Sipsmith gin.


Town & Country (Philippines) - - CONTENTS / APRIL - By Hannah Lazatin

En­vi­sion a jour­ney to 1915, when the speed of mod­ern trans­porta­tion had yet to shorten the dis­tance from des­ti­na­tion to des­ti­na­tion and only a hand­ful of lo­ca­tions were more exotic than the Lion City. It was at this time when the head bar­tender at Raf­fles’ Long Bar, Ngiam Tong Boon, proved his ge­nius be­hind the bar and whipped up the first Sin­ga­pore Sling, a rosy-col­ored gin-based cock­tail widely re­garded as the na­tional drink of the is­land na­tion.

To com­mem­o­rate the drink’s hun­dredth year, Raf­fles teamed up with Sipsmith, the pi­o­neers of craft Lon­don gin, to cre­ate a gin which both Sir Thomas Stam­ford Raf­fles and Ngiam Tong Boon would be proud of. It took months to find the ideal botan­i­cal bal­ance of dis­tilled jas­mine flow­ers, fresh pomelo peel, lemon­grass, Kaf­fir lime leaf, nut­meg, and car­damom along with the award­win­ning gin, but not a minute was spent in vain. This stun­ningly smooth and full-bod­ied Lon­don Dry gin with the warmth of sweet or­ange spice which then evolves into an el­e­gant, bright, bal­anced fin­ish lives up to its name: Raf­fles 1915 Gin.

Sipsmith master dis­tiller Jared Brown muses that distillers are al­ways in search of some­thing new. “We were greatly in­spired by the his­tory of the Long Bar—the ex­quis­ite and in­trigu­ing sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that greeted and re­vived the thou­sands of weary trav­el­ers who en­tered its doors and sus­tained those who chose to be­come part of this is­land na­tion. The ex­tra­or­di­nary choice of spices avail­able in the Malay basin pro­vides a botan­i­cal back­bone that cap­tures what it might have been like to sip the first Sling dur­ing that golden age of travel.”

This col­lab­o­ra­tion fur­ther ce­ments the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Raf­fles and Sipsmith, which is al­ready rooted in tra­di­tion and lin­eage, as Sipsmith co-founder Sam Galswor­thy is a de­scen­dant of Sir Stam­ford Raf­fles, for whom the Raf­fles in­sti­tute was named af­ter.

In a span of a hun­dred years, the Sin­ga­pore Sling has been im­mor­tal­ized and its con­coc­tion of­ten al­tered. But what will se­cure its place as an iconic cock­tail for an­other hun­dred years is the un­der­ly­ing Malaysian botan­i­cals set­ting the ground for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to re­visit the gin-based drink. One whiff of the del­i­cate for­est notes rounded by sweet pine from ju­niper berries, In­dian mint, spiced ap­ple, bit­ter cit­rus, and sweet nec­tarine from a bot­tle of Raf­fles 1915 Gin will cap­ti­vate you enough to make your own de­li­cious ver­sion of the Sin­ga­pore Sling. Long Bar, Raf­fles Makati; 555.9888.


tuRN oF tHE cEN­tuRy clock­wise from top: A bot­tle of Raf­fles 1915 gin; Sipsmith gin on tap; botan­i­cals used to make the gin; the Sin­ga­pore Sling.

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