~ in partnership with Tanglin gin
Tanglin gin was the first distillery in Singapore when it opened three years ago and was launched by four Western expats living in Singapore – Tim Whitefield, Andy Hodgson, Charlie van Eeden and Chris Box who were surprised there wasn’t already a Singaporean gin, especially given the rich culinary and drinks industries.
I caught up with distiller, Tim, to learn more about Tanglin gin.
Did you always want to work in distilling, tell us how you got started?
When we set up the Distillery the four founders decided we would each focus on our strengths to support Tanglin. So Charlie is marketing and branding, Chris is Finance and Andy is Government and Regulatory Management, which left the creative part, designing the gins to me, I was more than happy with that role. After 30 years as an architect, I realised I’d found my second career.
How did you choose which botanicals to use for Tanglin gin?
I knew immediately that I wanted to create a gin that would capture the uniqueness of Singapore.
When I first arrived in Singapore I had some amazing original Hawker Centre culinary experiences. There is something very special about being surrounded by dozens of tiny kitchens creating foods from all over Asia, it’s a multi-cultural flavour extravaganza, and that’s what inspired me.
The Tanglin gin range
Tanglin’s first expression was Orchid Gin, a dry, juniper forward expression.
Tim vapour infuses whole vanilla beans from Indonesia and incorporated Amchoor, an Indian spice, made from green unripe mango which is ground into powder and imparts a sharp citrus note. The only non Asian ingredient are the fresh oranges that come out of Tim’s garden in the Yarra Valley.
Tim says he created this gin with cocktails in mind, and it really is versatile. I kept it simple with Fever-Tree Mediterreanean and a slice of lemon, but it also goes well with Aromatic and Elderflower tonic water.
Mandarin and Chilli gin
Tim describes this a modern contemporary citrus gin. It contains nine botanicals, including mandarin, chilli, Kaffir lime and ginger.
This one is my favourite of the range. I was a little nervous when I read the label – you can get chilli so wrong in spirits, but this is very, very well done.
There is no heat from the chilli, but instead crisp green capsicum notes that balance well with the sweet mandarin.
I wanted to amp up the flavours in my gin and tonic so I used Fever-Tree Clementine Tonic water and garnished with small pieces of fresh mandarin pieces and red chilli (tiny with no seeds!). Delicious.
Black Powder is Tanglin’s Orchid gin at navy strength gin, but with added fresh lemon. This gin won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
A brilliant gin for a ballsy g&t, try it with Aromatic tonic and a sprig of rosemary.
Limited release Tanglin Barrel Aged Gin
Tanglin’s limited edition Barrel-aged gin this is aged for about three months
in Garrison Brothers Bourbon Casks, this Texas Bourbon is smooth with extra vanillin, but Tim adds a little extra vanilla and orange citrus to the aging. It picked up a Gold medal at this years Asian Masters.
Try it in an Old-fashioned or a Martinez
You can buy Tanglin gins at The Ginporium