NEW FIND: Shop these DIY cocktail kits inspired by Filipino flavors and help a good cause

Published November 24, 2020, 10:37 AM

by John Legaspi

Your e-numan sesh might be your next charitable act

For modern women, catch ups and girls night outs, even book clubs, are best experienced with cocktails. Carrie Bradshaw and her New Yorker babes made cosmopolitan the “it” drink. 13 Going On 30‘s Jenna Rink’s go-to is the piña colada. The midnight margaritas by the Owens from Practical Magic are no longer just reserved for the witching hour.

Now, if you’re looking for a more local spin for your next e-numan sesh, you might want to check this one out. Local brand Sahan is launching its cocktail kits, celebrating the country’s rich culture and its vibrant produce.

Just like its name, which is hailed from the Tagalog word “kaisahan,” the brand was born out of the unity of five Filipinas: Karla Delgado, Patricia Marcelo, Gemma Binarao, Iyay Ignacio, and Kai Yulo.

In the spirit of local

The ladies are marking the brand’s launch with two signature cocktail mixes. First is the Biyahe, which is composed of butterfly pea and lemongrass nectar, calamansi liqueur, Baguio lemon, and edible flowers. The other, a more holiday-themed drink, is the Pasko that is made up of local cinnamon and galangal nectar, dalandan liqueur, Baguio lemon, and nasturtium leaves.


“As farmers and foodies, we’re inspired by Filipino flavors and fresh produce,” Kai tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “We source all of our ingredients from small-scale organic farms in different parts of the Philippines. The local cinnamon in our Christmas drink, for example, is sourced from farmers in Talisay and Don Salvador Benedicto. Our lemons come from farmers in Baguio. But the majority of our ingredients are sourced from Kai Farms, a permaculture farm in Silang, Cavite, that also happens to be our mother company.”

Sahan also fostered partnerships with local brands that share its vision. So, expect to see in Sahan’s cocktails kits bottled alcohol products from its collaborating distilleries Destileria Limtuaco, ARC Gin, and Don Papa Rum.


Sahan’s holiday mix, Pasko

“Our cocktail kits have three main elements: fresh garnish, alcohol, and a mixer. The fresh garnish is usually composed of edible flowers or herbs, which change depending on seasonality and what the recipe calls for,” Kai says. “The mixer is our Sahan nectar, which is made of organic produce from Kai Farms. Sometimes we’ll also add a mixer from local brand Stanford Shaw, but it really depends on the recipe.”

Cheers for a cause

At the core of its local spirits endeavor is a cause to help the society, especially the youth in this time of crisis. Sahan pledges that for every cocktail kit sold, it will send a learning kit to a child in need.

Sahan’s cocktail kit

“During our brainstorm, we thought about how the lives of so many Filipinos are changing amid the pandemic,” Kai says. “We realized that one of the most affected demographics are children—specifically those enrolled in the public school system that’s now shifted to distance learning. This shift puts public school children at a huge disadvantage.”

The brand has partnered with Teach for the Philippines to build learning kits that allow students to continue their studies despite the pandemic. Each kit contains a tote bag made of repurposed katsa by women in Palawan, a reusable face mask made of Palawan weaves, school supplies, and a pack of organic seeds, which is also a step forward for sustainability.

Sahan is also extending its efforts to help the victims of the recent typhoons that hit the country.

“We were also inspired by the way Filipino youth have mobilized to help those affected by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses,” she says. “To do our part, we’re bidding out 10 Sahan cocktail kits for pre-launch from today until Nov. 27 to raise funds for the For the Future and For Our Farmers relief funds, and our learning kits for Teach for the Philippines.”

Each cocktail kit makes about five drinks and is priced at P1,500. The Biyahe and Pasko cocktail kits will be available starting Nov. 28, and can be ordered from Sahan’s website or via Instagram.