Heart of a lion
Launched this September, Brass Lion Distillery at Alexander Terrace is the brainchild of Jamie Koh, who’s also behind The Beast Southern Kitchen + Bourbon Bar and Chupitos Shots Bar. The idea of starting a homegrown distillery took root back in 2012, when craft distilleries were taking off in the US and craft cocktails started being introduced in Singapore. She spent the next six years apprenticing with master distillers in the US and Europe. A stint with a distiller in the Black Forest in Germany influenced her most.
“I got to experience distilling as a way of life, where every household had a mini-still in their house as they have had for generations,” she shares. “I saw how people there built upon this tradition to create successful businesses both regionally and internationally. The distilling process I saw there is very relevant to the type of distilling process and gin we want to showcase here. We use a completely manual still, custom-made from a German copper pot still maker.”
Other spirits are planned in the pipeline, but for its debut, Brass Lion Distillery is launching three gins ($88 each)—the Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin; a Pahit Pink Gin or a pink Angostura bitters-tinged gin; and a Butterfly Pea Gin.
Koh envisioned the flagship Singapore Dry Gin to be “light and floral, with hints of fresh citrus and an underlying backbone of juniper”. The final 22 botanicals used to achieve that include torch ginger flower, angelica root, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, pomelo and Mandarin peels. These, says Koh, reflect Singapore’s cultural history as a melting pot of cultures and a trading hub within Southeast Asia. Most of the botanicals used are either obtained from the distillery’s herb garden or local wet markets.
Equipped with facilities such as a tasting room, R&D lab and retail space, Brass Lion Distillery hopes that visitors can learn more about the gin distilling process, and even try their hand at distilling a bottle of gin on their own.
40 Alexandra Terrace. facebook.com/brassliondistillery