Inspired by the vibrant cuisine of Southeast Asia, and the amazing ingredients we discovered on our travels, we have distilled five signature botanicals from the region alongside seven traditional ones from the rest of the world.
Journey with us across Southeast Asia and discover the botanicals we found there…
Our journey began in the Philippines. Escaping the bustle of Manila, we took a boat expedition around the islands of Palawan; relaxing on idyllic white beaches, swimming in crystal clear waters, and eating fish barbecued as soon as it left the sea…
A constant sight on our trip was a small green citrus fruit: Calamansi. Used extensively in drinks, dipping sauces & marinades, it is a small green citrus fruit that combines the flavours of mandarin and lime. As soon as we tasted it, we knew it had to be in the gin. In fact it’s so good that it’s the only citrus we use.
From the chaos of Khao San Road to the vibrancy of the Amphawa floating market and the pristine beaches of Ko Pha-ngan, we ventured around the country following the backpacker trail on a budget. The street food of Thailand is world renowned and one herb that we kept seeing used was Thai Sweet Basil…
THAI SWEET BASIL
Part of the basil family, Thai sweet basil has a natural, slightly strong, sweet liquorice flavour and aniseed fragrance. It is bolder and more fragrant than its European cousin and adds a fresh herbal flavour to Southeast Asian cooking, especially Thai stir fries.
Our tour of Vietnam took us cycling around the lantern covered streets of Hoi An, canyoning down waterfalls in the mountains of Dalat and moped dodging on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. One constant was the quality of the food. Fresh and vibrant, spicy and moreish. It was here that we came across Galangal…
A close relative of ginger, but instead of delivering spicy, fiery heat, Galangal is highly fragrant, with earthy undertones and a higher citrus note. It is used extensively in Vietnamese curries, hot pots and soups, as well as in Thai and Indonesian cooking.
Our first stop in Cambodia had to be the majestic temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. A monumental feat of architecture and engineering that simply took our breath away.
It was here, in a beef dish we ate at an unassuming restaurant on a side street, that we discovered the best pepper in the world…
Protected Geographic Indication status means that the pepper can only be grown in the Kampot province which provides the perfect growing conditions to deliver distinct, lingering flavours and aromas unlike any other. We source ours from the family owned Bo Tree Farm, and use two types of their pepper in our gin:
Kampot Black Pepper: After an initial spicy burst, the black pepper reveals outstanding floral, eucalyptus and mint notes with a smooth depth that lingers on the finish.
Kampot Red Pepper: The red pepper combines floral, fruity and subtle smoky notes with a delicious natural sweetness that lingers on your tastebuds.