Pinoy Pride: Delightful int'l award-winning gin features calamansi, sampaguita, ilang-ilang, and other unique Philippine botanicals.

Apr 29 , 2021

Jad Encarnacion

Pinoy Pride: Delightful int'l award-winning gin features calamansi, sampaguita, ilang-ilang, and other unique Philippine botanicals.

Filipinos drink 22 million cases of gin per year, probably making us the world's largest gin consumers.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of gin consumed in the Philippines is mass-produced, it was only a matter of time before artisan distilleries realized our love for the spirit.
Full Circle Craft Distillers Co. is the Philippines' first authentic craft distillery.
It was co-founded by husband and wife team Matthew and Laurie Westfall with the aim of placing the country on the global spirits map.
Matthew and Laurie Westfall. Photo courtesy of Full Circle Craft Distillers Co

The flagship product of Full Circle's three spirits is the ARC Botanical Gin. “ARC stands out from other gins because of its unique blend of Philippine botanicals, such as pomelo, dalandan, calamansi, dayap (the Benguet variety), and mango,” Matthew explains.
The owner says, "ARC Gin is the taste of the Philippines." He continues, "By that I mean we had tastings with experienced gin enthusiasts." For example, at Gin Foundry in London, we went through a series of tastings for our product with German Master distillers, and they say it (ARC Gin) tastes completely unique.”
Two gold medals at the prestigious World Gin Awards in London, two gold medals at the SIP Awards in California, and two silver medals at the World Spirits Awards in Austria, where the Philippines was the first Philippine entrant in the event's history.
Full Circle was named "Philippine Distillery of the Year" at the Hong Kong International Spirits Competition in 2018, as well as receiving other prestigious awards in Asia.
Full Circle's spirits were officially released on 2019, and guests were treated to a number of award-winning Full Circle spirits, including:
  • ARC Botanical Gin - The citrus-forward is made with 28 botanicals, 22 of which are locally sourced and foraged, including sampaguita, kamia, ilang-ilang, kalamansi, Benguet pine, and Sagada oranges, among other exotic ingredients. Thanks to a rich historical tale with Master Distiller Matthew Westfall, this beloved spirit has a 100-year family history. (Php 2,800/750ml)

  • Lava Rock Vodka - The ethanol used in  is sourced from France's Champagne region. It has a light, crisp taste that is surprising bright and delicious for a vodka. The caramel brings a hint of sweetness and heat to the dish. To add a touch of minerality, this vodka was distilled for 8 hours and filtered twice over lava rocks (hence the name) foraged from the Taal and Mayon volcanoes. It's currently the most common item in Duty Free! (Php 1800/750ml)
  • ARC Barrel Reserve Gin - Seguin Moreau of Napa Valley aged your ARC Botanical Gin for three to five months in fresh American oak barrels. Seguin, a French firm known as the best barrel cooper in the world! The spirit has a gentle sweetness from toasted marshmallows, caramel, hazelnut, vanilla, and butterscoth, while the barrels give it an oak-amber hue. It's a sipping gin that works well in cocktails but is also delicious on its own. (Php 3,400 for 750ml)
In Cebu City, ARC Spirits are available at: