Handcrafted by People with Passion
The Story of Gin
Originally created by monks across Europe as a medicinal liquor, gin became widespread in the 17th century after Dutchman William of Orange’s Glorious Revolution that ushered in the imposition of heavy duties on French brandy.
In England, gin drinking grew significantly when the government allowed unlicensed gin production. The period 1695 – 1735, known as the Gin Craze, saw thousands of gin-shops opening up throughout the nation.
The early 19th century welcomed the invention of the column still, allowing for distillation of spirits. This came to be known as the “London dry” style gin.
Fast forward to the 21st century and we see the start of…
The Craft Gin Movement
Gin can only be legally classified if its principal characteristic is the juniper berry. In 2009, the gin market changed with the advent of craft distilleries showcasing their creativity with unique blends by adding botanicals. Gin lovers were enthralled by the new and exciting varieties available.
What makes a true Craft Gin?
The People – a real person or a team behind the creation. Often owned by the Master Distiller, it is the knowledge and passion of the person that determines the recipe. Brewed with love, (often in limited quantities) this individuality is reflected in the gin, unlike the faceless big brands.
Aviation Gin, America’s original craft gin was created by pioneering bartender, Ryan Magarian and Master Distiller, Christian Krogstad in Portland, Oregon. Their quest for a more versatile and mixable gin culminated in this creation featuring spicy, sweet and smoky flavour notes. Endorsed by actor Ryan Reynolds, Aviation American Gin is rated 97 points by Wine Enthusiast.
Launched in 2018, Los Angeles based AMASS has been breaking all the rules making its spirits. Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan brings her woman’s intuition to create its debut product, the AMASS Dry Gin. Crafted in small batches in a copper pot still, this gin features 29 botanicals – only sustainably grown, non-GMO ingredients are used. This craft gin with a “big personality” is presented in an apothecary bottle, and has garnered a cult following. A firm favourite, we like it on ice with sonic (a touch of soda and tonic) to savour the subtle, earthy, umami notes provided by ashwagandha, reishi mushroom and lion’s mane mushroom.
The Emphasis of Craftsmanship – Craft distillers handcraft their gins. They are innovative and dedicated in the way they approach gin. They study each and every botanical that goes into the creation and purpose for that final expression. To produce a handcrafted gin, true craft distillers are involved in the entire process, from the careful choices of botanicals and ingredients, through to distillation, dilution and bottling.
At Brass Lion Distillery, Singapore’s first standalone micro-distillery, founder Jamie Koh’s love of gin and experimentation led her on a 6-year journey to master the art and science of distillation under Master Distillers all over the world. This labour of love culminated in a range of truly “home-made” gins created in Singapore, by Singaporeans. The distillery houses Nala the copper still made in Germany, a Gin School, a Tasting Room and a herb garden. All botanicals used in their gins are cracked, peeled and processed by hand.
With current COVID closure policies, do try their range of craft gins, available with the UrbanFindr Bottle Shop island-wide delivery. We like the Brass Lion Butterfly Pea Gin, a paean to Peranakan culture with its harmonious blend of Singapore Dry Gin infused with lavender and butterfly pea flower. The gin’s deep, rich inky hue is derived from the local flower. Add some citrus to your cocktail, and, voila! the colour morphs into a pastel lilac.
Hailing from Norway is Harahorn Pink Gin. In the spirit of a true craft gin, only 400 litres are produced at a time to ensure maximum quality control. After distilling their classic Harahorn Gin, extracts of premium Norwegian raspberries and freshly squeezed lemon juice are added to imbue that blush pink!
The heritage of OPIHR is steeped in the ancient Spice Route. With the OPIHR Oriental Spiced Gin, the Master Distiller carefully chooses exotic hand-picked botanicals: Indian cardamom, Malaysian Cubeb berries, Malabar black pepper, Moroccan coriander, Turkish cumin, Spanish orange peel and more, and, helms the entire creative process.
And there you have it – the People with Passion and a Penchant for creativity – hallmarks of a true craft gin. Time to add these tipples to your home bar!