“Lambanog” is the Filipino term for wine that is locally produce from some 100% natural sources. Such examples of natural sources of lambanog are sugar cane, coconut, rice, and “sasa”, a member of the family of palm similar to coconut tree but commonly grow in areas near rivers and swamps.
The lambanog from Infanta and Polilio Area came from the juice of “sasa” which is called “tuba“. “Tuba” contain small amount of alcohol such that a 30 gallons of it can produce 5 gallons of more or less 30% alcohol of wine or lambanog. The fist few liters of “Tuba” which came from “sasa” tastes sweet and can be cooked to produce a honey. “Tuba” can also be fermented such that it became a vinegar. But the main product of tuba is wine or lambanog.
How to Make Lambanog?
Lambanog can be produce using the process of distillation similar to the fractioning in oil refinery. In the distillation factory, where the people of Infanta, Quezon called them “putuhan”, around 30 gallons of “tuba” is pour in a big container where it is heated to a certain degree such that the alcohol content of “tuba” will boil and evaporate. The evaporated alcohol will then be condensed using flowing water at the top of the distillation chamber to liquefy the alcohol in gaseous phase. This liquefied alcohol is already the wine that is extracted from “tuba”.
The distillation process usually takes one to two hours to collect 5 gallons of wine and it depends on the amount of heat applied. “Putuhan” is usually made of clay and commonly situated in areas near to river and some bodies of water where there is a sufficient amount of water to be use in distillation process. Here is a video of the actual lambanog making.A 5 gallons of lambanog usually cost 200 to 500 pesos depending on the amount of supply and demand. lambanog is 100% natural and does not contain harmful chemicals just like other commercially produced wine and alcohol.
A photo of a lambanog winery or “putuhan”. No wine production so far in this photo.
About the AuthorThe author of this article is a native of Infanta, Quezon and his family owns and operating a “lambanog” factory or putuhan for almost 20 years from now but he only learned how to drink “lambanog” when he’s already 17 years old.