Kit Cheung is a charming thirty-something from Hong Kong with a seemingly perpetual smile. Despite limited resources, this man with big ideas has created his own brand of gin, Perfume Trees, which garnered the Best Contemporary Style award at the 2019 World Gin Awards.
This achievement marks a new chapter in contemporary distilling in Hong Kong. But after returning from Europe with the necessary skills and a more refined palate, Cheung faced an uphill battle with the Hong Kong government. Although Perfume Trees gin is made utilizing a 100 per cent Hong Kong process, it can’t be listed as “Made in Hong Kong” because its base spirit is from the Netherlands. While the base spirit is made in a Dutch distillery, it is still his formulation.
But Cheung announced recently that they would have their own distillery soon in Hong Kong. Gin is differentiated by the spices, herbs and the various botanicals in the mix. Cheung’s “Hong Kong spirit” is the product of years of research, incorporating five key ingredients: 50-year-old magnolia from Yuen Long, aged mandarin peel, sandalwood, Longjing tea and Dang Gui (Angelica).
Nevertheless, Cheung is optimistic and maintains his irrepressible Hong Kong spirit. He is confident that one day Perfume Trees will carry the “Made in Hong Kong” label and make Hong Kong proud.