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 is the original gin, revived!