Singapore-based, two-year-old Compendium Spirits has undergone a brand overhaul.
It has unified its lineup of products under the main Compendium brand, while also unveiling a new label design that eschews the former rugged moonshine aesthetic for a more modern look and feel. The new labels are now more informative, colour-coded (rums get red labels, for instance), and visually striking.
Simon Zhao, the founder of Compendium, has been extremely busy since first appearing on the scene. From launching Rachelle the Rabbit Meadery back in 2015, to opening distilling arm Compendium in 2019 with its flagship products Rojak Gin and Chendol Gin, they have certainly come a long way.
They now carry a total of 15 base products (as of 11 Dec), ranging in categories from gins to rums, liqueurs to meads, among many others. Rachelle the Rabbit Meadery’s products, all honey meads, now fall under the Compendium umbrella, being subsumed into the main brand that is now more accurately referred to as a flavour company.
Akin to setups like Denmark’s Empirical Spirits, Compendium doesn’t only distill, but creates its own base spirits too. No Neutral Grain Spirits (NGS) are used in the making of all their products, except the sojus, and even in those, some percentage of spirit is of their own make.
With this rebranding exercise, they wish to make it better known that unlike most distilleries around the world, they shun the use of NGS. Many spirit producers simply buy NGS commercially, then redistill it with their own recipe of botanicals before releasing it as their own product.
Compendium currently produces three of its own spirits using three different fermentable sugars from Southeast Asia – honey from Thailand, molasses from Malaysia, and gula melaka from Indonesia – much in line with their region-forward identity.
The added step of crafting your own base spirit by first fermenting a type of raw sugar means having greater control of the flavours, since most NGS are flavourless and can be made from anything from grains to potatoes.
So since Compendium brews as well as distills, and releases both brewed and distilled products, we find that the rebranding into a flavour company makes sense.
To celebrate the relaunch, Compendium is collaborating with Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall to do a public showcase. The Asia-forward cocktail bar on Haji Lane is throwing a two-day event from 20-21 Dec, where you’re encouraged to try cocktails made using Compendium’s spirits, as well as sample flights of spirits at special rates.
Have a drink and get to rub shoulders with the master distilling team while you’re there.