Gin fans who haven’t heard of East Imperial yet, perhaps it’s time. Singapore-based East Imperial offers a range of premium, traditional-style tonic waters and mixers produced from natural and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Their products are actually available in 31 countries, and for a good reason: the stuff is pretty darn good. The idea behind East Imperial was to bring back the authentic, traditional styles of tonic, made sans preservatives, artificial flavours, sweeteners or colours. They believe it to be a strong foundation for a great cocktail.
Now East Imperial is adding two new flavours to its line of all-natural mixers, and not a moment too soon now that the heat is back: Yuzu Tonic and Grapefruit Tonic. It’s part of their direction to showcase unique flavours from Asia, and Yuzu and Grapefruit fit the bill with distinct Asian roots.
Yuzu, mostly associated with Japan although it can be found in Northern Asia, is known for its aromatic citrus sweetness and distinct zest that’s somewhere between a mandarin and a Meyer Lemon. Its unique and exceptional citrus brightness is an interesting twist to the familiar limes and lemons that we’re accustomed to. The inspiration behind the Yuzu tonic came from one of the founders’ great-grandfather, who shared stories of drinking their daily tonic rations with Japanese Tansan Sparkling Water along with Yuzu when it was available.
While its zestful notes pack a flavour punch, East Imperial Yuzu Tonic is also low in sugar and has no artificial additives, making it perfect for showcasing the complex flavours of fine spirits. They recommend that you pair Yuzu Tonic with traditional London dry gins and citrus-forward spirits to create a refreshingly satisfying drink.
The first is a simple, fresh beverage ideal for balmy tropical evenings – just combine East Imperial Yuzu Tonic with Tanqueray or Bombay London Dry Gin with a squeeze of lemon and a sprig of Lemon Grass garnish.
The second calls for a little personal taste; pair the Yuzu Tonic with either Sipsmith London Dry Gin or a botanical forward gin like St. George Terrior or Botanivore according to your palate, and garnish with Japanese pear and nutmeg.
East Imperial calls this ‘a tonic water that delivers the ultimate citrus balance to the premium vodka or gin of your choice’. It pairs very well with traditional London dry gins and citrus-forward spirits, with the complementary presence of citrus notes resulting in a seriously delectable drop.
Grapefruit was not discovered until the 18th century and botanists believe it a result of cross-breeding sweet oranges of Barbados with the pomelo, a citrus fruit native to Indonesia.
The concoction was inspired by Harry Craddock, known in the 1930s for his fantastic cocktails at iconic London destinations The Savoy and The Dorchester Hotel, and who often spoke of using the ‘forbidden fruit’ in his journals and recipes, which still remain shrouded in mystery. Grapefruit Tonic is a careful blend of South East Asian Pomelo, which delivers a deep rich orange note, and the distinctive tangy flavours of Ruby Red Grapefruit.
East Imperial recommends pairing the new East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic with Tanqueray 10 gin and a cinnamon quill garnish for a simple and satisfying cocktail.
For a zesty yet balanced beverage perfect for summer, they recommend a Grapefruit Tonic and Navy Strength Gin G&T, which is garnished with a dehydrated grapefruit wheel, and dried with white pepper.
East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic will be available in Singapore from early 2016 while the East Imperial Yuzu Tonic will be available from mid 2016 at the Providore and selected retail outlets as a four-pack (RRP S$10) and case of 24 (RRP S$54), and at celebrated bars and restaurants.