“Paris of the Orient” – a nickname branded to Shanghai in the early 20th century, due to its blend of Eastern and Western cultures, with its unmistakably unique oriental charm and culture mixed with strong western influences stemming from its modern architecture. A multi-cultural metropolis that is rapidly developing a strong cocktail/bar scene, so it is only fitting that the first craft gin to emerge from China was created in one of its most modern and vibrant cities.
I introduce to you Peddlers Gin
Inspiration for creating this eastern delight was taken from the Shanghai culture and lifestyle, their creative idea for the name of the gin was drew from the city itself. Shanghai has a trading heritage that stems back to the 19th century or even before, the city was and is still today the trading hub of China were people come from all over with new products/ideas. Carts were the traditional way and in many areas across the city is still the method that people use to “peddle” their products. This peddling culture is a pivotal part of the Shanghai community and Peddlers Gin Co wanted to capture this. The gin itself was only launched in 2016, an idea that stemmed from the minds of 3 friends who wanted to develop a gin based on Chinese botanicals, snowballing from that idea this transformed into the liquid that fills the bottle today.
A blend of carefully selected botanicals fusing both Western and Eastern worlds together (clearly taking influences from its East meets West hometown). All 11 botanicals used are carefully handpicked and are organically and sustainable sourced combining Eastern flavours with western techniques. With so many diverse regions and interesting flavours, the founders wanted to create a spirit with the ingredients that best represented China. With a base of Buddha’s hand (a finger-like citrus fruit, one of the oldest citrus fruits and a symbol of good luck in China) which has a subtle flavour combination of rose & lime; although referred to as a member of the citrus family it is not citrus heavy which co-founder Joseph Rudd explained allows the other botanicals to shine through. Such as the Sichuan pepper (adding a unique taste, not numbing or overpowering, coming through in the taste more so than the smell). The other botanicals are East Asian Mint, Angelica, Juniper, cubeb berries, cassia, coriander seeds, orris root and liquorice.
I was lucky enough to visit this amazing city a few years ago but unfortunately this was before Peddlers Gin Co was established. Lucky enough for me my best friend lives just outside of Shanghai and was making a short visit home, so I obviously seized the moment to bag myself a bottle and plagued him to bring me some of this charming liquid home, naturally he obliged because he knows how much of a gin nerd I am… now I have a little bit of Shanghai to add to my round the world gin family!
The diverse botanicals in this gin gave me the perfect opportunity to do a little experimenting, I opted to create two G&Ts because I got too excited and couldn’t decide… I did a little flavour matching to the botanicals used and so far have come up with the following:
Slices of grapefruit
Squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice
A few basil leaves
Lots of ice
Refreshing and aromatic, the bitterness of the grapefruit is balanced by the pepperiness of the basil brings out the citrus of the gin.
Sweet & Spicy G&T
Fevertree Ginger Ale
Slice of Peach
Lots of ice
This was spicy and aromatic, very tasty and refreshing, the ginger brings the heat and compliments the warm citrus undertones of the Sichuan pepper, and the bitter peach I used brings a nice sweet finish. Nice tingling sensation as this washes down.
Such a unique gin, for me when I took the cork off I got a citrus aroma with a warming nutty scent and a delicate peppery taste with fresh citrus notes but not overpowering the tasty juniper. It’s a well balanced gin that captures the essence of its birthplace.
I cannot wait to see what comes from these guys next; there have been hints of some new flavoured fusions, so I am so excited to see what eastern inspiration they bring out next! Although only spreading its wings across China at the moment, I don’t think we will be waiting long for this eastern sensation to sweep across other nations.