Laguna-based Full Circle Craft Distillers Co. recently unveiled locally its Archipelago Botanical Gin, handcrafted from 28 botanicals, 22 of which are sourced and foraged from across the islands.
Some of the native botanicals include Davao pomelos, pine buds from Sagada, and dalandan from Quezon Province. Full Circle also uses fresh mangoes in their recipe, sourced from their own farm in Dasol, Pangasinan.
Other ingredients that go into the gin include calamansi, oranges, lemongrass from Rizal, kamias, star anise, black pepper, and even sampaguita and ylang-ylang.
Barely a year out in the market, Arc Botanical Gin and its sister spirits have garnered international recognition and medals, including two gold medals at the prestigious World Gin Awards in London last January, two gold medals at the SIP Awards last March in California, USA, and two silvers at the highly competitive World Spirits Awards in Austria, the first Philippine entrant in the event’s history.
Recently, Full Circle was also recognized as “Philippines Distillery of the Year” at the Hong Kong International Spirits Competition in 2018. The brand also garnered silver medals at the Cathay Pacific International Wine & Spirit Competition.
At the product unveiling at Bonifacio Global City, husband-and-wife tandem Matthew and Laurie Westfall, the masterminds behind the craft distillery, formally introduced Arc to the Philippine market.
“Right from the beginning, we wanted to use Arc Botanical gin as a means to highlight and promote the beauty of the Philippines,” said Matthew.
“We wanted the drink to represent the Philippines, we want it to be tropical. When you drink it, we want it to remind you of our country,” added Laurie.
Matthew, who is American, shared how his German grandfather, Peter Westfall, arrived in the Philippines and was tasked to extract flavors from local fruits for the original San Miguel Brewery in 1922. He acquired Filipino citizenship in 1926.
Largest gin market
From extracting flavors for San Miguel in 1922, to extracting native botanicals for their own distillery in 2019, all in the Philippines, the Westfalls have come full circle indeed.
The Westfalls highlighted how the Philippine market was primed for gin consumption.
According to the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the Philippines is the leading consumer of gin in the world (that’s 43 percent of world gin consumption).
“Full Circle sources its premium base alcohol from Europe’s leading premium beverage alcohol supplier, Cristalco in France, which is GMP-certified and operates at the highest standards in the industry,” said Matthew.
The base alcohol is derived from French winter wheat, grown by local farmers in the fertile Champagne region, and distilled from the whole kernel. The base alcohol also provides a crisp, clean mouthfeel.—CONTRIBUTED
Full Circle’s artisanal spirits are available at @boozy.ph, in select Kultura and Tesoro’s branches, and in Duty Free Philippines.