Cocktail of the Week: trolling for turtles in the tropics with an Anno Kent Dry Gin Elderflower G&T

Below is an excerpt from the May 2015 edition of GINNED! Magazine about Anno Kent Dry Gin. Every month, Craft Gin Club members receive a bottle of amazing small-batch gins accompanied by GINNED! Magazine which is full of features about the gin, the distillery and loads of fascinating features.

anno kent dry gin

In her days at uni, Kim Reason, Anno Distillers’ communications queen, followed in the footsteps of her PhD father, Andy, by taking up bio-chemistry and doing two internships under his watch at GlaxoSmithKline. Around the same time that Andy embarked on his distilling adventure, Kim plunged into an adventure of her own, literally, by teaching Scuba diving on Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands.  

The Perhentian Islands were once a sleepy place, populated by a few fishermen who welcomed the occasional ship from the British Empire which referred to the islands as The Station Islands from whence comes the term “Perhentian”, which in Malay means “stopping point.” The two islands - Kecil and Besar - and their diverse wild and sea life lived pretty much untouched for centuries until modern times when Westerners discovered the joys of travel.

Kim spent the better part of nine months living on the islands, about 19 kilometres off the Malaysian mainland. In her dives she would have seen a host of aquatic life from cute little clownfish to sinister sharks. But on species she would have seen more rarely than just a century ago are hawksbill turtles, an endangered species.

Humans have treasured hawksbills for centuries. Evidence from China dating to 500 B.C. shows the turtle meat was a delicacy. Some believe that the turtles’ eggs, found on places like the Perhentian during nesting seasons, are aphrodisiacs. But the primary reason hawksbills have been so valued are for their shell, a simultaneously durable and beautiful material. From combs to needles and jewelry boxes to decorative furniture, the hawksbills tortoiseshell was used in cultures from the Caribbean to Ancient Greece and Tahiti to Tokyo. It wasn’t until the 1970s that we recognised the folly of our affection and the hawksbill began to appear on endangered species lists. 

Today, the Perhentians serve as a hawksbill haven. Although only about 300 annual nestings occur across the hawksbill and green turtle species, a significantly decreased number due to poaching and oil spills in the area, conservation societies work to bring the turtle populations back to the island by establishing hatcheries. Perhaps upon Kim’s return to the islands she’ll be able to swim with more hawksbills in between serving tourists Anno Kent Dry G&Ts. 

Anno Elderflower G&T

  • 25ml Anno Kent Dry Gin
  • 25ml Anno Eldeflower&Vodka
  • Premium tonic

Method: Shake spirits in a shaker with ice. Strain into glass. Add tonic. Serve in a chilled goblet or highball glass. Garnish with samphire and elderflowers.