Singapore isn’t especially known for it’s spirits, and I mean the alcoholic type. Besides the world famous Tiger Beer which has been around for ages since my grand parents’ time, there aren’t any other well known Singapore based spirits that have made a name worldwide. With almost all of the country’s spirits imported, you wouldn’t think that there will be local breweries and distilleries around the island.
But during the pandemic, I’ve noticed the local supermarkets starting to put locally made spirits on their shelves. Maybe its boredom for not being able to travel and use up our duty free allowances, but I’ve been trying out some of these locally made spirits which incorporate local flavours from South East Asia for a different and exotic taste.
One of these local spirits is gin made by Tanglin Gin. Curiosity got the better of me after trying their award winning Orchid Gin, and I decided to find out more about them. After all, gin has it’s origins in Europe and it’s rare to find someone making gin in Singapore. I ended up booking a distillery tour on their website. The tour also comes with a free gin tasting and drink.
We were greeted by the friendly staff and after having our ID’s checked to make sure we were of legal drinking age, the tour started. First we had to get access behind a locked door where the distilling equipment and ingredients were kept. There was a single still where ethanol and juniper berries are mixed and heated. The evaporated alcohol then rises up through layers of spices called botanicals which gives the gin it’s flavour. The different flavours of gin comes from the mix of botanicals which are used in that production batch.
Due to the rising demand for their gin, we were told that they are getting a second still to increase production.
We were also introduced to the many spices and botanicals which are used in gin making. Besides juniper berries which must always be used to be considered as a gin, there were common spices like anise, pepper, chili, and cassia. Vanilla beans, nutmeg and fruit peels are also used for flavouring.
The tour lasts roughly an hour and we could also purchase our favourite gins at a discount. If you are looking to check out interesting local tours, do try this out.