Lamon Diaries: Fighter Wine 50 + Saba ug Ginamos
After visiting Writer’s Village, my friends and I decided to drop by Valencia public market to grab some lunch. While munching on some homecooked meals, I saw this guy refilling bottles of red-colored liquor. I approached him and asked if I can borrow one so I can take a photo of it. He smiled and said yes.
Behold! The cousin of Vino Kulafu, Fighter Wine 50 Herbal Liqueur!
“Manong Fighter Wine” (Sorry, I was not able to get his name so I gave him that nickname instead) passionately promoted this drink to me; from ingredients, taste, benefits, to testimonials of people who have tried. He really knows what he is selling. Talk about A+ product knowledge!
- Fighter Wine 50 Ingredients:
Distilled water / refined alcohol / sugar / ginseng / dried sweet orange peel / sarsaparilla / anise / cardamon seed / cinnamon water / licorice / caramel / coloring agent
I looked up 3 things on the list that I am clueless about: Sarsaparilla, anise, and cardamon seed.
- Sarsaparilla – 0r Smilax ornata was considered by Native Americans to have medicinal properties, and was a popular European treatment for syphilis when it was introduced from the New World. source
- Anise (Anisum vulgare)– Initially, I thought it is the same as Star Anise (Illicium verum).
“In ancient Greek history, writings explain how anise helps breathing, relieves pain, provokes urine, and eases thirst.” source
- Cardamon Seed – Used as flavorings and cooking spices in both food and drink, and as a medicine. source
So basically, this drink is a mixture of spices/medicinal herbs with a kick of alcohol.
“Manong Fighter Wine” probably enjoyed talking to me so he gave me 2 bottles for free! Of course, the happy, curious kid in me is excited to give it a try. Thank you “Manong Fighter Wine“!
THE TASTE TEST
When we arrived at Chow and Che’s humble abode, Chow remembered they still have ginamos left so he decided to boil some Saba bananas. Of course, for the Bacoleña in me, remembering you have ginamos have zero correlation to the saba bananas that you have. Reymund said that boiled saba banana pairs perfectly with ginamos. I smirked since I grew up eating boiled saba with sugar. Reymund assured me it tastes really good and that tickled my curiosity. Also, we don’t have pulutan, so it’s not a bad idea after all.
This is the ginamos in Dumaguete. It is made from salted, fermented baby fishes. In Bacolod, we call this tinabal. We do have ginamos, but it is made of fermented krill. Chow made this one and added chilis for an extra ‘”oomph”!
So we started chugging down the “wine”. It looks like cranberry juice, doesn’t it? However, it tastes and smells wayyyy different. Fighter Wine 50 smells like cough syrup, or as how Chow and Reymund put it, it smells like the hospital ward. Wait! Don’t turn your back yet. The taste is ok. It is not as overpowering as it’s smell. It actually tastes like the sweeter version of Emperador Light. Compared to other alcoholic beverages, it doesn’t give you stingy, mysterious warmth in your tongue, throat, and stomach when you drink it. I think that if a person is so used to drinking whatever alcoholic drink, s/he can chug one bottle without ice, and still not be tipsy.
Chow and Reymund
Totally expected that Chow and Reymund will do this after downing two bottles..
Too bad it didnt happen.
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