There are often no hard and fast rules when it comes to the appointment of a drinking holiday. But if you must know, it appears a particular Gin Monkey decided to put forth every second Saturday of June as the date for gin commemoration, so we may all have another (il)legitimate reason to drink.
Internationally, World Gin Day 2019 will see gin lovers toasting to the juniper spirit on Jun 8. Here in Singapore, with distillers increasingly giving the alcohol a local twist, we’ve decided that the best way to celebrate is to celebrate the spirits packing the most local touches. Check out the following Singapore-inspired gins that will make World Gin Day in Singapore all the more special. Bottoms up.
While Southeast Asian folks may spar over the origins of chendol, the Chendol Gin is proudly Singaporean—no arguments necessary. The creation is the latest from Rachelle the Rabbit Meadery (they’ve since launched a broader umbrella group called Compendium), a homegrown brand which was the first to bring us locally-made mead. Using fermented gula melaka instead of fermented grains to get the base distillate, pandan leaves and coconut are then re-distilled together, along with the usual dose of juniper to get us this aromatic spirit. Try some on its own first before mixing it.
Bringing some heat and spice to the table is Tanglin Gin’s Mandarin Chilli Gin. With its classic Orchid Gin (see below) as a base, the spirit then takes flavour from pepper, ginger, mandarin peel and chilli. The blend of citrus and spice takes centrestage, but with a spiciness level that is not too overwhelming that it should deter those fearful of spice from trying the drink. Enjoy the slow, warm burn that comes and goes.
The first locally-made gin is this signature one from Tanglin Gin. Its main ingredient is the orchid, an obvious nod to Singapore’s national flower, with the flavour extracted not directly from the flower itself but from both the dried stalk and vanilla orchids. It may also surprise you to know that there is the addition of Indian Amchoor, a powder made from green unripe mangoes, to give the spirit some tang. Expect an organic, herbaceous gin, great for a classic G&T.
It’s clear that Rachelle the Rabbit Meadery enjoys creating unique gins full of character, and we’re all for it. The Rojak Gin is an accurate drink version of the fruit and vegetable salad we know and love. If you’re wondering what goes into such a unique spirit, it’s actually a simple combination of just three ingredients: lemon peel, juniper and torch ginger, on top of a distilled fermented honey base. It’s designed to be a sipping gin, and is a silky-smooth one at that.
Put away your London Dry gins this weekend and bust out the Singapore Dry Gin. Singapore’s very own Brass Lion Distillery wowed us all when they launched the Singapore Dry Gin last year, a truly well-balanced spirit made with a medly of Asian herbs and spices. Better yet, visit their distillery at Alexandra Terrace for a tour and stop by their in-house bar for a drink (or five) after.