The world is in love with gin. The last decade has seen the popularity of the gin category grow, thanks to the proliferation of quality gins made in every corner of the world, including our own, as well as the growth of cocktail culture. It's the same here in Singapore; we've seen a staggering number of gin brands enter the market in the last five years, not to mention the number of gin-focused bars that have emerged over the same time period, including ATLAS, beGIN and CIN cin.
We looked at these different gins that have entered the Singapore market in the past few months, including some that have been barrel-aged, some inspired by winemaking, and even one made by monks using Finnish wild-collected ingredients. I reckon this is the perfect time to seek out some of these gins for the festive season.
Hendrick's Gin is best known for its signature cucumber and rose infused gin, but the quirky brand of gin sometimes features different limited experimental releases that push the boundaries of what a gin is (or can be). Hendrick's Orbium is one of them.
First released in 2017, Hendrick's Orbium is essentially a "quininated gin," meaning it's made with the addition of quinine extract, the same ingredient that gives tonic water its bitter taste. Here, the quinine, along with absinthe and blue lotus flower, plus cucumber, rose, and the usual 11 botanicals found in your regular Hendrick's, gives the gin a bitter herbaceous aftertaste. This means you really don't want to add this to regular toner; Hendrick's Master Distiller, Lesley Gracie, recommends filling Hendrick's Orbium with soda water and elderflower cordial.
But getting your hand on a bottle can be difficult; it is only available in ten markets around the world and in very limited quantities here in Singapore. Instead, shop here at Tipsy Topsy or head to award-winning bars IB HQ, Jigger & Pony, Manhattan, Tippling Club, Nutmeg & Clove, MO Bar and Origin Bar, to sample their signature Orbium cocktails.
ROKU, which translates to "six" in Japanese, is House of Suntory's distinctly Japanese craft gin. ROKU is made with six unique Japanese botanicals and eight traditional gin botanicals. These botanicals are infused, distilled, and blended by the Japanese artisans at Suntory Spirits in Osaka, Japan, giving the gin a uniquely balanced flavor.
The premium gin was inspired by the four Japanese seasons, as each of the six Japanese botanicals is harvested in accordance with "shun," the Japanese tradition of enjoying each ingredient at its best by harvesting only at its peak of flavor and perfection. Japanese botanicals (Sakura Blossom, Sakura Leaf, Yuzu Peel, Sencha Tea, Gyokuro Tea and Sansho Pepper) are distilled using a selection of different stills, each chosen to ensure the best flavor of each botanical is extracted. The result is a complex yet harmonious gin with a silky smooth texture.
ROKU's bottle, molded into a hexagonal shape, represents each of the six Japanese botanicals it contains. The label, which is made from traditional washi* paper, features the Japanese kanji symbol for six printed in calligraphy.
Botanicals and bottle come together to create a gin that delivers a multi-layered, yet complementary flavor with every sip. Buy here Tipsy Topsy
Barrel aging seems to be the next big thing in gin, with several brands releasing expressions that have seen the inside of a wooden barrel. But the new limited-edition Monkey 47 Barrel Cut Gin from German gin brand Monkey 47 sets itself apart by using barrels made of mulberry instead of the usual oak.
Here he takes the regular Monkey 47 Dry Gin, made from 47 different Black Forest botanicals, and places it in lightly toasted mulberry wood barrels for 180 days. The result is nothing like the original London Dry-style gin; it's closer to a sloe gin, but even that's not entirely accurate. The wood gives the gin a mahogany color, but also imparts notes of pine and wood with a hint of sweet citrus; in fact, the initial mouthfeel is sweet and fruity, but luckily it ends with a dry finish.
We recommend the Monkey 47 Barrel Cut Gin in a Gin and Tonic or a Gimlet, especially if you like your drinks more rounded and fruity.
Buy this Gin here Tipsy Topsy
A multi-award winning classic, made to the same exacting standard that Alexander Gordon held in 1769, Gordon's Gin is an unabashedly prominent juniper gin: classic in bold, fresh style. It is complemented by a flash of citrus and a smooth black pepper. The spirit is completed with a luxuriously smooth texture and a hint of sweetness.
Gordon's London Dry Gin was developed by Alexander Gordon, a Londoner of Scottish descent. He opened a distillery in the Southwark area in 1769 and then moved in 1786 to Clerkenwell.
The Special London Dry Gin that he developed proved successful, and his secret recipe remains unchanged to this day. The distinctively refreshing flavor comes from the finest hand-selected juniper berries and a selection of other botanicals. It's the taste that has made Gordon's the world's best-selling London Dry gin.
Buy here tipsy topsy
Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin is crafted to deliver the best of all worlds: a perfect, classic gin and also something that would fascinate even the most hardened gin fanatic. It's spicy but with great citrus, a truly modern Australian gin. Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin captures the essence of contemporary Australia's heritage in Europe and Asia. They are using whole oranges which is unusual but Australian citrus is highly aromatic and supports the spicier botanicals like cardamom. The cinnamon and star anise add rich fruitcake tones, the Tasmanian pepperberry leaf provides warmth rather than heat, and the lemon myrtle is a beautiful alternative to lemon peel.
It all started back in 2013 with three mates and an extraordinary copper still. We named her Wilma (after Cameron's beautiful late mother), and since then she's been joined by Jude, Eileen, Beth and Coral. Six years later, in 2019, Four Pillars Gin was named a world leader in gin production by the IWSC London. They won again in 2020, making Australia's favorite gin officially the best in the world.
Making gin anywhere would be exciting. But they don't make gin anywhere. They do it here. In Australia. The most delicious, diverse and creative place on earth. And that's why they can combine intense creativity around gin with a great passion for hospitality and gin-fueled fun. Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin is available in excellent bars, restaurants and retail stores across Australia. You can also buy directly at the distillery door both online and at the distillery itself.