Peddler's is China's first craft gin and was so named after the hustle and bustle of Shanghai, where lots of that energy was fuelled by folks on bikes peddling around the city to hawk their goods.
Peddlers takes us on a tour around China through its eleven botanicals, some of which includes lotus, cassia, Buddha's hand, almonds, angelica, licorice, mint, coriander and cardamom sourced from Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang and Gansu.
Peddlers hopes to bring to the fore some more uncommon eastern botanicals such as Buddha's Hand citrus, lotus and cassia. (Image Source: Peddlers Gin)
I've always appreciated how gins very squarely focus on giving you a real sense of the regionality, the locality and terroir of where it's made - typically crafted using botanicals that are from and represent the region or country. A real sense of place, if you will.
The founders of Peddlers all moved to Shanghai for various reasons - one of whom, Ryan McLeod, came all the way from New Zealand to Shanghai to teach golf. A funny story, he and his wife, Olivia, once found themselves craving pies from back in New Zealand and eventually found themselves making and supplying Kiwi pies around the city. Ryan had himself become a fellow peddler, delivering his gourmet pies around the city.
Co-founder Ryan McLeod getting around town delivering Peddlers Gin. (Image Source: Peddlers Gin)
Eventually the trio behind Peddlers figured that it was peculiar that China didn't quite have its own gin, whilst the whole world outside of China was going on a real gin spree - and so Peddlers was born. They bought a whole bunch of distilling equipment and began searching for local botanicals that they felt were good for gin; experimented for a bit. After which the lot of them became peddlers, delivering their gins around town.
There's of course more to the story, which has been covered by a fellow 88 Bamboo contributor below.
This is their flagship expression - the Peddlers Rare Eastern Gin, bottled at 45.7% ABV.
Peddlers Rare Eastern Gin - Review
Aroma: There's a textural viscosity to its aromas, opening up with a touch of bright citrus and sugared almonds. It then opens up to an intense herbaceousness of crushed mint and ginseng - an earthy, tropical forest floor, soil and all. There's a very light and delicate note of white florals.
Taste (Neat): Thick and heavy bodied, immediately opening up with candied mint leaves, heaps more herbaceousness over a silky body. There's something of a yuzu note and then more earthiness - ginseng fresh from the soil.
Finish: Clean, with just a final kiss of mint herbs, black pepper and a medicinal note akin to traditional Chinese medicine. Quite lip-smacking.
If you live in Asia, this definitely brings you back to your younger days visiting a traditional chinese medicinal hall as they call it, which is basically an old school pharmacy of sorts except you're prescribed foraged natural ingredients. There's a strong herbal note all throughout, the mint, sugared almonds and ginseng (which probably comes from the angelica) is what really stood out to me. The body was also a pleasant surprise with how silky and heavy bodied it was. The juniper and spiciness was very well-restraint.
It's really forest-y - tropical forest I should add. Mint, sugared almonds and ginseng stood out, alongside a really pleasant silky, hefty bodied texture. Juniper and heat was well-restrained. Works incredibly well in a G&T.
Works great in a standard G&T as well. It makes a great refreshingly herbaceous and hefty drink.