OUR JOURNEY

From the adventure of a lifetime, to years of flavour experimentation, the opening of our own distillery, and the launch of the first product in our portfolio of Southeast Asian inspired spirits. We realised our dream by following our own path.

INSPIRED BY ADVENTURE

In 2015 we took a backpacking trip around Southeast Asia. Travelling by plane, boat, bus, motorcycle and tuk-tuk, we ventured around the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was here that we fell in love with the region. The landscapes were epic, the food was so fresh and vibrant, and the people were so incredibly friendly towards us.

On our trip we discovered so many amazing flavours. Simple cooking ingredients that really elevated the dishes they were used in. We were in awe of the cuisine and the innate ability of the chefs to take simple ingredients and use simple processes to create perfectly balanced dishes.

On our return to England, we had an idea: Let’s distill the essence of Southeast Asia and bring something new and innovative to the spirits category, so we set about creating our first Southeast Asian Gin. A celebration of the people we met, the places we travelled to, and the ingredients we discovered. Tarsier Gin was born.

A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

We knew from the start that we wanted to develop and distill the gin ourselves. We wanted each bottle to tell the story of our backpacking adventure and to create a gin that was unique, personal, and full of love and passion.

Where we have lacked expertise, we have learnt it and applied it. Where we have lacked knowledge, we have researched it and gained it. Like the backpacking trip that inspired us, we have set off on our own journey of discovery and adventure…

Countless days and weeks were spent experimenting in our Manchester kitchen, distilling fruits, herbs and spices from the region in our small copper alembic pot still. Searching for a harmonious balance of citrus, floral, and spice we rejected many botanicals until we found our perfect botanical mix. But that was just the start. We kept experimenting, changing ratios, and did endless testing on friends and family until we got the balance just right.

Tarsier Gin is the product of a true devotion to the craft.

CREATING OUR GINS

We started producing our first gin in a small room at the back of a pub, using two traditional 60 litre copper alembic pot stills, named after Florencia & Graciano, Sherwin’s Filipino grandparents.

As we have grown, we have reinvested our revenue into a much bigger dedicated distillery and new modern equipment; we now produce our gins on a 500 litre iStill named Christian, in memory of Sherwin’s friend and mentor. Many of our gins are also blended with distillates that we cold distil using our Vacuum Still – by distilling at room temperature we can extract fresh and vibrant flavours from botanicals that would otherwise be cooked in our pot still.

We are always experimenting with different processes to find the best way to extract authentic Asian flavours and create unique gins. We use the finest ingredients and the most labour intensive processes; we only ever do single-shot distillations and discard the often reused heads and tails so every batch is as pure as the last.

DIFFERENT BY DESIGN

We wanted a label on the outside that was as unique as the gin on the inside. The only way to achieve this, and stay true to our original vision, was to design it ourselves.

Taking the same approach as we did for the gin; we started with something locally produced in Southeast Asia and built everything else around it. In this case it was the illustration of the Tarsier that gives our gin its name, commissioned by us and hand drawn in pencil by Juvel Tiu Modayno, a young Filipino artist in Bacolod. We turned it into a digital illustration and spent a year designing the rest of the label around it.

Nine months after launching our gin, we updated the design to fit on our new bigger, rounder bottle, before ditching the label altogether in 2019 and screen printing directly onto the glass. The branding has been a journey of refinement and finesse; and we couldn’t be happier with the result. 

OUR JOURNEY CONTINUES...

Tarsier was inspired by travel and is now the inspiration for us to travel across the world to launch in new markets; doing bar takeovers, masterclasses and guest shifts. Most importantly though, it’s about meeting the bar tenders, drinking with the locals, and really getting to know new places, making new friends, and creating new experiences.

In turn these amazing journeys that Tarsier has taken us on inspire our next products, which take us to new places and give us new experiences. And so the cycle continues.

This is just the beginning of the Tarsier journey…