The Orientalist Spirits were brought to life, aptly, by a visit to the legendary Shangri-La in Tibet. The idea of a crafts spirit company with a focus on art and Asian ingredients had long budded in the mind of founder Michel Lu – but had lain dormant for years. It was the idyllic beauty of Shangri-La – rolling green plains, towering snow-capped mountains and soaring blue skies – and its abundance of incredible botanicals, little known or even unknown, that gave the idea space to bloom.
Michel was imbued with a clear sense of possibilities and brimming with purpose; energy that actualised The Orientalist Spirits, the first truly pan-Asian crafts spirits company that embraces the full potential of Asia and the vast array of magnificent Asian botanicals.
Each distillation under the label of The Orientalist Spirits is a uniquely Asian perspective on this centuries-old art, with a contemporary touch. Consider their blended Dragon Whisky, a smooth and darkly flavourful sip that offers subtle reminders of their sources – India, Japan and Taiwan, the three top whisky-producing regions in Asia. The Orientalist Dragon Whisky is also the world’s first all-Asian blended whisky.
The Orientalist Spirits roots their methodologies in time-tested flavours and techniques. Traditional distillation methods – where selected base ingredients are cooked, fermented and distilled through both hot and cold stills – remain the most ideal for providing body and structure. The sleek and contoured frameworks of The Orientalist Origins Vodka and Gunpowder Gin are sculpted from these classic methods.
For the elements that give The Orientalist Spirits their charm – the lyrical delicacy of the aromas and flavours, the sensuous mouthfeel in each sip, the distillery turns to modern science and technology and controls every procedure to the last detail.
The resonant flavour of the Orientalist Dragon Whisky comes from precisely applied science: wood barrel maturation is accelerated when done in a humid subtropical climate like their Taiwanese distillery; achieving the desired result requires strict mastery of the process. On the other hand, the fleeting fragrances of Orientalist Gunpowder Gin are manifested by low-temperature vacuum distillation technology used at appropriate stages.
Every ingredient in each small-batch distillation has also been selected with care for the flavour, quality and provenance, but not simply in the traditional sense of the word. As far as possible, all the ingredients used have been produced and supplied by companies that consider both the environmental and social impact of their operations and practices. Organic longan honey from Thailand, Tibetan highland barley, Siberian ginseng, Taiwanese gunpowder tea and soft Japanese spring water are just a few of the luxury elements that form the base of these spirits.
Like the Silk Road, The Orientalist Spirits meanders along some of the richest and most glorious parts of Asia; but more, it’s a celebration of Asia’s rich potential–brought to life in a bottle.
The Orientalist Spirits is the first truly pan-Asian craft spirits company. Founded in 2018 by lifestyle and F&B industry veteran Michel Lu, the company is focused on embracing the full potential of Asia and the vast array of magnificent Asian ingredients to distil the very finest craft spirits. Their range includes vodka, gin and the world’s first all-Asian blended whisky.