Brass Lion Gin ­– Proudly Singaporean

Young entrepreneur, Jamie Koh, braves the road less travelled to create a Singapore-made gin

In the Brass Lion Distillery at Alexandra Terrace huge custom-made copper stills from Germany are at work. There is an R&D lab, and a back garden, which grows many of the 22 botanicals that create an inspired Singapore character to the Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin – galangal, pomelo peel, torch ginger flower, lemongrass, chrysanthemum flora and angelica.

Managing director Jamie Koh first had the idea of a Singapore distillery producing Singapore spirits back in 2012, when she was founder of The Chupitos Bar and The Beast Southern Kitchen&Bourbon Bar. Alcohol was in her blood, and she new the local bar scene, and was convinced a made-in-Singapore gin would work.

The young Singaporean travelled to the US and then to Germany to attend distilling courses, and knocked on doors in search of apprenticeships at distilling companies. A master distiller in Germany worked with her to create Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin. The goal was a Singapore gin for Singapore’s tropical climate, made with Singapore spices and herbs with accent notes on citrus and juniper.

Today her fruits of labour are paying off, as her gin label is seen at many bars across town at a time when gin is a rapidly expanding force in the global drinks scene.

Brass Lion Distillery offers visitors tours, workshops and tasting sessions.

A Chat with Jamie Koh, managing director, Brass Lion Distillery

1 There are 3 Brass Lion gins available for sale now: What common flavour profile gives each a unique Singapore character?

The Singapore Dry Gin – Crafted with herbs and spices that were carefully selected to represent the cultural melting pot that is Singapore. Staying true to the traditional method of pot still distillation, we combine classic gin botanicals with Asian flavours such as the aromatic torch ginger flower and citrusy lemongrass to produce a smooth, vibrant spirit that is the quintessential expression of The Singapore Dry Gin.

Butterfly Pea Gin – A harmonious blend of classic gin botanicals and aromatic Asian flavours. Lavender, known for its calming properties, adds a floral top note to the gin. The gin’s deep, rich blue hue is derived from an infusion of the Butterfly Pea flower, a staple in local Peranakan cuisine.

The Pahit Pink Gin – Known in the Malay Archipelago as Gin Pahit (or “Bitter Gin” in Malay), this classic recipe has been updated and brought into the modern ages. Using The Singapore Dry Gin as its base, our version is enhanced with the addition of our very own house bitters made with 12 botanicals. Best enjoyed old school: on the rocks with an orange twist, or simply with your favourite tonic.

2 What Singapore food goes well with a Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin & Tonic?

Singaporean food generally pairs well with our Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin & Tonic because our cuisine is full of flavour and spices, and the Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin & Tonic is citrusy and refreshing, which provides a nice counterbalance. Dishes like black pepper crab, rendang or laksa would all pair very nicely.

3 How do you relax after a hard day at work?

I usually end the day with just one drink.

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy Brass Lion Distillery

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