Food & Drink
Food & Drink

ABV – A Prohibition Era Inspired Bar

ABV – A Prohibition Era Inspired Bar


Mynila Team April 9, 2018 Food & Drink

The hidden location, quality drinks, distinct decor, and impeccable service all come together at this unique venue. ABV is Manila’s most well-regarded secret.

Built on the storied tradition of Prohibition Era speakeasies, ABV is a genuine yet modern experience. Tucked away in a basement lot, behind an elevator shaft passageway, a warm welcome awaits guests as soon as they enter. Have a seat and nibble on some bar chow while you browse the menu and take in your surroundings. Every detail—from the exposed bulbs above, the granite counter-top, bar stools, and leather banquettes, down to the Jazz Age checkerboard floor—is handpicked with reverence. Enshrined along one wall, a varied selection of liquor bottles gleam.

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Expect an incredible time whenever you visit, with their first-rate bartenders mixing and serving top-notch drinks. Without a fixed closing time, they give customers the experience they truly deserve. Their bartenders are always ready to keep guests company until the final nightcap, even after the sun is up. The hidden location, quality drinks, distinct decor, and impeccable service all come together at this unique venue, Manila’s most well-regarded secret.

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ABV’s proprietor, Patrick Cuartero, grew up in the US and was inspired by the New York speakeasy bars capitalizing on the Prohibition Era of secretive imbibing. The distinct style of these bars—hidden behind inconspicuous establishments; with non-descript facades and secret password requirements—gave Patrick an idea to put up Lazy Bastard, a New York-style burger and hotdog joint, as a front for his basement watering hole called ABV. The name ABV stands for Alcohol by Volume, pertaining to the percentage of alcohol in a drink. Patrick executed a bar program with the help of Lee Watson, one of the most notable beverage consultants in the Philippines. Ken Bandivas, ABV’s current General Manager and Head Bartender (also the 2015 Diageo Philippines Bartender of the Year), handles staff training, education and cocktail development. Since opening a year ago, ABV has already attracted a loyal following and gained accolades from notable groups in the industry—no doubt due to the team’s commitment to providing excellent service and drinks to its customers.

Must-Try drinks:

Whiskey Sour

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Whiskey sour is a classic cocktail containing whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and optionally, egg whites. 

Gin Basil Smash

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The Gin Basil Smash is a muddled drink with gin, lemon juice, fresh basil and simple syrup.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

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The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is one of ABV’s signature drinks, containing Jim Beam Triple Aged 6 years bourbon, Giffard Apricot Liqueur, honey, lemon and chocolate bitters – served on the rocks.

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