Originally released in 1997, as a lighter alternative to regular Tanqueray, then promptly discontinued four years later, Malacca was one of the first offerings to venture away from the rigid traditions of London Dry-style gins well before the renaissance of both forgotten classic-styles (like Old Tom) and the radical experimentation that we’re enjoying today. In fact, Cocktail historian, David Wondrich, at the time suggested Malacca as an alternative to Old Tom gin in the classic cocktails that call for it, since it was almost impossible to find Old Tom on the market in those days.
The good news is, Malacaa is available again and we’ve got it.
Based on a 1839 recipe from Charles Tanqueray, this one of the earliest New World takes on classic London Dry. It’s softer and less junper-y that regular Tanqueray, with obvious hints of grapefruit.
Malacca is a good starter gin if London Dry’s a bit much for you and you want to ease your way in.
Or, if you’re a fan of regular Tanqueray and want to venture out in the direction of the New World styles, this would be a natural transition.
Mark, our bar manager, remembers the original release fondly,
“When there were so few new, interesting choices in the gin world, this was a bit of a revelation.”
And, quickly adds…
“I’d put it in a Martinez in a second.”