ASIA PACIFIC, 8 JUNE – Gin, traditionally celebrated for its juniper-forward taste, has taken an exciting turn with the introduction of bold, vibrant flavours, capturing the attention of gin enthusiasts worldwide. By infusing an array of botanicals, fruits, herbs, spices, and even wines or vermouth, this expanded range of flavoured gins offers unique and diverse taste profiles. From fruity and floral to spicy and herbal, the flavoured gin category showcases the global distilling community’s commitment to creativity and innovation.

Roots Rosso Pinot Noir Gin

Distilleries around the globe are contributing their distinctive touches to the diverse landscape of flavoured gin. For instance, Brass Lion Distillery, under the expert guidance of Managing Director Jamie Koh, infuses Southeast Asian flavours into their creations, offering gins like Butterfly Pea and Pearl Jasmine. These gins are not mere beverages, but rich cultural narratives captured in a bottle. Similarly, Ben Leggett of Elemental Distillers harnesses local New Zealand ingredients, including organic pinot noir wine, to craft Roots Rosso Pinot Noir Gin, perfect for enhancing cocktails like the fortified Negroni. And, over in the lush landscapes of Yunnan, Fraser Kennedy from Shangri-La Youyun Distilling Company utilises extraordinary local strawberries to create The Rambler Gin’s Sunkissed Strawberry Gin.

The rising popularity of flavoured gins may also indicate a broader shift in consumer tastes, emphasising the demand for innovation and variety in the world of spirits. “Not only do they (flavoured gins) create more opportunities for innovative new cocktails, but they also cater to a variety of palates,” observes Koh. Harriet Messenger from Husk Distillery agrees on how flavoured gin provides an extra dimension to play with, which extends the creativity of the distiller and the bartender even further.  “Like with all things there are good and bad examples of flavoured gin, but when it’s done well, it’s really exciting and a true expression of craftsmanship”, states the Marketing Manager.

Brass Lion Distillery's Pearl Jasmine Gin

The Rambler Gin's Sunkissed Strawberry Gin

Creating a well-balanced, flavoured gin requires a delicate blend of skill, creativity, and science. Distillers encounter various hurdles in their quest to craft the perfect gin, with challenges ranging from perfecting the botanical mix to maintaining the natural essence of fruits for lasting freshness and vitality. “Our challenge when creating our gins, is fine-tuning the amount of each botanical and mindfully incorporating the Southeast Asian flavours we love – many of which have rich and intense flavours which could easily throw off the balance of the gin – to achieve the precise flavour profile we desire,” explains Koh.

The journey of Ink Gin‘s Bitter Orange, a creation by Husk Distillery conceived with the Negroni cocktail in mind, showcases similar hurdles. Messenger reflects, “Incorporating bitter orange was a significant challenge due to its complex, multifaceted flavour that makes it a perfect match for cocktails like Negronis and Spritzes. Our struggle was to capture the essence and bitterness of the fruit while still ensuring it tastes beautiful.”

Preserving the fruit’s freshness and vibrancy is another complex aspect for The Rambler Gin. “This led us to our small batch production method, where we rest strawberries in the new-make spirit and gently press them to extract their juice. Similar to winemaking, we then undergo a series of settling and maturation processes to ensure the fruit’s character is preserved and the gin remains balanced,” Kennedy explains.

Beginning with a clear vision of the desired flavour and aroma is foundational. Achieving the perfect texture, balance, and lasting impression on the palate is crucial, Leggett adds, highlighting the importance of setting benchmarks for success.

Maison Ferrand's Citadelle Rouge Gin

Husk Distillery's Ink Bitter Orange Gin

In crafting flavoured gins, authenticity and the integrity of flavour are of utmost importance. A shining example of this commitment is Maison Ferrand’s Citadelle Rouge, which is made using 100% natural botanicals, while embodying the exquisite French distillation methods without relying on artificial sweeteners or additives. “Every ingredient, including the juniper berries grown beside our distillery in the Cognac region, attests to our dedication to authenticity and French heritage”, Maylis Berger, Senior Brand Manager of Maison Ferrand, proudly states.

Echoing the importance of natural ingredients, Kennedy champions the use of real fruits and traditional distilling techniques. He encourages enthusiasts to explore high-quality spirits that embody true craftsmanship and authenticity, “Don’t let a bad experience with these candy sweet, artificially flavoured, and coloured drinks ruin it for you! Look out for a locally produced flavoured gin, made with real fruits and just a touch of love.”

As we witness the flourishing diversity within the flavoured gin category, it’s clear that this segment of the spirit world offers something unique for every palate, celebrating the artistry and craftsmanship that define this exciting chapter in gin’s storied history. And Proof & Company continues to proudly collaborate with these distilleries, which consistently innovate, enchant, and signify a thrilling new chapter in the long and fascinating history of gin.