Fragrant Harbour Gin is the first gin to be distilled from a unique combination of botanicals inspired by its Chinese origins, each chosen to reflect the journey that Hong Kong has taken and to offer a glimpse of its past, present and future. We take great care to use only the finest quality ingredients to produce our botanicals, ensuring we deliver the best possible depth and complexity in flavour.
Ginger & Coriander
The bedrock of Cantonese cuisine, ginger & coriander feature prominently in the preparation of fresh seafood which is prized by the people of Hong Kong and Guangdong province.
They provide a fresh note to liven up dishes and, like many herbs in Cantonese cuisine, they also have medicinal properties. In our gins, they are there to impart freshness.
An edible fruit closely resembling an orange, but about the size of an olive. The word kumquat is literally translated as ‘Golden Tangerine’. In its fresh state, it is eaten whole and has a unique bittersweet, slightly sour taste.
Alternatively, it is preserved in salt and kept in the store cupboard for years, only to be retrieved as a remedy for throat ailments (sore throats, coughs, etc.), where it is mashed and consumed with warm water. This botanical is used in our gin to signify good fortune and to provide a refreshing, vibrant note.
Juniper berries are omnipresent in any gin, and this pays homage to Hong Kong’s colonial past when gin and tonics were consumed as a staple to ward off the heat of the summer.
The goji berry is often described as a cross between a cranberry, cherry and tomato. In its fresh state it has a sweet and tart taste profile, but in its dried form, it has a subtle, sweet profile.
Now labelled as a superfood, this berry has been used in Chinese cuisine and medicine for centuries – it is traditionally viewed as an anti-ageing and eyesight improving remedy. This reflects the linkage between the past and present, how knowledge from Imperial China has been retained and preserved and is being applied in the present.
Aged Tangerine Peel
Chen Pi is sundried tangerine peel which is used in Chinese cooking (both savoury and sweet) and in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is prized for its ability to regulate ch’i and treat digestive and respiratory ailments. When the tangerine season arrives, crowds form in front of fruit vendors in Hong Kong. The fruits are peeled, strung together and left to dry in the sun. Once fully dried they are left to age in airtight containers – the longer, the better.
With age, a unique pungent citrus aroma develops, akin to bittersweet orange chocolate. On the palate, it has an intense aromatic citrus finish with a slight bitterness yet roundness at the same time. Like goji berries, this botanical represents the fusion of East and West in vibrant Hong Kong where age-old traditions still have their place amongst the skyscrapers. Even now, households will buy tangerines and dry the peel at home for their personal consumption, hanging it from balconies, windows and open spaces.
Aged Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh is a variety of fermented and aged “dark or black” tea produced in Yunnan province in China. It is often referred to as the King of Teas and the greater the age, the more sought after it is. In recent times its desirability has led to a class of tea collectors that search across Asia for vintage tea. The Pu-erh tea leaves are harvested, lightly roasted and pressed into a variety of shapes (discs, balls, bricks, etc.) and left to undergo an extended and complex fermentation and oxidation process.
Once brewed Pu-erh has a strong, aromatic fragrance with floral notes. On the palate, it has weight with fruity, sweet and tannic notes. This botanical represents the co-existence of past and present: the ageing process draws parallels with the development of Hong Kong from a small idyllic fishing village (just like raw tea) which through time gains complexity and weight to become an international centre of commerce that continues to evolve.
Sichuan peppercorns are actually from the citrus family and are not related to either black or chilli pepper. The corn refers to the husk/pericarp around the seed and as the name suggests, it is widely used in Sichuan cuisine.
It has a unique aroma, having a combination of citrusy and lemony notes with slight undertones of spice. When consumed it unleashes intense aromatics with a hint of heat which is coupled with a tingling numbness in the mouth – this tingling sensation has become the hallmark of Sichuan peppercorn.
This botanical, as native to China, was included in the gin to represent the uniqueness of Asia. The experience of eating Sichuan ‘ma la’ is an exhilarating and eye-watering experience and ties in with the vibrancy and excitement of Hong Kong and Asia.
Jasmine is a popular flower and is commonly found in the tropical and warm regions of Asia. When in bloom it produces small, delicate, white flowers that have an unmistakable fragrance which is revered for its softness and femininity. The flowers are added to tea to produce jasmine tea – harvested tea is placed with jasmine flowers for a few hours, during which time the tea absorbs the fragrance of the blossoms. This process is then repeated several times until it achieves the desired consistency.
Jasmine tea is normally served as a welcoming gesture to guests. The addition of jasmine to our gin is to impart its delicate and characteristic fragrance and to serve as a welcoming gesture to all gin lovers.
A very important citrus in the making any of gin, it is one of the most widely utilized botanicals.
In Fragrant Harbour only organic lemons are used.