The Singapore Spirit

The premium artisanal spirits market is on the rise in Singapore, as indigenous distillers introduce familiar botanical and flavourings to the ever-popular gin.





Singapore’s first distillery, launched in 2018, Tanglin pays homage to the island’s spice route with its award-winning Orchid gin. The list of botanicals captures the diversity of our island. Along with unripe green mango powder called amchoor (used in Indian cuisine), organic oranges, and whole vanilla beans, two kinds of orchids are used – shi hu (botanically known as Dendrobium nobile), commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, and vanilla orchid. Juniper berries are less dominant in this blend of 11 botanicals and spices. Floral and fragrant, the Orchid gin leads with the botanical notes and best enjoyed with a garnish of orange rind and a stick of cinnamon. $98




Pahit Pink is Singapore’s contender in the pink gin category with an Asian spice kick. Using their flagship Singapore dry gin as its base, the pink comes from the addition of angostura bitters. Founder Jamie Koh created her version of bitters right here in Singapore, sourcing over 22 botanicals for the angostura and another 20 that she uses for the gin within a 5km radius. Hawthorn, red dates, and goji berries come from Chinese medicine shops, and cinnamon and cloves find their way from Little India. A full-bodied, high proof gin, Pahit Pink is best enjoyed with ginger beer or the standard accompaniment, tonic water. $98


The UK-trained Ashwin Sekaran reimagined gin in a Singapore guise with the addition of local spices, botanicals, and a heady dose of citrus. In a custommade still, he macerates the rich juniper berries and spices to the neutral spirit and to create further layers of aromas and flavours; the delicate botanicals are added to the vapour baskets positioned above the still. Sekaran calls on a trio of citrus found locally – limau kasturi (calamansi), limau nipis (key lime), and limau purut (kaffir lime)– and adds it to the botanical bill for the Lime Garden gin. The result is a refreshing citrusled gin, perfect for a gimlet. Singapore Distillery offers more locally inspired flavours like Coconut Pandan and Singapore Sling, each with its unique recipe. The gin rests for three weeks post distillation and bottled at 42% ABV strength. $69.90