No two gins are the same, but making sure their gins truly stand out are these guys below, offering truly unique creations that defy common gin making practices. From gins made for wine lovers to one aged in toasted mulberry casks, these standout gins—all newly introduced to Singapore—will have you thinking twice about what you know about the juniper spirit.
If provenance and uniqueness are important traits for you in a gin, then look no further than this range from Avadis Distillery in Germany. Their flagship Saar Dry Gin is a showcase of modern-meets-tradition. Here, 34 botanicals found within the Saar-Mosel region are used, together with a base distillate made from their own harvested grains. It is truly unique thanks to a Riesling infusion, a grand cru no less. This is perhaps why each bottle comes corked like wine, allowing the floral and fruity notes to stay kept better. Other gins in the Ferdinand’s range include a cask strength version of the Saar Dry Gin, the Saar Quince that is their take on sloe gin, and the more premium Goldcap, which uses only the heads of the original distillate, before adding more botanicals to it and using an award-winning wine for the infusion.
Available for retail at maltwineasia.com.
Level33 Hopped Dry Gin
When one of Singapore’s most prominent microbreweries meets Singapore’s first microdistillery, this is the result. The Hopped Dry Gin is actually a collab creation between Level33 and Brass Lion Distillery, set out with a goal to bring out the best parts of beer and spirit. Rather than simply infusing or distilling their beers with Brass Lion’s gin (which they did, but did not like the results), they decided to use hops—a particular variety called Citra—as a botanical. Together with Brass Lion’s flagship Singapore Dry Gin as the base, the Level33 Hopped Dry Gin was born. This locally-made gin is brimming with hoppy aromatics, has a bitter finish, and citrusy, as the name of the hops suggests.
Available exclusively at Level33 for dine-in and retail.
Monkey 47 Barrel Cut
Essentially the Monkey 47 Dry Gin we know and love, but aged. Not in your usual oak and sherry casks as you’d find with whisky though, but in specially-made mulberry barrels from the Black Forest. Each new barrel is slightly toasted on the inside, before being filled with the robust and complex Monkey 47 Dry Gin for six months. Being first-fill, the gin draws a lot from the wood, giving it richness, depth and plenty of natural fruity sweetness. The ageing completely transforms the spirit, making it perfect in cocktails not normally gin-based as well. Try it in an Old Fashioned for a spirit-forward, aromatic blast.
Available for retail at drinksandco.sg.
Orbium’s base may be the same Hendrick’s we’re all familiar with, but added to it is quinine, wormwood and blue lotus flower. This translates into a gin that tastes oddly familiar, yet punches in directions not typical of a Hendrick’s gin—or any gin, in fact. The earthy, bitter finish is the most pronounced aspect. Lingering long after you’ve swallowed the liquid, it adds a lot to the complexity and gives it a heavier mouthfeel, elevating what is one of the most recognisable gins around into one that’s better appreciated in small sips (and in cocktails). Perhaps that’s why Orbium is only available in bars for now, so that expert mixologists can first experiment and present us enjoyable flavour profiles.
Available only in bars, including Atlas, Idlewild, Jigger & Pony, Manhattan, Madame Fan, Oxwell & Co, Tippling Club and more.
Orientalist Gunpowder Gin
Being the first pan-Asian crafts spirits company is a tall order. But Orientalist actually does a great job repping all that’s good in the spirits world in Asia to the world. Their new, small batch Orientalist Gunpowder Gin for instance, is infused with uniquely Asian botanicals—Taiwanese gunpowder tea (thus the name), Siberian ginseng, Kampot peppercorns, Korean omija berries, Malaysian torch ginger, Japanese shiso flowers and Chinese osmanthus, before being proofed with soft Japanese spring water from Kagoshima Japan. Give their Origins Vodka and Dragon Whisky 8-Year Old a try too. The former is one of the most flavour-packed vodkas around, while the latter is the first all-Asian blended whisky in the world, made with whiskies sourced from Japan, Taiwan and India.
Available for retail at theorientalistspirits.com.
A gin made by winemakers for wine lovers? Yeah, we’re up for that. Sorgin is the work of renowned French vintners Sabine Jaren and Francois Lurton, and this is the first spirit they have commercialised. What makes Sorgin familiar to wine drinkers is its use of Sauvignon Blanc grapes to make the base spirit, giving the final product a distinctively powerful aroma not usually possible with more commonly used grain spirits. Add to that use of botanicals like grapefruit zest, lemon, broom flower, violets, lime zest and redcurrant buds (and of course juniper, but as a distillate) and Sorgin is the end result. Though you’ll be tempted to, don’t down a whole bottle of it as if you’re having a bottle of wine. Instead, sip on it as a G&T garnished with a slice of grapefruit or orange. You’ll be having seconds in no time.
Available for retail at gainbrands.com.