Over twenty years ago, travel entered my veins. My first trip on a plane in 1999 took me to New Zealand for millennium celebrations. I was hooked on travel immediately. A few years later I was packing in a well paid job, handing in my company car and selling my first property to travel the world.
My time backpacking allowed me to see and experience so many new things but when I tried to settle back into normal life back at home, it just wasn’t going to happen easily.
I couldn’t backpack for the rest of my life and so once again I set about a massive life change and started work as a holiday rep overseas. For the many years that followed, I travelled from country to country, experiencing life as a local and opening my eyes to new cultures and living life to the full.
That was until a few years back, when finally the time came to settle back in the UK. Since then we have enjoyed a great number of holidays and trips each year. We always try and continue seeing new things, while also reliving some previous days.
Last year saw us returning to Thailand. It’s somewhere I travelled to on my first round the world backpacking trip, but also where we spent a week a couple of years ago for a friends wedding on the island of Koh Phi Phi.
Last year saw us flying into Phuket and staying at a beautiful hotel in Nai Thon. This sandy, tree lined beach wasn’t just a great location for a relaxing stay, it is also located incredibly close to Phuket airport, which meant getting further afield became much easier.
I couldn’t resist but book a couple of nights in Bangkok and revisiting some of the sites I had as a backpacker 20 years previous.
Staying at a hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya, we explored the city as part of a push bike tour, before catching a Tuk Tuk to visit Khao San Road.
Khao San Road is usually the first stop of any backpacker in Bangkok, with cheap accommodation, bars and restaurants all on the relatively short street.
Revisiting the street 20 years on, not too much had changed, except the large number of street vendors selling a great deal of rubbish to tourists, but nonetheless, it still had the same vibe that drew you into a world of travel, the type that opens your eyes and broadens your mind.
That brings me now and to one of the newest gins by Tarsier.
The Manchester based gin is produced by a group of backpacking friends, who started the company after travelling the world. I fell in love with their original South East Asian spirit, which I first tasted a couple of years ago and reviewed here last year, just as they were launching their stunning new bottle design.
Their Khao San Gin kicks off their ‘Backpacker Series’. Using the inspiration of this short street where the aromas of kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass and Thai red chilli fill the air, they have used these elements to produce a gin that they hope transports you to this backpacking Mecca for yourself.
The bottle is as stunning as their first and follows the same design, with attention to detail evident in the wooden stopper.
On opening the aroma is distinctively juniper but after this hit dissipates you are struck by an elegant helping of subtle citrus. On the palette the keffir lime and lemongrass dance on the tastebuds, helped along with a pleasant hit of chilli, which gives a satisfying tingle on the lips.
This is a gin that whilst remaining a true gin at its core, takes you on a journey and just like travel itself opens your eyes to something new and different.
The finish on the gin is surprisingly long and fruity, minutes after sipping the gin neat, I can still taste aromatics of Thai cuisine and for a moment I am back in Bangkok.
The gin is ideally served with a light tonic and garnished with lime, plus if you want a bigger hit of heat, garnish with chilli too.
Tarsier Khao San Gin is just one of their range of drinks, all of which are available via their website.
Name: Tarsier Khao San Gin
Price: £37.99 (700ml)
Proof: 41.2% ABV
Buy from – Tarsier Website