How Sri Lanka’s arrack coconut spirit went upmarket

 Source: BBC News

Sri Lanka's arrack

Sri Lanka’s arrack producers are trying to take the spirit upmarket

Distilled from the sap of the coconut flower, Sri Lankan arrack has been a local favourite for centuries. But now its makers are trying to take the spirit global, writes the BBC’s Ayeshea Perera in Colombo.

It’s served in some of London’s most fashionable restaurants, like Dishoom and Hoppers.

And the late food and travel writer Anthony Bourdain described it as tasting like “a marriage of bourbon and rum, but with a stronger, burning kick and a mysterious bouquet”.

Yet the makers of Sri Lankan arrack – best described as a dark coconut rum – believe it is still punching far below its weight when it comes to international recognition and appreciation.

For years, arrack was considered too “low class” to be taken seriously as a premium alcohol, even in Sri Lanka, whose elite in the capital Colombo preferred Scotch whisky, wine or rum.

Arrack is distilled

Arrack is distilled from the sap or toddy of the coconut flower, which is still harvested by hand

Arrack’s makers have also had to survive multiple Sri Lankan governments who have taken the view that while necessary for revenue, the local alcohol industry is a terrible influence on society, rather than a business that ought to be nurtured.

Distilleries are therefore subject to heavy taxes, and advertising spirits is prohibited by law.

Despite these impediments, attempts to raise the quality and profile of the drink at home and overseas appear to be paying off.

Premium versions of arrack have found lucrative markets both in Sri Lanka and other countries, where it is marketed as a smooth, artisan spirit that can be either drunk neat, or used in cocktails.

Amal de Silva Wijeyeratne, the managing director of the country’s oldest arrack producer Rockland Distilleries, is at the forefront of these efforts.

He passionately points to the fact that quality arracks are made from just two ingredients – coconut flower sap (known locally as toddy) and water.

And for him, it’s in his blood.

The sap ferments

The sap ferments naturally after it has been harvested

His great grand uncle, JBM Perera, is credited with completely changing the way the drink was distilled and blended, when in 1924, he accepted a British government contract to produce arrack on a commercial scale.

His innovations, including the procurement of a custom-made still from a French company, helped transform arrack from a crude liquor into a smoother and more sophisticated drink.

Mr Wijeyeratne says he is trying to continue that legacy of innovation.

Part of this was his company’s introduction of an upmarket, barrel-aged blend called Ceylon Arrack, which he says has been made to appeal to drinkers around the world.

And it is making some significant inroads in the global market.

First introduced in the UK back in 2002, which Mr Wijeyeratne calls the “toughest liquor market in the world”, he says that Rockland now sells more Ceylon Arrack to British buyers than those in its home market.

The brand is now also sold in countries like Singapore, Germany and Japan. And there are plans to launch it in India this year.

toddy tapper

Working as a “toddy tapper” collecting the coconut flower sap is not for those who are scared of heights

Singaporean bar Native uses Ceylon Arrack in one of its cocktails, and its owner and head bartender Vijay Mudaliar says it has been a bestseller ever since they introduced it.

“Arrack is a beautiful spirit. The taste profile is very fresh and clean. Aged arracks are definitely a viable choice for any dark spirit drinkers.”

There is no way of really knowing how long Sri Lankans have been drinking arrack, but it is believed to be one of the oldest spirits in the world.

According to Mr Wijeyeratne, that’s because “God has already taken care of the fermentation process”.

What he means by this is that the toddy ferments of its own accord, because it contains both natural sugars and yeasts.

producer of arrack

Rockland is Sri Lanka’s oldest commercial producer of arrack

As soon as it is collected from the trees, it’s a sweet, slightly tangy white liquid. But the fermentation process is rapid and its alcohol percentage increases in just hours to around 6%.

It is then distilled like whisky or brandy to an alcohol level of more than 60%, before water is added to bring that back down to 40%.

Global Trade

More from the BBC’s series taking an international perspective on trade:


However, collecting the coconut sap is not for the faint hearted.

In a process that has remained unchanged for generations, men known as “toddy tappers” twice a day shimmy up the unnervingly tall coconut palms – a fully grown tree can reach 60m (200ft) – to collect toddy from the unopened flowers.

Sri Lanka’s four major arrack producers – DCSL, IDL, Mendis and Rockland – employ hundreds of tappers on their vast coconut estates.

With each tapper given a group of trees to look after, they stay high above the ground for hours, using crude rope bridges to move between trunks.

Together the four firms produce about 60 million litres of arrack a year, in different grades and mixes.

Arrack on the beach

Sri Lankan arrack has become increasingly popular both in Sri Lanka and overseas

The price and quality of arrack has a lot do with the percentage of actual toddy in it.

While the premium versions are made from 100% distilled sap, cheaper blends – which are somewhat erroneously called “Extra Special Arrack” – are usually also made from molasses, a form of treacle.

Some of the most basic versions of arrack can actually contain as little as 3% toddy.

Although lower grade arrack still accounts for almost 70% of sales in Sri Lanka, the premium versions are making Sri Lankans feel that they can take pride in the drink.

“Many Sri Lankan CEOs I meet tell me that they don’t travel without a bottle of arrack as a gift for their high profile international clients,” says Mr Wijeyeratne.

He adds that changing the perception of the drink continues to be a slow but rewarding process.

“It takes years and years. You have to be willing to go for the long haul.”

“It’s still going to be a long time before arrack gets the attention and recognition it deserves.”

 

Visit EXQUISITE LIQUORS – Colombo No 7 & London Dry Gin & Ceylon Arrack page on eLanka to purchase this very special drink!

Read More →

eLanka Newsletter: April 2019 1st edition: Sri Lankans in Australia – News, Photos, Events & Articles

Please click here or on the image below to read this week’s eLanka Newsletter

eLanka

eLanka Newsletter: April 2019 1st edition
eLanka, Lankan-Australian “News-King”: Always read eLanka!
(Circulation 20,000 plus members! – The Largest Sri Lankan News Circulation in Australia!)
You can also view this email in your browser

Welcome to eLanka News – for the Sri Lankan Down Under!
(If you are based outside of Australia… enjoy the News from the Lankans Down Under!)
eLanka Articles

Yasodai Selvakumaran – Western Sydney teacher named among top 10 in the world

Yasodai Selvakumaran, a humanities teacher at Rooty Hill High School, has been named in the top 10 teachers in the world, taking her a step closer to the $US1 million Global Teacher Prize………….

“OUR ALMA MATER” – BY Des Kelly

As we quickly approach yet another Mothers’ day, here in Australia, my thoughts naturally fly to my own Mother, who, with my Dad, is resting in peace perfect peace, in the most beautiful “Botanical Necropolis” in Melbourne. ……………..
.

Author Corner: Nalini de Sielvie: Thistles in the Wind – An autobiography : Story by Marie Pietersz, Melbourne

Nalini de Sielvie is a Sri Lankan-born Melbourne author whose recent novel Thistles in the Wind has made it on the world stage. Published by Authorhouse (UK) in November 2018, it was displayed at the Tucson Book Fair, Arizona (US) Campus, in March 2019, and is also available on Amazon, online book stores and at Australian libraries……….
..

.
Expat Sri Lankan Seniors celebrate Sinhala & Tamil Harvest Festival in Sydney

Sinhalese New Year, generally known as Aluth Avurudda in Sri Lanka, is a Sri Lankan holiday that celebrates the traditional New Year of the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka. It is a major anniversary celebrated by not only the Sinhalese people but by most Sri Lankans…….
….

SHOULD DISLOYALTY BE OVERLOOKED? – By Joe Van Langenberg (Introduced by Des Kelly)

Australian prime Minister Scott Morrison, in consultation with his team of national security advisors, have finally and sagaciously decided to crack the whip on those surreptitiously making their way out of the country to war-ravaged Syria, to fight alongside the so-called Islamic State, a much-feared killing machine (led by one of the most ruthless terrorist leaders of all time Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi) , for the sole purpose of causing death to innocent people, destroying property on a monumental scale, while simultaneously waging a protracted vendetta on the democratic way of life; not to mention radicalizing and coercing non-Muslims to accept Sharia Law and brainwashing them with their twisted ideological beliefs…………

Your Best Friends are in your Gut – By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Fifty years ago, and prior, we knew that we had good bacteria in our gut. We named them “Bacterial Flora”
We were then advised to go soft on antibiotics, as they destroyed our friendly gut bacteria and changed the ecosystem
Scientists call them microbes, and a group that includes bacteria, viruses, bacteroid, and fungi in the gut- was given the name Microbiota and microbiomes.
………………………….

SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF – MARCH 2019 – By Victor Melder

The International Monetary Fund on Friday revived a $1.5 billion bailout for Sri Lanka that was suspended over a government power struggle last year that seriously slowed economic growth. The Washington-based lender said officials visiting Colombo agreed to re-activate the three-year loan, which started in 2016 and spread the instalments over an additional year.”The team reached understandings at the staff level with the Sri Lankan authorities… to allow more time for the completion of the economic reform agenda,” the IMF said. The Fund had been due to release an instalment in October when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked his Prime Minister and called fresh elections, triggering a two month power struggle in the island nation. …..

Video talk on high blood pressure – BY Dr Harold Gunatillake

Let us discuss today, the importance of checking your blood pressure regularly.When you are 40 and over, it is advised that you check your BP annually.Owning your own BP apparatus would be an impetus for such recordings, regularly When you are a kid, your heart works beautifully with absolute, no strain. This is attributed to the fact that all your arteries -major, minor and minute tributaries to the fingers and toes are expandable, elastic and mobile, and not stiff, causing no resistance to the pumping action of your heart.

Martin Wijesinghe – Unofficial ‘caretaker’ of Sinharaja – By Nadira Gunatilleke (Introduction by Des Kelly)

Martin Wijesinghe is one of the significant personalities in Sri Lanka. He has expertise in indigenous medicine, biology, zoology, cultural heritage, history, science and English……..

TO ALL WORTHY MEMBERS OF eLANKA

Click here or on the image above to donate
Now we have made it even easier for you to contribute!. for Bank transfers…..
see eLanka Bank details below:
Direct Internet Transfer
A/C Name = eLanka
A/C No: = 003222426
BSB = 112 879

As all of you are aware, eLanka is Our Special Website, for all Lankan/Aussies, in Australia, plus many thousands of Lankan Patriots everywhere else, in the World.

This Website is also a trophy-winner, with regard to it’s “Content, & Presentation”, we boast more than 20.000 Members at the moment, and for those who wish to join us in Membership, it is as simple as “googling eLanka” and speaking with our eLanka team of S.L.S.eLanka, or Sri Lankan Ship eLanka, as I like to call her.

Membership is free. We take pride in our Weekly Newsletter, it’s “Presentation” is in a Class of it’s own, Advertising of genuine charity-causes are “gratis”, flyers for same are readily accepted and given plenty of publicity, our “Writers” of articles, “Photographers” of various functions, etc., “Sports Analysts”, “Medical-Agenda”, in fact, everything on-line, featured on eLanka, (and this includes “Shop eLanka”), as well, is done purposely, with Members in mind, however, S.L.S.eLanka cannot run on “love & fresh air”, as the saying goes. It does cost money for this Ship to sail smoothly, and this is why it would be greatly appreciated if our present Members & Members-to-be, make a Donation in order to enhance an already superb Website and keep it “alive” globally.

“eLanka, is Sri Lanka’s TOP “on-line” Station
Yet, to keep it this way, we need a Donation”.

Desmond Kelly.
(Editor-in-Chief).

Click here or on the image below to donate

Now we have made it even easier for you to contribute!. for Bank transfers…..
see eLanka Bank details below:
Direct Internet Transfer
A/C Name = eLanka
A/C No: = 003222426
BSB = 112 879

eLanka Events – MELBOURNE
Dhamma Reflection by Most Ven. Ududumbara Kashyapa Nayaka Thero (Melbourne)

7th April 2019

Book Launch – A DIFFERENT KIND OF MADNESS – BY PAULINE SCHOKMAN

2nd May 2019

Sinhala & Tamil New Year Festival

7th April 2019

Sinhala & Tmail new Year Celebrations & Multicultural Day

14th April 2019

39 th Annual dinner Dance 2019 St Benedict’s Collage OBU Vic INC

4th May 2019

Burgher Association Australia presents Buriyani Lunch

7th April 2019

Burgher Association Australia presents – Yummy Rotti & Pittu Lunch

23rd June 2019

Sandra Jackson Tribute Night

29th June 2019

The Peterite annual Dinner Dance “A Night in Paris”

27th April 2019

The Ex Royal Ceylon Air Force Club Inc.Melbourne Presents – Eagles Night

22nf June 2019

The Voluntary Outreach Club presents “Fill a Bowl” (Melbourne event)

31st August 2019

The Voluntary Outreach Club together with The Grand on Cathies presents – Happy Mother’s Day – Sunday 12th May 2019 (Melbourne event)

12th May 2019

eLanka Events – SYDNEY
The Bellbirds Club Inc Presents Glitz & Glamour – 1st June 2019 (Sydney event)

1st June 2019

Black & Gold of NSW-DS.Senanayake College OBA – Sydney Chapter, Presents 2019 Black & Gold Masquerade Ball

25th May 2019

Sing-Along with Ranil Mallawarachchi

11th May 2019

Royal College OBA NSW/ACT & Trinity College Old Boys-NSW presents – 75th Bradby Shield Match Live and Party (Sydney event) – 11th May 2019

11th May 2019

Old Josephians Association of New South Wales Peerless Pearl – 30th Anniversary Ball

16th November 2019
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK – SYDNEY – CDF Patient Transport Annual Ball 2019

24th August 2019

Special Mother’s Day Lunch – Blue Elephant Caterers (Sydney event) – Sunday 12th May 2019

12th May 2019

Friendship Cup – 2019, the cricket carnival of teams of old boys of major cricket playing schools in Sri Lanka

25th April 2019

Wesley College(Colombo) OBA(NSW) Inc Presents Double Blue Spring Ball

28th September 2019

STC OBA NSW-ACT presents BLACK – Dance party (Sydney event)

15th June 2019

The Pereras Marriage (Sydney event) – 28th April 2019

28th April 2019

Paada Yatra Walk to temples 19th April

19th April 2019

Click below for more events

eLanka Events – Brisbane

“Have a Chat’ – (Brisbane event) – 19th May 2019

19th May 2019

2019 SILVER FAWN CLUB FAMILY CAMP AT LAKE PERSEVERANCE – 854 Perseverance Dam Rd, Crows Nest QLD
JOIN IN THE FUN THIS YEAR FOR EASTER IN APRIL 2019………….

………

Option 2: 18 – 22 April or
Option 1: 19 – 22 April 2019

Click below for more events

eLanka Sponsor – Best & Less Travel

eLanka Advertisers

North Rocks Dental

Best & Less Travel – Cheapest Airfares Guaranteed

No matter where you want to go, Best & Less Travel promises to help you find the cheapest flight possible to suit your circumstances. Its reputation has been established as the trusted agent for travellers who want the best deals on international flights with the world’s leading airlines.

EXQUISITE LIQUORS – Colombo No 7 & London Dry Gin & Ceylon Arrack

Orbit Remit – International online money transfer

The Burgher Association of Australia Centre is available for private hire

Burgher Association (Australia)
358 Haughton Road, Clayton VIC 3168
The Burgher Association of Australia Centre is available for private hire (Dances, Birthday parties,
Anniversaries etc). The BAA Centre is located within a short walk from Clayton railway station. The hall
is licensed to hold 150 people. Tables and chairs for this number of attendees are provided. There is
usually plenty of parking across the road and a few spaces on the property. Disabled access via ramps
is available to both the front and rear doors and a disabled parking space is available. There is also a
‘horseshoe’ driveway permitting the dropping off of attendees under cover.

Westminster College – Study in Sydney, Australia

Blue Ocean Group of Companies

TOP GUN DISCO – DJ’S JOHAN AND RON (Melbourne)

Johan and I provide the best music for any function on the night, with the best variety of music required by the clients.
We cater for all Club Functions, Birthdays, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and Christmas functions and any function that client may require , we are versatile. Additionally we have the best quality powered EV Speakers , mid range and Top , additionally we have special effects lightning and a smoke machine, which provides excellent settings and atmosphere for the occasion.We have many very satisfied customers on our records and can provide references if needed. Should you require more information please feel free to contact by email or my Mobile 0419807486 Ron
Warm regards, Ron

Regional Workforce Management (RWM) are Hiring Now – Labourers, Packers, Knifehands

Personal Leadership & Lifeskills Program for Youth

Ceylon Exchange – Send Money to Sri Lanka
Your one stop shop for all your foreign exchange & money transfer needs

MowTown Grass – Grass Cutting & Garden Maintenance Specialists
(Melbourne)

Properties For Sale

The Castle Residence – Superlative Properties – Colombo, Sri Lanka

123 perch land with a 3 story house in Kelaniya – Sri Lanka

123 perch land with a 3-story house
Spaces 5-bedroom house with a 123.5 perch land located in Kelaniya
100-year-old clean title to the land
3 phase electricity / water and telephone connection.
Land ideal for residential or commercial purposes
Travel
– Access to Kandy road, Colombo Katunayake Highway and Negambo road in less than 5 mins
– Less than 30 minutes to the Katunayaka airport
– 20 minutes to Colombo Fort
– Less than 20 minutes to Colombo 7
– Road access to heavy vehicles thought Kandy and Negambo road
– 5 minute walk to the railway station
Contact
Name: Sanjeewa Edirisinghe
Number : +61 430 591 272
Email: andi.s.edirisinghe@gmail.com

Catalina – Exclusive “Second Home, Back Home” residential country club

Nuwera Eliya, Sri Lanka – Prime Land & House, 174 Perches, Fenced and Gated

Nuwera Eliya
Prime Land, 174 Perches, Fenced and Gated.
There is a house, security room, tube well, walking distance to Town. Beautiful view of Nuwera Eliya town. Clear deed, U.D.A. approved Property Plan, Clear Title Report, Fertile soil for cultivation too, 10×10 water tank on top of land. Ideal for holiday home or circuit bungalow.
Please contact by email or phone.
Email: mahintha2014@gmail.com
Phone: 61 409 909095 or US 323-327-8903

Willows Real Estate – Bella Vista, Sydney, NSW

4 adjacent sub-divided plots with serviced water and electricity – Located on Tewatte Road in Ragama

1 plot, 14.6 perches (369.27 square metres). @ 6 lakhs per perch (LKR 8, 760, 000) (AUD 74,871), with small house.
3 plots, 12 .4 perches (313.633 square metres). @ 6 lakhs per perch (LKR 7,440,000 each) (AUD 63,589 each). House with 5 bedrooms
Call Paul on 0419 034 855 (or +61 419 034 855 from overseas) to discuss in more depth.

Blue Ocean Group of Companies

IVY Residencies – Mt’Lavinia, Sri Lanka –
Home away from home in paradise

Benefit Property Group

House for Sale in Ja Ela

Fully furnished 3 bed bungalow – Rs 7,200,000

7 Perch land extent.
3 Bedrooms
Fully fitted pantry/kitchen equipped with 4 burner gas cooker/oven, Fridge-Freezer,
Microwave, Kettle and Utensils
Shower Cubical with Hot Water
Metal Grills on all windows, fanlights, front and back doors, for added security
In built concrete pillars for easy upstairs conversion
Brick construction
Off street parking for two cars
Well maintained throughout
24 Hr Security
Access to Swimming Pool
Clear title deeds
10 mins to Colombo-Katunayake Highway
Sold with all furniture and appliances.
Will consider unfurnished sales.
Contact: Jude

Email: njude1@gmail.com

Tel: +44 7990 530442

GREAT INVESTMENT
in a Teak Plantation at Vanathavilluwa on Puttlam
District Sri Lanka

A beautiful Teak Plantation located in Vanathavilluwa on Puttlam District for sale. Its located just 158 Km away from Colombo

TRILLIUM APARTMENT IN COLOMBO 8 FOR SALE

A large fully furnished & tenanted 3 bedroom apartment in the 4th floor of the park wing facing the swimming pool & the children’s park for sale.

– Area: 1,800 Sq Ft (largest size/corner)

– 3 Bedrooms/ 2 Bathrooms

– Separate Maid’s quarters

– Fully Furnished

– Walking distance to British School in Colombo

– Able to sell with or without tenants

Sale Price: Rs. 55 Million (or equivalent in AUD)

Contact – +94 77 1061451/ +94 77 1061328

Email: sale.trillium@gmail.com

Contact eLanka : email: info@eLanka.com.au or call +614 02905275
if you like your property to be advertised on eLanka

DONATE to ELANKA

Do you like the content we provide?
If so, help us to continue to provide you with fresh new content to serve you even better!
with a small donation

Now we have made it even easier for you to contribute!. for Bank transfers…..
see eLanka Bank details below:
Direct Internet Transfer
A/C Name = eLanka
A/C No: = 003222426
BSB = 112 879
Click on the image below to donate

———————————-R-

LOVE & FRESH AIR – By Des Kelly

A favourite “quote” of mine, necessarily stated many times, as we go through life, for the simple reason that, one cannot expect the niceties of everything around, gratis.

READ MORE
Now we have made it even easier for you to contribute!. for Bank transfers…..
see eLanka Bank details below:
Direct Internet Transfer
A/C Name = eLanka
A/C No: = 003222426
BSB = 112 879

 

How Great Thou art – by Desmond Kelly
Digital Download
Only $2.50

Only in Sri Lanka – By Gloria Meltzer
Sale Price $20

My latest book, titled ‘ONLY IN SRI LANKA’, was published by Jojo Publishing in September this year. This story is based on my introduction to Sri Lankan life, its culture & customs, as experienced by my Singhalese daughter-in-law, my Australian son, and my three Aussie/Sri Lankan grandsons. It’s the story of village life, the time of the civil war and the tsunami. It’s the story of coming to terms with losing my family to another culture and another country.

Especially for You
by Desmond Kelly
3 CD pack
$35 includes free shipping

“Especially for you” my friends & fans everywhere, proudly presented by eLanka & “your’s truly”, a series of CDs featuring songs I have hand-picked from the hundreds I have sung, composed & recorded over all these years. Each “single” CD contains at least 20 songs. Additional ones are just a bonus.

Become part of Australia’s largest Online Sri Lankan community

You can also call Neil on 0402 905 275 (Australia) or +61 402905275 (from overseas)
or email: Neil@eLanka.com.au
for your advertising enquiries.

eLanka Newsletter: April 2019 1st edition: Sri Lankans in Australia – News, Photos, Events & Articles

Please click here or on the image below to read this week’s eLanka Newsletter

eLanka

 

Read More →

EXQUISITE LIQUORS – Colombo No 7 & London Dry Gin & Ceylon Arrack

Distributed in Australia By:

Exquisite Liquors Pty Ltd.

Tel: +612 8076 5858

Email: sales@exquisiteliquors.com.au

Colombo No: 7 London Dry Gin

Colombo Gin

ColomboNo7_London_Dry_Gin

ColomboNo7_London_Dry_Gin

 

Colombo No: 7 London Dry Gin

SEVEN INGREDIENTS
COMBINING THE UNIQUE TO CREATE THE DISTINCT
Colombo Gin consists of just seven simple spices and botanicals – each with a unique role. Together, they create a complex aroma and distinctive taste.

Primary Ingredients: juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica and liquorice root. Secondary Ingredients: Sri Lankan cinnamon bark, curry leaves. Tertiary Ingredients: ginger root.

Colombo Gin is a definitive London Dry Gin with an unusual list of ingredients. The juniper is distinctive in taste and aroma; surrounded by a beautiful medley of subtle spice notes that, together, create an unexpected harmony. Our gin is handcrafted in small batches from
copper pot stills to create a distinctively exceptional, distilled London Dry Gin.

 

colombo7_gin

THE ELEPHANT AND THE LION

THE INTRIGUE OF ANCIENT GAJA-SINGHA

Gaja-singha is an ancient mythical beast with the head of an elephant and the body of a lion; symbolising the significant wisdom of the elephant and the courage of a lion with unmatched strength.

The elephant symbolising the wisdom to pioneer the first gin to be manufactured in the Indian Subcontinent when the island Ceylon and her capital city of Colombo was still under her majesty’s government. The lion to symbolise the courage to use ingredients that were not the norm; daring to remain distinctly different to any other gin, whilst still being a definitive London Dry Gin.

Colombo Gin is British Asia, symbolised through our trademark lion elephant.

THE ORIGINAL, REVIVED
A GENTLEMAN, A GARDEN, OUR RECIPE

In the days of old Ceylon, British Excise Officers did not believe that a good London Gin could be produced outside of the United Kingdom. Despite this, a young Asian distiller pursued the idea of creating a gin in Ceylon’s public gardens. His efforts paid off; new regulations were drafted to allow the manufacture of gin in Colombo; Ceylon Made Foreign Liquor (similarly the ruling was also applied to India and a new regulation called India Made Foreign Liquor was created around the same time). These regulations remain today to allow the manufacture of gin and other non-native spirits.

Given the lack of foreign spices during the war, our distiller’s gin recipe at the time included native ingredients that were easily sourced at Colombo’s Cinnamon Gardens. The only imported spices in the recipe were juniper and angelica root. Once war was over and trade routes reopened, the original mix of ingredients were abandoned in favour of the traditional London dry gin recipe. Today, Colombo Gin has returned to its original wartime recipe, created through a combination of historical events and one man’s passion for a beautiful spice garden. Colombo Gin is the original, revived.

SERVING AN ORIGINAL
SIMPLE MEASURES TO TAKE

A Colombo Gin and tonic is a complex, bracing world of sweet, sour and bitter. We believe that it is best served in a large burgundy glass with a twist of lemon rind and black or pink peppercorns, but simply mixed with a good quality tonic, some ice and a slice of lemon also makes for a rewarding drink.

Naturally, Colombo Gin complements Asian Cooking, making it a fine tipple to accompany food with spice, especially curry.

CEYLON ARRACK

Ceylon_Arrack

Distilled from the sap of the coconut flower and aged in Halmilla Wood. Ceylon Arrack is one of Sri lanka’s finest Arracks. A rare handcrafted Arrack.

To this day every batch of Arrack receives the personal attention of the Rockland Family Master Blender.

Awarded a medal of Commendation by the international Wine & Spirits Association.

Tasting Notes: A medium-light bodied Arrack, with complex but gentle floral and light citrus notes with a hint of coconut and honey. 

How to Drink – Excellent poured over ice and topped up with ginger-bear, ginger-ale or cola with chilled coconut water. It is also a wonderful base for classical cocktails and punch or on its own as an digestive. 

Read More →