On the heels of the Don Papa Rum group launching their Santa Ana Gin last November, seducing Manila’s gin-imbibing souls with the scent of ylang ylang and its delicate floral and citrusy taste, Ginebra San Miguel recently introduced a new specialty gin called 1834 Premium Distilled Gin.
This is different from their previous Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin which is a blend of botanical extracts, juniper berries and a hint of citrus—and retails for a very affordable P163.00 for a 750ml bottle.
The 1834, according to its profile on Hurry’s Liquor Delivery, is a “carefully crafted” drink with “uniquely Philippine botanicals as calamansi balanced with the uplifting and fragrant finish of sampaguita.” It retails for the more believably premium price of P750.00 for a 750 ml bottle.
What does it taste like? Clean and smooth, a journalist balikbayan friend who was served the drink early in the weekend told us. “It’s hard to describe it but when you take a first sniff you know by the aroma that you're smelling tropical flowers. There’s a very nice tingly part in your mouth after a sip. It’s the gin version of a summer afternoon dance party on a veranda with Machuca tiles—in the 1930s.”
But why the name 1834? The back of the bottle has the answer. (By the way, we heard the bottle was designed by sought after creative, Dan Matutina.) It’s the “year Europe and Asia embraced the port of Manila. An unforgettable year of freedom, discovery, prosperity, the beginning of a heritage.”
In GSM history, though, it was the year Antonio Ayala and Domingo Roxas formed the company that will create what was originally called Ginebra San Miguel de Ayala—the gin that will eventually become the biggest-selling gin in the country, THE gin for generations of half-naked Filipino men, and which will alternately be called “bilog” or “kwatro kantos” depending on the bottle shape.