For one week in August, the spotlight will be on gin at Asia’s largest festival dedicated to this popular juniper berry flavoured spirit. The East Imperial Gin Jubilee – starting August 22 – is in its third year in Kuala Lumpur and the city is the first in the region to start the festivities.
This year sees a slew of bars competing for the honour of having the Best Gin & Tonic in the city and participating bars include local stalwarts like Coley, PS150 and JungleBird with newcomers like Three x Co and Bar Trigona at the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur. All drinks will be made with East Imperial Tonic Waters and one of 10 gins including Hendrick’s Gin, The Botanist, Monkey 47 and Citadelle. Expert judges and social media voting will determine the winner.
The gin-fuelled fest will end with the Gin Lane at Plaza Batai party on Saturday from 6pm where the 20 participating bars will be offering all sorts of G&Ts at RM25 per drink. This year sees drinks being served with biodegradable cups and straws; and there will also be a good selection of food and music. There will be a pop-up store to purchase East Imperial mixers and their partner brands, so you can have your own G&T party at home.
Fun fact: The Gin & Tonic was created in India during the 19th century to encourage the British to consume tonic water with quinine, which was an antimalarial. It didn’t taste very nice on its own but when gin and lime was added, it obviously went down very well.