Singapore isn’t short on gin. Not even local gins. But the recently launched Singapore Distillery has reason to join the city’s craft spirits scene. One of it would be its custom-designed, old- fashioned 500-litre copper still that carries a bulbous head common to whisky distilling. The team has found that it lends to a lighter yet more complex finish compared to the conventional gooseneck still by redistilling the reflux.
In simpler terms, purifying the best flavours of the botanicals (tasty) and filtering out the heavier oils (not so tasty) via a process of multiple condensations. And what better flavours to glean from than Asia’s diverse array of herbs and spices? Singa Gin, one of the six signatures of the debut portfolio, is a traditional London Dry that blends 13 ingredients which include juniper, cloves, mandarin orange, Ceylon cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon, grains of paradise, angelica root, key lime, coriander, orris, cardamom, liquorice and, yes, Sarawak pepper.
There are your obvious odes to the region—the Coconut Pandan Gin with its balanced and unmistakable tropical aroma of mature coconut and creamy pandan; the Bandung variant that concocts floral notes with natural cane sugar in Stolen Roses Gin; and the citrus-forward Lime Garden Gin carrying the profile of a trio of familiar Southeast Asian limes.
Still, call it subconscious patriotism because attention draws back to the ones with blatant national ties. The audacity to create the perfect base for a Singapore Sling comes from acknowledging the many recipes behind the iconic cocktail and infusing each of the ingredients found. The result—a bright, fruity complexity that saves you the trouble of making a glass from scratch.
It doesn’t stop at gin. Merlion Vodka, the five times distilled spirit, marks the first of more to come. All bottled into designs that remind of vintage perfume, it’s a distinct identity quite alike Singapore.
Singapore Distillery gins are available online at singaporedistillery.com.