A new gastronomical adventure awaits Filipinos as Spain invades the public’s taste buds with an infusion of bold flavors into sweet and decadent concoctions.
Fundador Café, the first concept store of Spain’s largest and oldest brandy company in the Philippines, is the newest destination at the Venice Grand Canal Mall in McKinley Hill, Taguig.
“For us, it’s a great opportunity to use this unique concept to try different applications to attract a different market,” shares Kendrick Tan, executive director of Emperador, Inc.
Emperador Inc. is a holding company responsible for manufacturing, bottling and distributing distilled spirits and other alcoholic beverages from the Philippines and Europe, including Fundador.
Aimed at millennials
The café was conceptualized and launched with Filipino millennials in mind. The cafe has chosen to cater to the market segment’s culture of spending time at cafés and hanging out at destinations where they can get a liquor fix.
Cafe customers have the opportunity to indulge and enjoy a variety of beverages and cupcakes that are infused with brandy and sherry wines that give a kick to the usual pastries we all know and love.
That bold kick
According to Tan, a dedicated team of mixologists, bartenders and pastry chefs familiarize themselves with the products and raw materials before they unleash their creativity and come up with new concoctions for the store.
Among their creations are four variations of cupcakes that contain Harveys Bristol Cream—adding a clean, fresh and fruity flavor with spicy overtones as well as a smooth texture to the sweet treats. The cupcakes are also topped with Harveys dark chocolate ganache for an extra kick.
Harveys Bristol Cream is a sherry wine produced in Jerez, Spain. The bottles are also sold exclusively at the store along with rare and exclusive items from Fundador.
The beverages, on the other hand, are delicious cocktails and aperitifs mixed with different Fundador brands, resulting in unique blends only found at the cafe.
With its selection of hot, cold and blended drinks, Fundador offers a taste of their finest liquor without breaking the budget.
“These drinks and products—all of these are meant to be enjoyed. We segment it to the (millennial) market so it will be affordable,” Tan explains.
The first time around
Being the first concept store from the liquor brand, Kendrick Tan is hands-on when it comes to determining the products that the café will put out.
Tan himself tastes the creations of their team of mixologists, bartenders and pastry chefs to determine whether the product is fit for release or is in need of certain adjustments.
According to him, a product from their store will be released once it meets their single standard—perfect.
A taste of the world
Being exposed to liquor at an early age, Kendrick Tan shares that it’s never too early to start smelling liquor to familiarize yourself with the product.
He discloses that one way to enhance one’s sense of flavor is to become acutely aware of how their food tastes.
“Be conscious of the food that you eat and the coffee that you are drinking,” Tan advises. This, he adds, will help distinguish every nuance there is in a drink or meal.
The Spanish influence
A balanced mix of classic and modern interior design with a vibrant wooden finish envelopes the entire space of the store, evoking an authentic touch of Spain. At its center stands the original Fundador barrel shipped directly from Jerez, Spain.
“Everyone who steps inside the café will be welcomed by a wide array of Fundador selections, including the exclusive Harveys wines that are sold only at the store, along with other branded merchandise, like t-shirts, bags, umbrellas, glasses, caps, key chains, and others,” Tan adds.
Tan is excited about the next project his group is preparing in Iloilo: a Fundador museum.
Fundador is Spain’s largest and oldest brandy maker. It is sold in more than 30 countries around the world. It is also the largest selling premium spirit in the Philippines and premium drink whose name is known to many Filipinos for the past 120 years.
PHOTOS BY NOELLE CASTELLANO