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Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Each sip of our August 2021 Gin of the Month will whisk you away to the Lion City!

Each sip of our August 2021 Gin of the Month will whisk you away to the Lion City!

Aug 5, 2021
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Meet Jamie Koh – the entrepreneur bringing an authentic taste of her homeland of Singapore to gin lovers around the world.

She’s the brains behind the bottle of craft gin that Craft Gin Club members can find in their August 2021 Gin of the Month box: Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin, which is being launched in the UK exclusively through Craft Gin Club.

In this feature, you’ll discover how the rich cuisine and culture of Southeast Asia inspired this unique Singaporean spirit.  



Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin.jpg

Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin

Exclusively launched in the UK through Craft Gin Club

A proud product of the “Lion City” - Singapore

40% ABV

Botanicals:

Juniper, chrysanthemum, torch ginger flower, lemongrass, pomelo peel, orange peel, lime peel, mandarin peel, lemon peel, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, tamarind, cinnamon, orris root, ginger, cardamom, angelica root, coriander seed, cubeb berries, rosemary, mint and lavender.

Tasting Notes:

This is a tropical gin that’s perfect for summer sipping. On the nose and palate you can expect refreshing citrusy notes of pomelo, lemongrass and mandarin, paired with the nuanced floral and spiced aromas and flavours of torch ginger flower and tamarind. The sweet yet earthy flavour of chrysanthemum lingers long on the finish.

Take a tour of the Brass Lion Distillery!


Spirit of Singapore

Singapore’s stunning skyline
Singapore’s stunning skyline

Also known as the Lion City, Singapore is a place that dazzles the senses. A bucket-list destination with a rich history and fascinating culture, it attracts travellers from around the globe. From exquisite flora and fauna for the budding botanist to Michelin-starred street food for the adventurous gourmet, it has something for everyone.

I’ve travelled all over the world, and something that makes Singapore special is that everything you could possibly want is within arm’s reach – amazing greenery and beautiful beaches, world-class cocktail bars and restaurants, a lively arts and music scene… it’s all right here.

— Jamie Koh, founder of Brass Lion Distillery

And as a historic port city where East meets West, it’s also a melting pot, with influences from across Southeast Asia and beyond.

We’re a multicultural society. We have Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian cultural influences, and people with roots all over the world live and work together here.

— Jamie Koh

It’s the convergence of these cultures and the world-class food and drink scene of Singapore that inspired Jamie, a young Singaporean woman with a talent for flavours and a passion for spirits, to create the Singapore Dry Gin that is Craft Gin Club’s August 2021 Gin of the Month and make her mark on the gin industry.

Jamie Koh, founder of Brass Lion Distillery
Jamie Koh, founder of Brass Lion Distillery

A Spirited Journey 

Jamie always had a passion for all things food and drink, as well as a strong entrepreneurial drive. After winning a start-up competition at the age of 24, she opened The Chupitos Bar, a shooter bar that serves 150 cocktails. Three short years later, she opened The Beast Southern Kitchen & Bourbon Bar, a restaurant and bourbon bar bringing the flavours of the American South to Singapore.

It was a really exciting period in the drinks industry. People were starting to care more and more about the quality of the spirits in their cocktails. There was a renewed interest in how spirits were made, where they were from and the stories behind them.

— Jamie Koh

Once she’d made a name for herself across the Singapore food and drinks scene, Jamie decided to take a one-year break to travel the world, visiting places as far apart as Iceland and Bolivia.

As someone who loves food and drink, I naturally found local cuisines the best way to explore and understand each country I visited. When it came to alcohol, every country had something unique. As a Singaporean, that got me thinking: why didn’t we have a craft spirit to call our own?

— Jamie Koh

When Jamie returned home at the end of the year, she couldn’t shake the question, and embarked on a six-year-long odyssey into the world of gin – a journey that would take her around the world on a quest to learn the art and science of distillation. While running her businesses in Singapore kept her busy, she made the time to visit places around the world where she could immerse herself in making spirits. The more she learned, the more she became convinced that gin was the right spirit to capture the essence of Singapore.

For me, distilling gin is interesting because it allows you to play around with a variety of flavours. Singapore, which is often called the garden city, has such a rich biodiversity. We also have a long history in the spice trade – for hundreds of years, this was a key port along the routes transporting spices from East to West. As well as all the herbs, flowers, fruits and spices we have available, we have a wealth of influence from our various cultures, which are all woven together in our own unique cuisine. Gin offers the perfect way to showcase Singaporean flavours in a new and completely different way.

— Jamie Koh

The Brass Lion Distillery now has its very own gin school
The Brass Lion Distillery now has its very own gin school

The first stop on Jamie’s ginny world tour was a distilling school in the US, where she got to grips with the theory of distilling. After the course, she felt that she still needed to get some more hands-on experience. She wrote to over 500 distilleries and distillers around the world in the hopes of securing an apprenticeship but didn’t manage to find a placement until friends of friends put her in touch with a distillery in Charleston in South Carolina. It was there she did a stint as an apprentice, learning everything she could from master distillers. She then headed to the UK, exploring distilleries big and small and meeting with master distillers.

After returning to Singapore, Jamie roped in Satish Vaswani, who was looking for a new challenge, and would go on to become a key member of the Brass Lion team. They decided to travel to the Black Forest of Germany and northern Austria, where they explored the culture of farmers distilling small-batch spirits.

It was fascinating to discover a place where distilling had been a way of life passed down for generations, and to get to know a community of small-batch German distillers.

— Jamie Koh

It was here, while investigating the local spirits and liqueurs of the fairy-tale forest, that they would encounter Frank, the master distiller who went on to help create the Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin.


A Taste of Singapore

Brass Lion Distillery’s herb garden
Brass Lion Distillery’s herb garden

During their travels, Jamie and Satish had sipped more spirits and talked to more distillers than she could possibly count, but when she met Frank, something set him apart. Even though he had a history of making traditional German spirits (and Jamie wanted to make something new and distinctly Singaporean), they were kindred spirits when it came to their philosophy as distillers. Both were deeply committed to craft – to precision, doing things by hand and creating balanced botanical blends.

Year after year we would return to train under Frank, and that’s how I learned how to distil.

— Jamie Koh

Three years after first meeting Frank, Jamie packed a suitcase full of herbs and spices that captured the essence of Singaporean cuisine and brought them to him in the Black Forest.

Naturally, Frank didn’t know what a lot of the Singaporean ingredients were – they weren’t commonly distilled in spirits. So he set us to work experimenting with them. What I wanted to create was a tropical gin – easy-to-drink and refreshing – that would be perfect for Singapore’s climate. Once I had decided on that, it was just a matter of finding the right combination of botanicals to get the flavour profile I wanted.

— Jamie Koh

Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin with its unique blend of botanicals
Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin with its unique blend of botanicals

Singapore is an island of year-round sunshine, with thunderstorms offering refreshing reprieves on hot, humid days. Jamie and Frank wanted to capture that same sense of refreshment in Singapore Dry Gin, and they knew just what to add: a whole range of delicious citrus notes. They started with the usual suspects – lime, lemon and orange – before turning to traditional Southeast Asian ingredients like pomelo, mandarin and lemongrass.

The tropical climate also contributes to the lush landscape of the garden city, famous the world over for its luxurious greenery. To capture the sense of botanical abundance, Jamie and Frank also incorporated floral botanicals such as chrysanthemum and torch ginger flower. They then added a complementary layer of spiced complexity, with botanicals including Bentong ginger and galangal.

We’re lucky to have such a varied mix of botanicals because Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines. Most of the ingredients in Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin are native to Southeast Asia, and many are things we cook with all the time. Ingredients such as torch ginger flower, kaffir lime leaf and tamarind are things that all Singaporeans are familiar with. For example, torch ginger flower, with its pink petals, is used in a traditional salad called rojak.

— Jamie Koh

After weeks of experimenting, they settled on a recipe featuring 22 botanicals, each selected to give you a taste of the exuberant cultural and botanical wealth of Singapore. 


Lion City

Brass Lion Distillery’s magnificent copper stills
Brass Lion Distillery’s magnificent copper stills

Once Jamie had perfected the recipe, it was time to bring the brand to life. When mulling over what would best represent an authentic Singaporean spirit, she thought back to how the island nation first got its name. According to ancient texts, a prince named Sang Nila Utama was shipwrecked on the island and glimpsed a creature he believed to be a lion. He named the island Singa Pura, the Sanskrit phrase for Lion City, a title that Singapore has proudly kept to this day. For the people of Singapore, the lion has become a symbol of courage, strength and excellence, as well as resilience in the face of obstacles.

The name Brass Lion celebrates the fact that our gins are distilled in Singapore, and our place of origin is central to our story. It’s common to have statues of lions acting as guardians of our homes in some cultures, and on our distillery crest we have a still between two lions, acting as protectors of the Brass Lion spirit.

— Jamie Koh

They also have a lion statue of their own standing guard outside the Brass Lion Distillery, a two-storey building near the heart of the city. Enter here and you’ll find yourself face to face with Nala, the focal point of the distillery. A German-made customised still, named after the lioness from The Lion King, it stands sleek and gleaming on the ground floor.

While Singaporeans and guests from around the world alike enjoy all the distillery has to offer – from the gin school and tasting room to the herb garden where fresh garnishes and botanicals are grown – Nala works her magic. With a little help from Jamie and the distillery team, Nala creates the magnificent multi-award-winning spirits in the Brass Lion pride, including the gin that Craft Gin Club members can find in their August Gin of the Month box.

We’re very excited to give Craft Gin Club members the chance to enjoy Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin for the very first time. Take a sip and be whisked away on a Singaporean adventure.

The Brass Lion Distillery’s bar is a great place to sit and try their fabulous gins
The Brass Lion Distillery’s bar is a great place to sit and try their fabulous gins

How is Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin made?

A fabulous Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin and tonic
A fabulous Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin and tonic

Three days before distillation, the botanicals (including the fresh citrus, which is hand-peeled and left to dry) are prepared.

Two days before distillation, juniper berries are hand-crushed and left to macerate in the neutral base spirit to give the gin a juniper-forward backbone.

Half a day before distillation, most of the botanicals are added to the neutral spirit, which is then placed in the still, Nala. More delicate botanicals such as flowers and leaves are added to the botanical basket to be vapour-infused.

The process of distillation takes approximately eight hours. The heart of the gin (the best-tasting portion of the final liquid) is manually selected by the distiller, while the heads and tails (less palatable parts of the gin) are discarded.

The gin is then bottled, ready to be sent out to gin lovers and cocktail bars around the world.


A Bold Bottle

Here are the key features of the Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin label:

Brass Lion Distillery’s range of craft gins
Brass Lion Distillery’s range of craft gins

The crest features two lions guarding the still. They are a nod to the gin’s place of origin: Lion City.  

The label features illustrations by a Singaporean artist and features the 22 botanicals in the gin as well as Singapore’s Boat Quay, a classic symbol of the spice trade that shaped the island nation. The label also pays homage to the Samsui women and labourers, who immigrated to Singapore from China between the 1920s and 1940s and helped shape it into the nation it is today.


The Brass Lion Pride:

Brass lion gin

Butterfly Pea Gin

This gin is made with butterfly pea flowers grown in the distillery’s herb garden. It’s a Southeast Asian ingredient that’s commonly used in Peranakan cuisine, which is a fusion of Chinese and Malay food. With floral notes of lavender and slight earthiness from butterfly pea flowers, this gin is deep blue in colour, and when you add anything acidic (e.g. a slice of lime or dash of tonic), it turns a vibrant indigo colour.

Brass Lion Pahit Pink Gin.jpg

Pahit Pink Gin

Inspired by the classic Pink Gin cocktail, this spirit incorporates unique Singaporean bitters, featuring ingredients like red dates and goji berries. Find out more about this stunning pink gin in our Spotlight On: Pink Gins feature by clicking on this link! 

Brass Lion Barrel Aged Gin.jpg

Barrel-Aged Gin

Here, the distillers take the signature expression of Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin (which you received this August) and age it in in ex-bourbon casks for several months. The result is a silky-smooth wood-kissed spirit with subtle caramel and vanilla notes.

 

Brass lion navy strength gin

Navy Strength Gin

Definitely one for the lion-hearted among us, this award-winning gin’s ABV is a whopping 57%. Inspired by Singapore’s heritage as a port city, it certainly packs a punch and pairs brilliantly with yuzu tonic, especially when garnished with a pinch of salt.


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