Raising the Bar: Gin Festival Saigon 2023 – A Spirited Fusion of Flavors and Craftsmanship

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Photo Courtesy of Gin Festival Saigon 2023
(L) Tracie May-Wagner (R) Vanessa Nhu. Photo Courtesy of Gin Festival Saigon 2023

The Gin Festival Saigon 2023, a highly anticipated event, made its grand return to the elegant ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel Saigon, drawing a diverse crowd of both local and international gin aficionados. This festival, first launched in 2018, has become an annual highlight, continuing to embrace its original ethos of unlimited gin enjoyment combined with exclusive masterclasses led by prominent figures from Vietnam’s vibrant mixology and F&B industry. Organized by The Spirit’s Chamber, this year’s edition was a resounding success, eclipsing previous years in scale and variety.

Photo Courtesy of Gin Festival Saigon 2023

The festival showcased an array of both renowned Vietnamese and global gin brands, each presenting their distinctive identity through creatively tailored and engaging booths, reminiscent of a dynamic trade show. Attendees were thrilled to discover popular names like The Botanist Gin, Lady Triệu, Stranger & Sons, Saigon Pillars, and Four Pillars, alongside the intriguing newcomer, Cheers Distillery. Founded by Russian artisans, Cheers Distillery introduced a novel perspective to the craft gin scene, captivating the connoisseurs in attendance. And for those in need of a short respite from the seemingly endless flow of cocktails, Edelweiss beer girls were on hand, serving trays of the popular premium wheat brew.

Photo Courtesy of Gin Festival Saigon 2023

In a bid to provide an unparalleled drinking experience, the festival partnered with RCR Crystal, a prestigious Italian crystal glassware manufacturer. Their exquisite glassware ensured that every sip taken by the guests was in line with the festival’s commitment to excellence.

The competitive spirit of the festival was palpable as awards for Best People’s Choice, Best Bartender, and Best in Gin were up for grabs. 86 Proof Whiskey, a popular bar in Thao Dien, clinched the title for Best Cocktail of the day, while Lady Triệu, backed by Alchemy Wines & Spirits Vietnam, was honored with the prestigious Best in Gin award for 2023.

Photo Courtesy of Gin Festival Saigon 2023

Adding a vibrant touch to the event, Vietnam’s top drag queen, Tien Ngoc Nguyen, also known as Sweet Valentien, hosted the festival. Her charismatic presence, combined with the energetic beats from top Saigon DJs, transformed the event into a spirited dance party, lasting until the closing moments. The Gin Festival Saigon 2023 reaffirmed its status as the ultimate gin celebration of the year, rivaling only the much-loved annual Whiskey Festival.

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