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The Homes of Zee

Cebu’s 5 Best Cocktails to Indulge in After a Long Day

There’s more to a good cocktail than alcohol and some syrup. Former Zee editor Shari Quimbo shares her picks of alcohol concoctions to indulge in at the end of the day.

Text by Shari Quimbo

There’s something that feels indulgent about ordering a cocktail—and no, I’m not talking about the Rum and Cokes that you down on Saturday nights at dive bars to get drunk. Mixing cocktails, as it turns out, is a little bit of an art and science. There’s a certain combination of the right, premium ingredients that brings out the flavors of a spirit, creating one that pleases your taste buds as much as it gives you a good buzz.

Thankfully, Cebu’s cocktail scene has changed. There’s a continuously growing number of restaurants that offer specialty cocktails, bringing their own spins to classic concoctions, or coming up with something entirely new. For one, Jan Rodriguez at The Weekend presents some incredibly delicious takes on the Gin & Tonic that make you feel like you’ve never actually had a real one before.

But sometimes, more than just the taste, cocktails can create a feeling, whether it’s boosting your energy, encouraging conversation, or calming you down. It can even complete an experience—after all, what would an afternoon at the beach be without a refreshing glass of your preferred poison? Aside from the aforementioned mixes at The Weekend, here are my favorite drinks in the city.

photography by Gia Mayola

Caipimara at Ibiza Beach Club

Perched on top of Mactan’s blue waters, the Ibiza Beach Club is one of the best spots to enjoy a drink on a sunny afternoon. I particularly enjoy the Caipimara—vodka mixed with passionfruit and lime juice, with some brown sugar. Fruity and sweet, it’s the kind of summer refreshment to enjoy while lounging on one of Ibiza’s net beds.

Of course, Ibiza offers a number of other delicious mixes to enjoy. There’s the Ibiza Sour and Ibiza Mojito, elevated versions of the classics. Something even fruitier is the Sangria, with chunks of fruit that add another level of flavor to the drink.

Movenpick Hotel & Resort, Punta Engano,
Mactan Island
Open from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM on
Mondays to Thursdays, and 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM on
Fridays to Sundays

photography by Gia Mayola

Mantegalo Seco at Enye

When Enye opened at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, locals were excited to sample Chef Chele Gonzales’ modern Spanish cuisine. A pleasant surprise, though, were the offering of handcrafted cocktails that could be enjoyed on their own for happy hour, or to complement the dishes served.

Enye has a number of signature cocktails, but we have to highlight the Mantegalo Seco. Especially popular during the restaurant’s launch, the cocktail has chardonnay, lime, brown sugar, pineapple and cachaca, a spirit made from sugarcane. It’s a play on sweet and sour flavors that make for a refreshing afternoon drink.

Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan,
Seascapes Resort Town, Mactan Island
Open from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM every day

photography by Tristan Laput

Burning Bush at Morals & Malice

Definitely with its own flair, the Burning Bush gets plus points for presentation. The drink is served with a burning rosemary twig, its smoke enclosed under a rounded glass that is removed upon serving. The rosemary scent is a nice prelude to its flavors—single malt whiskey and Makers Mark bourbon complemented with ginger liquer, fig syrup, Yoichi salinated herb, and lemon.

Aside from the Burning Bush, Morals & Malice offers a number of other delicious cocktails that were created by Manila-based mixologist Kalel Demetrio. It’s the kind of drink that best kicks off a night on the town.

The Tinder Box, Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue,
Kasambagan, Cebu City
Open from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM on
Mondays to Thursdays, and 4:00 PM to
2:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays

photography by Kim Mercado

Dill or No Dill at The Pig & Palm

I have to admit, part of this cocktail’s appeal is its cheeky pun of a name. In fact, The Pig & Palm’s cocktail list, which was crafted by The Social Company’s bar executive Jamie Jones, reads like a wordplay exercise: Rum DMC, Coff Medicine, Notorious P.I.G, among others.

The Dill or No Dill is made with gin, lemon juice, elderflower cordial, cucumber dill and smoked salt. It’s one of those selections whose popularity boils down to personal preference; some people I know find the dill too strong for their liking. As for me, I love the sort of herby taste it brings to the cocktail, and it’s a light, refreshing one to enjoy with dinner.

MSY Tower, Pescador Road, Cebu
Business Park, Cebu City
Open from 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM on
Sundays, Tuesdays to Thursdays, and 11:00AM to 2:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays

photography by Tristan Laput

LG Campbell Punch at Circa 1900

If you haven’t already noticed based on my choices, I have a preference for the sweet and citrusy.

Another drink that brings that together wonderfully is the LG Campbell Punch from Circa 1900. The old-fashioned house is the perfect place to enjoy this summery cocktail, which is made with dark rum, fresh calamansi juice and coconut sugar. Enjoy with one of Circa’s delicious starters: the Ube Ravioli with Shredded Pork Lechon and Apple, or the Crispy Spice and Pepper Squid are great savory choices that counter the sweetness.

Sanjercas Ville Extension Road, Gorordo
Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City
Open from 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM every day

The Homes of Zee

The Homes of Zee–Holiday Edition: Christmas House No. 12

Christmas House No. 12 – Heart-felt Holidays at the Hofers’

Check out why this holiday home is on our list of 12 Cebu homes this season. offers a glimpse of Cebu’s holiday homes from far and wide. Please follow our series as we bring you a different home in the next few days!

Nestled in Banilad, Cebu City, the George Hofer residence stands as testament to enduring elegance. Constructed in the late sixties to early seventies, the mansion exudes timeless charm with warm brown molave wood panels and pristine white marble floors.

Stepping into this grand abode during the Christmas season unveils a journey into a beautifully storied past. This season, Molave wooden entance, intricately carved with the Hofer couple’s monogram, are adorned with opulent yuletide garlands. White velvet poinsettias and persimmon peonies alongside mother of pearl camellias are interspersed with pearlescent berries. Archangel Michael showers the guests with  blessings from above, while a macassar ebony wooden effigy of Saint George (slaying the dragon) pays homage to the house owner’s namesake.

Adjacent to a private elevator, a grandiose Christmas tree stands tall, welcoming guests into a sprawling waiting hall. Here, an angel in teal and gold lamé cloth grouped together with exotic blooms gracefully plays the lyre; seemingly entertaining those who await entry.

Further down the hall is an ecru grand piano, where the lady of the house, a skilled pianist, performs Monti’s Czardas, Schubert’s Ständchen, and other rhapsodies on special occasions. A commissioned portrait of George and Dulce hangs on a wall above a console table that separates the hall from the formal dining area.

The Hofer home exudes old-world elegance that is seldom found today, yet its true charm lies in the joyous laughter and warm greetings of the Hofers, who gather annually to share Christmas cheer and delightful yuletide stories in this vibrant space.

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The Homes of Zee

The Homes of Zee–Holiday Edition: Christmas House No. 11

Christmas House No. 11 – Christine Pelaez

Check out why this holiday home is on our list of 12 Cebu homes this season. offers a glimpse of Cebu’s holiday homes from far and wide. Please follow our series as we bring you a different home in the next few days!

Designed by the noted Cebu architect Teng Jacinto, this expansive residence stands as a testament to the artful curation of Jun Pelaez. Over the years, he has meticulously assembled a collection of artworks, transforming the home into a gallery that reflects his discerning taste and appreciation for the aesthetic.

As the holiday season graces the air, the residence undergoes a festive tone under the artful touch of Jun’s wife, Christine. Embracing tradition, she bathes the home in the classic Christmas palette of reds and greens, infusing each corner with warmth and seasonal charm. The interior becomes a canvas for the holiday spirit, adorned with wreaths, ornaments, and the timeless glow of twinkling lights.

However, the true heart of this home lies in its welcoming spirit. There are two dining rooms, with chairs adorned with red bows and festive centerpieces,  where family and friends converge for an equally sumptuous meal.

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The Homes of Zee

The Homes of Zee–Holiday Edition: Christmas House No. 10

Christmas House No. 10 – The Hudsons’ Christmas Chronicles

Check out why this holiday home is on our list of 12 Cebu homes this season. offers a glimpse of Cebu’s holiday homes from far and wide. Please follow our series as we bring you a different home in the next few days!

The Hudson’s household buzzes with enthusiasm each time the holiday season unfolds. The heart of their Tokyo home, the  Hudson Christmas tree, stands tall and proud, adorned with tinsel and cherished trimmings that span the years of their family’s growth. Each ornament tells a story, marking the arrival of a new family member with the annual addition of baubles bearing their names: Mary, George, Victoria and Charles.

Charles, the youngest Hudson at twelve, beams with joy as he proudly places the Christmas star atop the tree. No longer reliant on his father’s shoulders, Charles revels in his newfound height and the welcomed responsibility that comes with it.

In addition to the twinkling blue lights, the festive icons and the white-and-silvery ornaments, another cherished tradition had been completed at the beginning of the joyful season. The Hudson’s much-anticipated Christmas cards, an exciting accountof  the family’s adventures, had been creatively crafted by Rose and Karl. The lively narrative chronicles the milestones and quests of each family member, with Karl’s animated storytelling and Rose’s artistic touch bringing the tales to life.

Rose shares, “by mid-November we print two hundred post cards of the Hudson family chronicles. The entire family, from the oldest to the youngest, gathers around to sign each card. Envelopes are lovingly addressed, and the kids lend a hand in labeling.”

In a heartwarming shift of roles, the Hudson parents, Karl and Rose, prepare to pass the baton. The careful planning and distribution of the Christmas cards are soon to become the responsibility of the eager younger generation. 

With laughter, love, and a touch of adventure, the Hudson family embraces the season, creating and sharing memories that they and their friends treasure for life.

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