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#635

NEW BEGINNINGS

28 Dec 2019 By

New year, new gins. Isn’t that how the saying goes? In any case, we found 3 unique gins from 3 different countries that’ll be your tonic to the new year. Enjoy.

Think gin, and most people might go “English”, but the craft gin category has seen interesting entrants from, perhaps, unexpected parts of the world. Here are the ones we think you should be sipping on til the next decade (at least).

 

Okinawa Gin

Straightforward name, not so straightforward gin. Okinawa’s first craft gin is the only one that blends in a layer of Awamori (a unique Okinawan shochu-like bev). Created by the Masahiro distillery in 2017, the gin contains 5 other botanicals – shekwasa (the lime-ish citrus in the photo above, and one of the most distinct notes in the gin), guava leaves, pipatsu (Japanese long pepper), goya (bitter melon) and roselle – so so tropical.

The Masahiro distillery brings over 100 years of Awamori making to the creation of this gin, and it’s immediately evident on nosing – the rice in the Awamori announces itself before any of the botanicals. On the palate, it coats the citric sharpness, giving it an unexpectedly mellow mouthfeel. In the elegant cocktails by award-winning bartender Kentaro Satoh during the gin’s launch party, Okinawa Gin was a beautiful base, versatile and complementary. We have a strong feeling, though, in our (and Okinawa’s) tropical climate, an Okinawan gin spritz would be nothing short of amazing.

Taste Okinawa gin at Ce La Vi, Atlas and The Gong by Drinks & Co., or buy it at shop.demajesticvines.com

 

Tënu Gin

From the bright beaches of Okinawa to the dark romance of Finland…

Distilled and bottled by Finnish monks in the Valamo Monastery Distillery in Heinävesi, Finland, Tënu is a beautiful (and beautiful-looking) gin inspired by the wild forests in the Finnish Taïga. The lovechild of restaurateur Antto Melasniemi and illustrator Klaus Haapaniemi, the gin originated from Tënu, a month of pop-up dinner experiences in London in 2014 – quite the unusual origin story.

This writer is partial to the Forest Blend, chilled in soft Finnish snow, preferably, and served neat. Lingonberries, arctic rose petals and rare aromatic roots (not quite sure what they are, but colour me sold). Le Bon Tikka, the barrel aged version, is sweeter and richer, due to the macerated juniper and bilberries, arctic rose petals, fennel seeds and citrus peel, then aged in medium roasted new American oak barrels for 6 months.

Try it yourself at beGIN, Monte Carlo Boys, Alchemist Beer Lab, Olivia and others.

 

Ferdinand’s Gin

The only one of the lot we didn’t personally sample, but we’ve heard excellent things from peers. The world’s only Grand Cru Riesling infused gin, Ferdinand’s is made by the fifth-generation Avadis Distillery in the beautiful Saar-Mosel region of Western Germany. The riesling comes from the nearby Zilliken Estate – Germany‘s best winemakers 2016.

If you’re not typically a gin person, give Ferdinand’s Saar Quince a go. The distillery’s unique take on Sloe Gin, it uses fresh quince from trees behind the distillery, regional and traditional fruit combined with the fine Saar Dry Gin. Word is, it’s light, delicate and fruity – the perfect antidote to a hot Singaporean afternoon.

Also available in cask strength and Goldcap, the gins can be had at www.maltwineasia.com

 

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