Singapore is starting to have a native gin industry, in large part thanks to Tanglin Gin. The pioneers opened their Mandai-based distillery this August in tandem with the launch of its flagship Orchid Gin, a spirit made from 11 different botanicals that include dendrobium orchid, an allusion to our national flower. Just four months down the line, Tanglin has introduced a sophomore expression to its name — the mandarin chilli gin.
Tanglin will never stray too far from creating gins with Asian-inspired flavours, and the mandarin chilli version is particularly Chinese in profile. Instead of the 11, distiller Tim Whitefield has brought the recipe down to 9 botanicals. The citrusy blend will contain Kampot black pepper, kaffir lime leaves and mandarin peel at its heart, with the inclusion of young ginger and chilli for a piquant touch. Naturally, the signature dendrobium orchid is a botanical in this new spirit as well.
When we were at the distillery’s opening, Whitefield was already working on the mandarin chilli gin, and we got a small sample of the test batch. The aromatic zest from the mandarin is mellowed by the slow, soft burn from the chilli peppers. Citrus and spice are natural allies, and for this gin, the two collaborate to blanket the strong, herbaceous personality of the orchid.
Tanglin’s mandarin chilli gin will launch during the East Imperial Gin Jubilee, at Spiffy Dapper from 6.30pm till late on 6 December. Head down should you want to try it on its own, or made into cocktails by the folks behind the bar.
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