The best bartenders in Kuala Lumpur will once again be competing to see who makes the best Gin & Tonic cocktail in the city, when Asia's largest gin festival, the East Imperial Gin Jubilee, returns to Malaysia for the third year running.
KL will be the first city in the region to kick off the festival in Asia this year, with a slew of gin-related events ranging from bar takeovers to gin masterclasses scheduled to be held across the city from August 22, and ending with the ever-popular Gin Lane party on August 25 at Plaza Batai, which drew more than 1,500 consumers last year.
This year, bartenders from 19 bars will be vying for the title of the Best Gin & Tonic in Kuala Lumpur, which was won last year, Kazi Tanbir from HYDE.
The participating bars include Gin Jubilee regulars like PS150, JungleBird and Coley to new entries like Bar Trigona at the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur and Three x Co.
These bars will be making their drinks with East Imperial, known as the ‘champagne of tonic waters’, and one from a list of 10 gins that includes Hendrick's Gin, Monkey 47, St. George Spirits, Fords Gin, Four Pillars Gin, G’Vine, The West Winds Gins, Citadelle, The Botanist and the Kyrö Distillery Company. The winner will be selected by an expert panel of judges as well as social media voting.
The winner will earn a trip to the Singapore finale from Nov 30 to Dec 8, to compete for the title of Asia's Best Gin & Tonic.
"The level of G&Ts will be more competitive this year, because as the industry grows, bartenders are slowly stepping out of their comfort zone and getting a little more creative, so drinkers will have more adventurous flavours to look forward to this year,” says Shawn Samuel, CEO of Wholly Spirits, the local organiser of Gin Jubilee.
Consumers will be able to try all the participating G&Ts at the Gin Lane party at Plaza Batai, which promises a garden soiree atmosphere and a new retail pop-up store on site, stocked with partner gin brands and East Imperial mixers for attendees to bring home.
The new eco-friendly angle to this year’s Gin Jubilee means that this year’s cocktails will be served with biodegradable cups and straws at Gin Lane.