Yes, Day Drinking Is Now A Thing: Here Are 4 Spots In Poblacion To Get Started
No need to wait till nighttime to get your buzz. Our Poblacion list includes everything from spiked morning coffee to a P99,000 bottle of wine—all ready for drinking while the sun’s still up
For those who are new to day drinking culture, Poblacion is a good place to start.
Before anything else, there are a few things I’d like to clarify. You might think day drinking consists of getting a lot less sober, a little too early, and maybe getting more than enough disapproving “tsks!” from your resident tita (unless she’s THAT type of tita who brunches on mimosas).
Day drinking is more than that. It’s an experience that’s completely different from its inebriated and hazy late-night counterpart. In fact, a huge benefit of drinking during the day is that it gives you more time to do other things. Day drinkers free up their evenings and gain more time to spend with their families, or even themselves for some much-needed R&R. Day drinkers also don’t have to worry about the evening traffic that plagues EDSA and C5, not to mention avoid the rowdy late-night crowds, especially in Poblacion. And when you start considering meeting up with friends while the sun is still up on weekdays, you’ll suddenly find more of your weekends free! Also, day drinking is especially handy when you decide to go out knowing that there’s work the next day. At least you’ll have the evening to sober up.
For a city that’s rapidly progressing, Metro Manila still seems to be stuck on some traditional concepts. There shouldn’t be a stigma about ordering a bottle or cocktail early in the day, if it means that we get to take back control of our evenings, weekends, and maximize our time.
We decided to go out to Poblacion with the Metro team, and day-drink away to bring you this convenient itinerary of places and times for you to get your perfect breather. These are the day drinking places in Poblacion that you definitely don’t want to miss.
Commune Café + Bar
36 Polaris Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Open daily 8 am-12 am
Price Point: $-$$
We kick off the day with your not-so-average cup of joe. The baristas here mean it when they say their coffee has a kick. Rosario Juan warmly welcomes us into her coffee shop that’s already bustling with customers. Since drinking alcohol this early isn’t commonplace, we ask for her take on the side effects of her caffeinated cocktails. “If you have this for day drinking, you’re still completely functioning but maybe more mellow,” she reasons. “But [it’s also good] for going out. Drinking caffeinated alcoholic drinks actually makes you drink for a longer time, since it keeps you awake!” She serves us a creamy Espresso Martini, a Commune Mojito, and a Dirty Toddy (a fizzy drink made of alcohol and concentrated cold brew steeped for 18 hours). All three are smooth cocktails that are perfect, especially for drinking before noon. The alcohol isn’t overpowering and the coffee finds a way to take center stage in each drink. For those of you who are more daring, tell the baristas to place your cocktail in a coffee cup to go. No one at your next meeting will know the difference. Probably.
5767 Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Open Sunday to Wednesday 11:30 am-2 am, Thursday to Saturday 11:30 am-3 am
Price Point: $$
We head over to Señor Pollo, a colorfully decorated Latin American restaurant that’s just a few steps away from Commune. When asked his thoughts about drinking before sunset, Señor Pollo founder Daniel Mabanta notes, “The push for day drinking is significant because we feel that changing the culture of drinking increases productivity the next day. You start earlier and go to bed at a reasonable time. Also it’s fun to drink in the afternoon. Drinks and pica pica in the afternoon? Hard to beat.” After settling down beside one of the colorful murals, we make sure to order bar chow to pair with our drinks: Hangover Fries, Quesadillas, and Patacones (deep fried plantain chips with a salsa dip; a common side dish in Columbia). The Honey Whiskey Mojito and Margarita cocktails are pleasantly sweet, but what wins us over is the giant Latin Punch bowl. The punch looks and tastes just like a tropical sunset should, and is a must-try for day drinkers. We bond over our delicious lunch and fill each other’s cups using a ladle until all of the pink liquid in the bowl is gone. If you’re not into punch, you can avail of the Happy Hour Promo for all local beers at P51 per bottle from 4 to 7 pm daily.
5921 Algier Street, Poblacion, Makati, City
Open Sunday 12 pm-2 am, Monday-Saturday 5 pm-2 am
Price Point: $$-$$$
After a filling lunch, we make our way to the other side of Poblacion across Kalayaan Avenue, heading towards the Rockwell area to arrive at Dr. Wine. Upon entering, the lights are dim, the tables are set, and a sturdy flow of French fills the background as the owners of this wine bar discuss matters in a corner table. Charles Seguin, the resident sommelier, greets us and introduces us to the bottles on hand. Meanwhile, Claudia Martinez, marketing manager of Dr. Wine and Kartel, takes a seat at our table and shares, “Dr. Wine features a large selection of French and Italian wines. [Which include both] the New and Old World wines. We also have a price range from 900 to 99,000 pesos.” When we ask what could possibly cost 99,000 pesos, Charles brings out one special bottle. It’s a coveted Château Lafite Rothschild 1998 from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, and is protectively wrapped in plastic to avoid deterioration and damage to its label. If this bottle is a bit over your budget, come to Dr. Wine for their Happy Hour promo from 5 to 7 pm, which includes “Buy 1 Get 1 Free, wine by the glass.”
Kartel Rooftop Bar
5921 Algier Street, Poblacion, Makati, City
Open daily 5 pm-2 am
Price Point: $$-$$$
Our last destination isn’t far away. Claudia leads our group up Dr. Wine’s stairwell and onto the roof deck with a corner bar and surrounding tables. Kartel sits on the rooftop of the Dr. Wine building, and has a view that pairs perfectly with cocktails. Claudia tells us that this is what helps set the bar apart from other places in Poblacion, “We are the only ones that have a 360° view of the whole Makati area. It’s a great place to watch the sunset, and it gives off a different feel at sundown.” The bar also has a special “Happy Hour Sunset Session” offer that includes free flowing wine, beer, and cocktails at 750 pesos, from 5 to 8 pm. The drinks here are individually colorful and are decorated playfully. When we ask Claudia why day drinking should be a thing, she pauses then responds, “I believe that it’s the best way to reward yourself. Find yourself a place that you can chill [whether] by yourself or with colleagues.” Drinks in hand, we all agree that Kartel is an ideal place to toast to the last rays of sunshine before calling it a day.
The breeze is warm and so is the buzzed aura radiating from everyone in the group. By this time, we’re all a little tipsy, but the good news is that we have a long evening ahead of us to get sobered up and maybe get a little work done, if not sleep early. There’s no better feeling than ending the day knowing that you’ve still got time to spare. For reasons both practical and pleasurable, perhaps it’s time we throw social etiquette to the wind, and create a new day drinking culture in Manila.