Launched in 2019, N.I.P. Gin is one of the first spirits distilled in Hong Kong. According to founders Jeremy Li and Nic Law, N.I.P. stands for “Not Important Persons”, the opposite of V.I.P. (Very Important Persons). The gin was so named because despite the founders’ humble backgrounds, with no experience in the F&B industry, they successfully created their own Hong Kong spirit. This is exactly the Hong Kong “can do“ attitude – that even a “nobody” can make his dreams come true as long as he believes, persists and is passionate.

RELATED: N.I.P. Gin is one of only two gins made in Hong Kong

Foodie and N.I.P. Gin, Hong Kong

Using a total of 21 botanicals, N.I.P. Rare Dry Gin is a classic-style gin combining the typical botanicals of juniper, orris root and coriander seed with familiar local flavours including aged tangerine peel, shoumei and longjing tea leaves, goji berry, ginger and osmanthus. The citrusy, fragrant nose is supported by a smooth texture and lingering tea flavour.

Foodie and N.I.P. Gin, Hong Kong

Catnip Tea Gin reflects the founders’ love of tea, gin and cats. Catnip is a plant that makes cats excited. The label shows a relaxed or hyper (depending on how you look at it) cat holding a bottle of gin, which I think is clever and playful. The first of this series featured Phoenix Honey Orchard, a rare tea grown on Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong with floral, citrus and yellow fruits aromas. The other botanicals – juniper berries, grapefruit peel and ginger – add a zingy sensation of spice.

The star of the second series is Da Hong Pao, a premium oolong tea from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian. Its herbal and earthy aromas intermingle pleasantly with citrus and bittersweet flavours. For tea and gin lovers, Catnip Tea Gin will make you purr like a cat!

Foodie and N.I.P. Gin, Hong Kong

捌億 means 800 million (800M) in Chinese and is a limited-edition Chinese New Year gin using eight botanicals, with the recipe changing every year. It was inspired by local film Fat Choi Spirit, which Jeremy and Nic grew up with – they watched it every year during the Lunar Festival. The movie’s deeper meaning – that one will succeed as long as he stays true to his beliefs and passions – resonates with the founders.

The Year of the Rabbit 800M is aromatic, with a subtle sweetness featuring eight botanicals including premium Chinese tea tieguanyin, osmanthus, aged tangerine peel, juniper berry, mandarin peel, almond, black date and ginger. What’s more, renowned illustrator Jonathan Jay Lee has created three special mahjong labels using a set of red, green and white dragons. Each bottle comes in a gift box that includes a N.I.P. Chinese bowl for enjoying the gin in a local, festive way.

The Rabbit 800M is priced at HK$688 per set or HK$1,888 for all three sets. With so many “8s” in the gin’s name – THE lucky number for Chinese – Jeremy and Nic hope that Hong Kong will overcome the challenges of the past few pandemic years and that the rabbit will bring us all a prosperous, lucky and healthy 2023.

Jeremy and Nic are certainly not N.I.P.! I like their creativity, especially the tongue-in-cheek brand and product names that connect with consumers. In Chinese, there’s a saying that it’s okay to be born into a bad life as long as you have a good name. N.I.P. Gin is very good quality, and I’m sure its name will help to push it to a new level.

N.I.P. Gin is available online and at selected liquor outlets.

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A marketer turned winemaker, I make, promote, judge, write about and drink wine.

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