If you like gin and you like Thailand, you’re going to love Bangkok Tuk-Tuk Gin. This premium gin with a Thai twist has been lovingly crafted by SPC Gins who are based in Anglesey, North Wales. Husband and wife team, Neil and Suphunsa, are the artisans behind this Thai-inspired craft gin. Neil shares the story of how it all came to fruition.
Please tell us more about SPC Gins (how the idea came about, the people involved)
Myself and my wife, Suphunsa, wanted to create a gin that had a genuine connection to our lives, and was based on our family, travels and home. It was this simple idea that inspired us to create SPC Gins.
And what was the inspiration for your Bangkok Tuk-Tuk Gin?
Bangkok Tuk-Tuk Gin was inspired by my wife’s father, Chalerm Jarrenpap, in Thailand. He would often make us an alcoholic drink with Thai clear whiskey, lemongrass, mango and soda water. There were a few other ingredients, but it’s a secret family recipe! It was from this drink that we developed a great tasting gin, and hey presto, Bangkok Tuk-Tuk Gin was born.
How long did it take to perfect the recipe?
From conception to the first glass of Bangkok Tuk-Tuk Gin, it took about 18 months. It didn’t take much persuading to get our family and friends to sample the gin!
How is Bangkok Tuk-Tuk Gin best served?
We wanted to keep it simple just like in Thailand, so it’s best served with light tonic, plenty of ice and perhaps a wedge of lime.
You have close family connections with Thailand and have visited many times. What do you remember most from your first visit?
My first trip to Thailand back in 2004 was with work and I must say I didn’t really know what to expect. It was, however, the most wonderful travel experience I’d ever had. The people, the food, the crazy motorists, the shopping, the wonderful temples, the beautiful beaches and vibrant night-life; it all made it so memorable.
And what do you now love most about this country?
15 years on from my first trip, and with family in Thailand, I don’t really see myself as a tourist anymore. However, I still love the Thai culture, the wonderful food and the hospitality of the Thai people.
Do you have a favourite place in Thailand?
Favourite place for me still has to be Bangkok. After travelling throughout Thailand and experiencing the beautiful beaches of Ko Samui, the breath-taking forests and mountains of Chiang Mai, and the simple village life of my wife’s family in Phichit, I still love the vibrant city of Bangkok and all that it has to offer.
Please share your top five tips for a first-time visitor to Thailand
- Pack light! Unless you have plans to go to a formal dinner party, pack some shorts, t-shirts and sandals; honestly that’s all you will need.
- Mosquito repellent is recommended, but don’t worry after a week or so the mosquitoes will get tired of your blood and look for fresh tourists!
- Drink bottled water and keep well hydrated. The beer is pretty good too as well as the mango smoothies and wonderful cocktails!
- Get your currency exchanged in Thailand at one of the many exchange bureaus in Bangkok. The rate will be better than in the UK, but don’t take Scottish notes as they will often not exchange them.
- Speak to your hotel about the best places to visit and eat, but don’t just eat at the hotel restaurant. Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers are also a wealth of information and once you find your feet you will discover many exciting and wonderful places to visit. Also try the street food, it’s some of the very best in the world!
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