I think that a drink is the reflection of its creator’s personality, experiences, and philosophies. It’s like how a genteel winemaker typically creates a refined wine, or how an incredibly punchy beer has behind it a brewer with a huge persona.
Similarly, the Crows Craft spirits line (which includes the famous Crows Gin and Philippines’ first craft whiskey, Crows Craft Whiskey) is the living embodiment of its creator, Jose Mari Cuervo. Cuervo is someone that I could describe as possessing a presence… There is no way anyone could miss him with his tinted glasses perched on an undeniably mestizo nose, likely cracking jokes in full volume, a glass of some of his booze in hand (which, with minimal prompting, he’d gladly share with the person he’s talking to).
Like Cuervo, Crows Craft spirits are not for the faint of heart (their website has an equally irreverent hashtag, #NotForEveryone). They’re pretty potent, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing… On the contrary, the work put into creating each one is so meticulous, with Cuervo insisting in creating small batches to have a better control on their quality.
Speaking of which, one of my favourite things in his lineup is the brand-new, award-winning Crows Eau De Vie De Mangue.
Before I describe how it tasted like, a little primer: Essentially, an Eau De Vie is brandy that has been made from any fruit other than a grape (brandy, by definition, should be made from grapes). It is typically colorless and is made through fermentation and double distillation. One of the common characteristics of Eau De Vie is having a relatively light flavor profile… But trust Cuervo to go against that and come up with a very flavorful Eau De Vie.
I’m jumping the gun, though. Cuervo was actually inspired by Philippine mangoes (I cannot stress enough how our mangoes are just the best in the world) in creating his Eau De Vie… Hence, mangue (French for mango). He’s planning on experimenting with different varieties for succeeding batches, but the first batch ended up smelling like mangoes that were just about to over ripen… It reminded me of walking along a line of mango trees on a hot, balmy summer afternoon.
Thirsty? People can order through their website, email, or through their social media accounts: