Gin is trending right now. And we don't mean Hendrick's or Gilbey's. Here, we put four new bottles—from home and abroad—to a blind taste test. Here are the results.
See also: Bangkok's best gin bars
Hanami Gin BK PICK!
The background: From Holland, this bottle is made following an original Dutch dry gin recipe using nine botanicals including Japanese cherry blossom.
We say: Very citrusy and alcohol forward on the nose. The taste is sweet like a liqueur and goes down very easily. A smooth gin that comes from the New Western (non-juniper-heavy) school of gin-making.
The G&T mix: East Imperial Burma Tonic Water garnished with pomegranate and thyme leaves.
The background: Distilled in London, this bottle uses nine botanicals including juniper and coriander seed (the main ingredients), orange, lemon and grapefruit peel, jasmine, orris flower, angelica and cassia.
We say: Very botanical, fresh and clean on the nose. Easily contains the strongest taste of juniper in this test. Well-balanced, warm and spicy with a lingering aftertaste, though It’s balanced but there’s still a sweetness.
The G&T mix: East Imperial Old World Tonic water garnished with lemon zest and orange peel.
The background: Founded by Bangkok-based nightlife genius Ashley Sutton, this gin is produced locally based on coconut palm, juniper berries, ginger and lemon grass.
We say: Perfumey, floral and very sweet, like vermouth. The taste is so smooth, it brings up floral and fruity citrus notes that are almost like freshly-squeezed juice. You can get the scent of grapefruit and orange. Very modern. The taste is short and doesn’t linger, more like a flavored vodka.
The G&T mix: East Imperial Burma Tonic water garnished with torched rosemary and clove.
The background: The experimental collaboration between Bootleggers and the maker of small-batch rums Lamoon and Lamai, sees the use of local ingredients including safflower on its sugarcane base.
We say: This one smells very strong, rough and earthy on the nose. Quite a contrast from any gin you might be familiar with. The taste is again very sweet, incorporating fresh juices that remind us of cachaca (Brazilian rum, a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice). You might not recognize it as gin.
The G&T mix: East Imperial Burma Tonic water garnished with grapes and torched rosemary.
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How we conducted the test
BK’s editorial team conducted this tasting at Teens of Thailand, curated by Niks Anuman-Rajadhon. The first round of tasting was blind, drinking each spirit neat. For the second round, the barman mixed each gin with East Imperial Tonic and a matching garnish recommended by the bar.