LOS ANGELES — It’s several Philippine islands bottled up and ready to make a splash into the global gin market.
Full Circle Distillery and its flagship products archipelago botanicals started a year ago in Pangasinan, by American Matthew Westfall, who has lived in the Philippines in the past 36 years.
“It’s really a passion project. We’re trying to say look the Philippines can compete on a global stage. We can do a world-class spirit that could be with the very best,” said Westfall.
Believed to be the first craft distiller in the Philippines, which is considered one of the top gin-drinking countries in the world, the Archipelago has already won several global awards.
This month, the Laguna-based Full Circle is bringing its gin to the US, as well as its unique vodka — distilled with volcanic rocks from Mayon and Taal.
“It’s very unique gin. It’s citrus forward, it’s really a taste of the Philippines because the botanicals are sourced from across the archipelago and thus the name arc and archipelago.”
Westfall believes that with the Filipino food movement continuing its momentum, now is also a good opportunity for the Philippine Liquor industry to showcase its spirit.
“There’s a whole Filipino food movement which is very very exciting and they’re having a lot of innovation with Filipino in the culinary and f and b space. And parallel to that is the craft spirit space.”
Helping them promote their gin in the U.S. is award-winning bartender Darwin Manahan of Geneva, who will serve as Archipelago’s US marketing director.