall on Amorsolo Street, Makati City to enter Big Fuzz.