Drink

This Philippine Gin Maker Wins Big at Prestigious International Spirits Awards

The world's top spirits experts are impressed by this Filipino gin.
IMAGE FULL CIRCLE CRAFT DISTILLERY
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Filipino gin maker Full Circle Craft Distillers just won two coveted medals at the prestigious SIP Awards, an international spirits competition. Full Circle’s gin, ARC Spirit, bagged the Platinum and Double Gold Medals at this year's event, which is the world’s largest consumer competition. ARC Botanical Gin won a Platinum Medal, the highest-rated award, while ARC Barrel Reserve Gin and ARC Lava Rock Vodka both garnered Double Gold Medals. 

The Filipino gin also bagged top honors at the inaugural ASCOT Awards. Its Archipelago Barrel Reserve Gin received the Best in Class Award in the Flavored Gin category, along with a Platinum distinction.

Inside Full Circle Craft's Distilling Process

Photo by Full Circle Craft Distillery.

ARC spirits have been repeatedly recognized with top honors at recent international competitions and its flagship Botanical Gin has been ranked as one of the world’s best gins by leading gin reviewers. The Full Circle team attributes its spirits' success to its commitment to authentic distilling processes and its use of locally grown ingredients.

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Its award-winning lineup is authentically handcrafted on a German CARL copper still at its state-of-the-art, family-owned distillery in Calamba, Laguna in the Philippines, using time-honored distilling traditions. ARC Botanical Gin, Full Circle’s flagship spirit, is distilled from 28 botanicals, 22 of which are locally foraged across the country’s islands. 

'Maddie,' Full Circle's CARL Copper Still from Germany

Photo by Full Circle Craft Distillery.

“Every Archipelago spirit is crafted with precision using the finest, locally sourced ingredients, such as fresh pomelo, calamansi, dalandan, and mango and a selection of exotic fragrant flowers that include sampaguita and ylang-ylang,” said Matthew Westfall, head distiller at Full Circle. “We source these botanicals from across our archipelago, from upland farms in the mighty Cordilleras in northern Luzon to family plantations in Mindanao. Our aim is to showcase the wondrous array of exotic tropical botanicals that we source from small-scale farmers and share an exquisite taste of the Philippines.”

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In the Philippines, Full Circle's distillery will soon open its doors to the public, offering a museum, botanical gardens, a tasting room, and a courtyard for special industry and culinary pairing events. Elsewhere, amid growing demand for premium Philippine craft spirits, the company continues to expand into international markets, with ARC spirits now available in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Austria, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Independence Day Cocktails 

In commemoration of Philippine Independence Day on June 12, which is also World Gin Day, David Ong, celebrated bartender, co-founder of award-winning bars, and ARC’s Elixir emissary, shares some of his creations with the public. Try the following mixes at home.

Hiyas ng Lichias (Lychee Jewel)

Photo by Full Circle Craft Distillery.

Ingredients

  • 45ml ARC Lava Rock Vodka
  • 30ml Dry Vermouth
  • 15ml Giffard Lichi-Li
  • 15ml Giffard Lychee Syrup
  • 5ml Lychee juice

Preparation

  1. Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Strain in chilled martini cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with fresh or canned lychees.

Alamat ng Manga (Legend of the Mango)

Photo by Full Circle Craft Distillery.
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Ingredients

  • 45ml ARC Barrel Aged Gin
  • 15ml Giffard Mango syrup
  • 30ml Fresh Lime Juice
  • 15ml Simple Syrup

Preparation

  1. Peel off a sliver of the lime peel ahead of cutting it, so you may use it as garnish.
  2. Cut the lime in half and juice the lime until you have 30ml worth of fresh lime juice.
  3. In a shaker with ice, combine all of the ingredients.
  4. Shake until the vessel is frosty, this is an indication your drink is cold.
  5. Pour into a glass with ice and top it with a lime wheel.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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