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5 things to do at Malaysia’s first gin and rum festival this weekend

5 things to do at Malaysia’s first gin and rum festival this weekend

Gin and rum are currently two of the fastest growing spirit categories in the world, so it’s only right that there should be some sort of festival to celebrate these two spirits together.

Tomorrow (July 7), the first gin and rum festival in Malaysia, GinRum.Me, will be held at the KL Journal hotel, Kuala Lumpur, from 12-8pm, with almost 20 labels of gin and rum available for tasting, as well as workshops on rum and gin, and cocktails by some of Malaysia’s best bartenders.

1) Taste lots and lot of gin and rum!

What do you do at a gin and rum festival? You taste gin and rum, of course! Each ticket comes with a unique GinRum.Me tasting glass that allows you to go around and taste all the gins and rums on display. These include Angostura, Mekhong, Phraya, Plantation, Ron Zacapa, Gin Agricolo, Caorunn, Citadelle, Nikka Gin, and The Botanist, supported by the official tonic of the event, Fentimans. These bottles will also be available for purchase at a special price during the event.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous or curious, head over to the special tasting room, where a small but unique selection of gins and rums available for tasting by the dram, priced between RM20 to RM40 by the coupon.

Joshua Ivanovic of JungleBird bar.

Joshua Ivanovic of JungleBird bar.

2) Learn more about gin and rum

Learn about the rum making process and the differences in flavours resulting from ageing from award-winning bartender Joshua Ivanovic, one of the owners of JungleBird bar at Bukit Damansara. There will also be a Gin Agricolo masterclass with Dr Alexander Biasutti, export manager of Gin Agricolo and Fava Bibite, who will explore the brand’s three unique gin expressions: Gin Evra, Gin Gadan and Gin Blagheur, and how to make gin and tonics with simple but right ingredients for each expression. The seats for both sessions are limited though, so register early!

The Jungle Bird cocktail.

3) Drink rum and gin cocktails

Rum and gin are fine on their own, but in the hands of a skilled bartender, they can produce some amazing drinks. GinRum.Me will feature guest shifts by some of Kuala Lumpur’s finest bartenders, including Karl Too of Omakase + Appreciate, Steven Wan of The Deceased, Osmund Bernard of Kenshin, Calzeno Adrian of W Hotel Kuala Lumpur, YK Wong of KLOO, Joel John Timis of Sofitel KL Damansara, and Kelvin Lee, among others.

There will also be a pop-up bar by acclaimed Singaporean bar The Secret Mermaid. Want to take a break from the spirits? Monin will be whipping up mocktails, and there will also be craft beer available from Australian brewery Beerfarm.

All cocktails will be priced at RM25 throughout the day.

4) Discover Malaysia’s vey own classic cocktail, the Jungle Bird

Speaking of cocktails, did you know that Malaysia has its very own internationally renowned cocktail, called the Jungle Bird? The cocktail will be given the spotlight at the GinRum.Me main bar. Come discover the drink that was made by Malaysia for the world!

Later, you can use your GinRum.Me Passport to redeem signature versions of the cocktail at the GinRum.Me partner bars after the event.

tak nak straw5) Learn to make your own paper straws

GinRum.Me will be a plastic straw-free event – so bring your own, or drink without! Otherwise, come learn how to make your own straws with Tak Nak Straw. In this short 30 minute workshop you will learn about the problems plastic straws create and how to make and take home your own papaya stem and waxed paper straws. It’s simple, easy and fun!

Founded by Carolyn Lau, Tak Nak Straw is an initiative to cut plastic out of our lives. Lau initiated this campaign and has been an advocate for abandoning plastic straws, even working with orang asli to research how to turn making bamboo straws into a sustainable business. Visit the Tak Nak Straw booth at GinRum.Me to learn why saying no to plastic straws is crucial for our environment and our own health.


Tickets to GinRum.Me are priced at RM85 per person. For group purchases of five or more tickets, it will be RM75/person. Each ticket comes with a GinRum.Me tasting glass, and a passport, which gives you a further discount on special cocktails in the 15 GinRum.Me partner bars from July 7-14. For more information, visit the GinRum.Me website.

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