Cover Albert Lee's Kavalan Distillery taps into richness of Yilan County in Taiwan to produce world-class gins and whiskys.

To celebrate triumphs, soothe away worries—these are some of the many reasons to partake in the delights of gin. Celebrate World Gin Day with gin makers and mixers from Asia's Most Influential 2021 list

To celebrate triumphs, soothe away worries or just to cap off the day—these are some of the many reasons to partake in the delights of gin. If you need one more reason, today is World Gin Day, the official global celebration of the juniper spirit. For your glass of gin, consider the creations of these makers and mixers on Asia’s Most Influential List, who, through their distilleries and bars, are placing Asian-made spirits on the global stage. 

CK Kho, Malaysia

Two watering holes by influential bartender CK Kho are ranked in Asia’s Best Bar list. Coley, which is known for contemporary creations inspired by Malaysian flavours, was part of Asia’s 50 Best Bars from 2018 to 2021. More pertinent to World Gin Day is Pahit, the gin-centred Bukit Bintang venue that was named to the Asia’s Best Bars list in 2021. 

On the Pahit menu: an array of gins from around the world, from Japan to Australia, and, of course, gin and tonics and cocktails (how about a drink infused with Sakura flower, yuzu peel, and sencha tea?). To further promote the joys of juniper, Pahit hosts guest bartenders and events, including the recently launched Gin Fizz Sunday, a tribute to the iconic Ramos Gin Fizz of the prohibition era.  

Read CK Kho’s full profile here.

Matthew Westfall, Philippines

Matthew Westfall taps into the botanical richness of the Philippines to create ARC Botanical Gin. His Full Circle Distillers uses tropical botanicals from family-owned farms across the country to create two artisanal gins: the Archipelago Botanical Gin, which is made with 28 botanicals, including pomelo, mango, Benguet pine and ylang-ylang flowers, and the Archipelago Barrel Reserve Gin, which features a medium-long toast. 

In an interview with The Independent Investor, Westfall shares how his distillery creates special editions and collaborations, as well, including a Christmas Gin with cinnamon and nutmeg and a gin created for Amanpulo Resort with botanicals from the luxury resort’s farm. He continues to champion Filipino-made spirits, exporting ARC Gin to Hong Kong, Singapore, US, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. 

Read Matthew Westfall’s full profile here.

Albert Lee, Taiwan

In the world of spirits, Albert Lee is known for propelling Taiwanese whisky onto the world stage. Kavalan Whisky, which is made with the “pure, creamy and clear” meltwaters of the Snow Mountain in Yilan County, has won praise from spirits authorities, while Kavalan Distillery has been named the top distillery by award-giving bodies, including the International Wine and Spirit Competition. 

Beyond whisky, his company has introduced Kavalan Gin. The aromatic malt spirit, triple-distilled and double charcoal-filtered, highlights the bounty of Yilan with its blend of kumquat, starfruit, and guava. The company has also developed canned cocktails like the Hard Tea Soda (Kavalan Gin + oolong and black teas) and its take on the classic Gin and Tonic (Kavalan Gin, juniper berry, herbs, citrus)—perfect for summer.

Read Albert Lee’s full profile here.

Discover the changemakers, industry titans and powerful individuals who are making a positive impact on the region in the Asia’s Most Influential list from Tatler.

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