Tarsier Southeast Asian Spirit

Rekindling fond memories

I backpacked around South East Asia almost a lifetime ago in 1992.  It’s a truly special area of the world, especially for foodies; and drinkies of course.  

Many times, I have tried to rekindle my senses with evenings of Asian food and incense – playing chilled eastern vibes.  However, Tarsier Spirit’s South-East Asian Dry Gin had a profound effect.  It roused my sensory memory in a way that provoked such curiosity of how it is a gin that took me back and not my previous endeavours with music, incense and a wok.

Southeast Asia via Manchester

The guys at Manchester-based Tarsier spirit have a passion for travel and adventure and were inspired to create their spirits by a trip which spanned South East Asia.  It is evident that they are as passionate about creating their gin as they are about adventurous globe-trotting.   They use the traditional single-shot method, which is my own preference and far more authentic and pure than the mass market multi-shot method.  They take care to macerate the relevant botanicals overnight.  This helps the infusion of flavour as the high strength alcohol begins to absorb flavour before the actual distillation begins.


So, what does it taste like? 

I always taste neat gin as it is what I’m used to.  It’s nothing to do with being hardcore but more to do with appreciating the delicate balance of flavour that any mixer would immediately upset; in the same way that I would never add Coke to a 12-year-old single malt!
 On the nose ( a slow long inhalation required) you immediately get a lemonish lime against a backdrop of sweet basil.  The lime and basil marry wonderfully.  On the second, my old friend juniper appeared alongside the coriander. 
On the tongue, notes of lime and the bitterness of almond launches and fades to give way to a peppery finish which is enough to make your tongue stand to attention!.  I am a fan of citrus or floral tops with woody or berry bodies in a gin and this gin provides exactly that.  The elements which I couldn’t quite place; the ones which took me back to Asia were galangal, Thai spice and Kampot pepper.  They were, of course, so prevalent in the aromas permeating the streets of Thailand it is no wonder that this takes me right back to the sweltering dust and street noise of Thailand.  

In the way that the guys from Tarsier were inspired to create this drink, Tarsier gin has also inspired me

This cute little fella is a Tarsier – the smallest of the primates and the namesake of this gin.

to improve my next evening of Asian culinary delights by including the mystery ingredients that I have discovered in this commendable gin.  And guess what my aperitif will be…    

Tarsier gin is available at select outlets and, surprise surprise in a few other countries!


Reviewed by Jay


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