Saturday, June 22, 2024

Embark on an Adventure in New Flavors with the Pepper Collection by Paragon Cordial

Made by bartenders for bartenders, Paragon Cordial takes you on a flavorful journey of exploration with single botanical cordials for innovative, natural and authentic notes. Pushing the boundaries of flavor, Paragon Cordial takes you on a wild ride as you discover and experience new all-natural  experiences with each soothing sip elevating the local bar scene. 

White Penja Pepper from Cameroon, Rue Berry from Ethiopia and Timur Berry from Nepal, Paragon Cordial explores the world for single botanicals in search of elusive and rare flavors to elevate your cocktail experience. The new Pepper Collection by Paragon explores new frontiers of flavors that's pleasantly surprising and often unexpected, adding intricate layers of bold natural notes to any cocktail. Ready for an adventure in flavor? 

Paragon unveiled its newest Pepper Collection at the Manila House Private Club late last week, an exclusive members only club at BGC. It was a fitting stage for an exquisite and tediously extracted cordial...

...matched by the opulent space. The launch of one the world's finest cordial selections deserves an equally elegant venue and the Manila House Private Club is the perfect spot. 

Inside the Rizal Room of the Manila House Private Club, a long table set the mood and tone for the evening's preview of the new Pepper Collection by Paragon. Monin, the prestigious French brand synonymous with innovative flavor solutions since 1912 and its impressive portfolio of syrups, flavor mixes, sauces, frappes, liqueurs and smoothies with over 150 flavors in 19 different formats showcases yet another facet to its creativity with over a century of experience with Paragon. The brand name itself reflects the uncompromising commitment to quality and excellence, experienced and savored with each sip. And Paragon takes no short cuts in finding the perfect botanical for their new collection. 

Traveling around the world in search of exotic and rare botanicals, Paragon searched the African and South Asian continents for unique flavor sources. From fruity to herbal and even gamey notes, Paragon found the flavorful bases for the new Pepper Collection in the White Penja Pepper from Cameroon, Rue Berry from Ethiopia and Timur Berry from Nepal. 

Each unique and distinct from the other, the Pepper Collection by Paragon presents both exciting and infinite possibilities for innovative new cocktails. And it's now available locally so you can begin your own personal adventure in pure and natural flavors. The classic apothecary brown bottles add to its elegant and meticulously crafted character making it hard to miss. 

Halfway between a pure syrup and liqueur, a cordial is a distilled spirit that's way sweeter than liqueur. A complex process of infusion, distillation and CO2 Super Critical stages in the extraction of pure flavors goes behind each cordial. When added to a cocktail, both depth and complexity brings another element or layer into play to complement the base spirit. 

Harvested from the volcanic soil of the province of Moungo in Cameroon, the harvest, washing, drying and sorting are tediously done by hand. The White Penja Pepper gained worldwide recognition in 2014 as the first product from Africa to obtain Protected Geographical Indication status or PGI confirming the prized commodity's status in the culinary world. 

The fragrant aroma is usually indicative of the flavor profile, and more often than not generally true most of the time. But not in the case of the Pepper Collection by Paragon. The aromatic hints of menthol, camphor and gamey horsehair is far from the bold and indulgent floral sweetness of the White Penja Pepper by Paragon with its deep and lingering finish.

Used in many traditional dishes from the Terai lowlands of Southern Nepal, the Timur Berry grows in the wild expanse of the Mahabharat Range. With its woody and herbal aroma, the flavors become another pleasant surprise that's totally unexpected. The nose suggests a flavor but the experience of the palate is different. Instead, a vibrant burst of grapefruit and tart sweetness teases the palate for another unexpected surprise. 

An essential ingredient in the traditional Ethiopian berbere blend of spices, the Rue Berry completes the trifecta of bold flavors from the new Pepper Collection of Paragon. Like the first two pepper varieties, the sweetness of the Rue Berry with hints of passion fruit, jasmine and hay presents a nuanced and delicate medley of flavorful notes. 

To fully appreciate the distinct notes of each pepper variant, handcrafted cocktails were prepared paired with a sumptuous dinner at Manila House Private Club

The team of mixologists prepped the evening's refreshing libations...

...starting with a tea-based mocktail with hints of sweet pepper notes from the Pepper Collection of Paragon. One sip and already the countless possibilities of the Pepper Collection in crafting unique beverages becomes clear. The subtle fruity sweetness from the pepper cordial perfectly complements the deep notes of the tea. 

A trio of appetizers were served by the kitchen of Manila House Private Club starting with the juicy Chicken Inasal Skewers...

...followed by paper-thin and crisp Sweet Potato and Taro Chips...

...and Cheese Croquettes with its delectable play on textural contrasts and cheesy goodness. 

Then, the first round of cocktails blended with the pepper cordials were served, the Rue No. 9 with Paragon Rue Berry Cordial, gin and fine sherry...

...along with the evening's first course, a rustic and traditional French Onion Soup draped in a light and flaky crust. 

The savory richness of the French Onion Soup are perfectly tempered by the refreshingly crisp, clean and mildly sweet notes of the Rue No. 9 cocktail with its subtle hints of passionfruit, grass and jasmine tingling on the palate for that balanced finish. Already, the infinite applications on the classic G&T pops up. 

The Green Goddess Salad was then served as the second course, cleansing the palate with its freshness...

...paired with the Timur No. 2 made with Paragon Timur Berry Cordial, brandy and soda water. The fruity and herbal woody sweetness of the cordial and the deep notes of brandy combine for an elegant and smooth libation with its indulgent yet balanced sweetness. 

For the main course, the savory Beef Bourguignon with Mashed Potatoes draped the palate with its sumptuous and comforting flavors with its bold beefy richness. The tartness of the cherry tomatoes brings sharp and contrasting notes smoothened by the buttery mashed potatoes. 

The main dish was paired with the Penja No. 13, a smooth cocktail blended with Paragon White Penja Pepper Cordial, rum, white cocoa liqueur and chocolate bitters. The play on richness from the different components of the cocktail are given a lavish layer of subtle menthol, camphor and gamey notes from the White Penja Pepper adding both depth and character to the cocktail. 

For dessert, a refreshing Buko Sherbet cleansed the palate with its subtle sweetness pairing well with another round of the Penja No. 13

Paragon offers complex yet elegantly refined notes to the palate with its exquisite Pepper Collection. Each delicately extracted cordial brings a whole new set of flavors elevating the bar game with its infinite possibilities. Imagine your favorite cocktail infused with the uniquely nuanced yet elegant layer of flavor from the Pepper Collection by Paragon. Change up your G&T game, or perhaps your rum or brandy with the indulgent subtle sweetness of the Pepper Collection

It's time to bring out the bottles and embark on an exploration of flavors with a few drops from the new Pepper Collection by Paragon. From Cameroon, Ethiopia and Nepal to your favorite bar, Paragon takes you on an adventure of new flavors, one small drop at a time. 

For more on Paragon Cordial, visit their FB Page and IG Feed at and for more information and updates. 

Manila House Private Club is located at Seven NEO, 8th Floor, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila. 

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