From the adventure of a lifetime, to years of flavour experimentation, the opening of our own distillery, and the launch of the first product in our portfolio of Southeast Asian inspired spirits. We realised our dream by following our own path.
Relive our journey so far…
INSPIRED BY ADVENTURE
In 2015 we took a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia. Travelling by plane, boat, bus, motorcycle and tuk-tuk, we ventured around the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was here that we fell in love with the region. The landscapes were epic, the food was so fresh and vibrant, and the people were so incredibly friendly towards us.
On our trip we discovered so many amazing flavours. Simple cooking ingredients that really elevated the dishes they were used in. We were in awe of the cuisine and the innate ability of the chefs to take simple ingredients and use simple processes to create perfectly balanced dishes.
On our return to England, we had an idea: Let’s distill the essence of Southeast Asia and bring something new and innovative to the spirits category, so we set about creating our first Southeast Asian Gin. A celebration of the people we met, the places we travelled to, and the ingredients we discovered.
Tarsier Gin was born.
A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
We knew from the start that we wanted to develop and distill the gin ourselves. We wanted each bottle to tell the story of our backpacking adventure and to create a gin that was unique, personal, and full of love and passion.
Where we have lacked expertise, we have learnt it and applied it. Where we have lacked knowledge, we have researched it and gained it. Like the backpacking trip that inspired us, we have set out off our own journey of discovery and adventure…
Countless days and weeks were spent experimenting in our Manchester kitchen, distilling fruits, herbs and spices from the region in our small copper alembic pot still. Searching for a harmonious balance of citrus, floral, and spice we rejected many botanicals until we found our perfect botanical mix. But that was just the start. We kept experimenting, changing ratios, and did endless testing on friends and family until we got the balance just right.
Tarsier Gin is the product of a true devotion to the craft.
CREATING OUR GIN
We prepare the botanicals by hand and crack the pepper before macerating them in Neutral Grain Spirit overnight.
Distillation takes place in our distillery in Manchester. We follow the London Dry method and only ever do single-shot distillation so the only thing we add to the distillate is pure water. Many other gins are multi-shot so they produce a very concentrated distillate and blend it with neutral spirit to produce five or ten times as many bottles as a single-shot distiller. We believe gin should be pure and never made from concentrate.
Distilled over five hours in our two traditional copper alembic pot stills, named after Florencia & Graciano, Sherwin’s Filipino grand parents. We only collect the hearts of the distillate and discard the often reused heads and tails to ensure each batch is as pure as the last. The distillate is blended with pure water and rested for at least three weeks to allow the complexity of the flavours to develop.
Once the flavour is just right, we fill, label and cork each bottle by hand, individually numbering each one.
DIFFERENT BY DESIGN
We wanted a label on the outside that was as unique as the gin on the inside. The only way to achieve this, and stay true to our original vision, was to design it ourselves.
Taking the same approach as we did for the gin; we started with something locally produced in Southeast Asia and built everything else around it. In this case it was the illustration of the Tarsier that gives our gin its name, commissioned by us and hand drawn in pencil by Juvel Tiu Modayno, a young Filipino artist in Bacolod. We turned it into a digital illustration and spent a year designing the rest of the label around it.
Nine months after launching our gin, we designed the evolution of the label to fit on our new bigger, rounder bottle. The new design celebrates our story and our journey to get to this point.