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March 25, 2022

Santa Ana – A gin for the Roaring 2020s

The new release pays homage to the legendary Philippine cabaret club

Santa Ana, a new gin inspired by the inimitable dancehall days of 1920s Manila and its crown jewel, the legendary Santa Ana Cabaret, is unveiled this month. Set amidst the splendour of the Philippine Art Deco Movement, Santa Ana Cabaret was a musical playground for Manileños of the time and its new, namesake gin evokes the glamour and decadence of this unforgettable era.

Distilled in the Charente region of France to extract four native Philippine botanicals: Ylang Ylang, Alpinia, Calamansi and Dalandan, Santa Ana’s combination of delicate floral top notes and a fresh tropical citrus palate complements the seven traditional botanicals (including Juniper, Bitter Orange, Angelica and Orris Roots, Fennel) used in the gin, to create a richly exotic taste profile. The Philippines, as one of the worlds’ biodiversity hot spots, has a range of flora and fauna quite unique in the world, including Santa Ana’s signature botanical Ylang-Ylang, also used as the main ingredient in luxury perfumes such as the iconic Chanel No. 5.

A rich, illustrious part of Philippine history includes the emergence of Manila as a hub of entertainment from the early 1910s to the 1940s. As worlds collided in early 1900s Manila, the post-Spanish colonisation era ushered in American administration and influence, sparking investment all over the city. A prominent part of this influence was illustrative in the growth of Manila as a great Art Deco city, with a notable contribution from the famed American architect Daniel Burnham, who designed many of Chicago’s most iconic Art Deco landmarks. His master plans for the overall development of Manila laid the groundwork for Manila as one of the great Art Deco cities.

Set alongside the Art Deco architectural style, the legendary Santa Ana Cabaret was opened by US soldier John Canson and his local backers, to become the “largest cabaret in the world with the best dance music in the Orient” and attracted well-heeled Manileños and American visitors alike. A playground to the rich and famous, Santa Ana’s guests danced to the music of Vic Hernandez and the Swing-sational, with a range of styles, from the Charleston to the tango and waltzes, blues and jazz., this period in the Philippines was an age of optimism and opulence.

Evoking the nostalgia of a smoky tropical champagne room, big band swing and the glamour and decadence of days gone by, the beautifully crafted Santa Ana Gin, presented in an exquisite Art Deco-inspired bespoke bottle, is a love letter to 1920s Manila and brings the optimism and opulence of this iconic era firmly into the 2020s.

Written by Kaya Cheshire for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International

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