Heart of a lion

Wine & Dine - - APERITIFS -

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

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