We chat to Dimple Yuen about her personal and professional milestones, her hopes for the future and more…
Our next That Girl is Dimple Yuen, Co-Founder and Head Distiller of Two Moons Distillery, the first microdistillery crafting gin in Hong Kong. Dimple’s passion for nature, mixing flavours and trying new things pairs perfectly with her love of gin. It was this winning combination that lead her to distill her own bottle 2 years ago. We chat to Dimple about her personal and professional milestones, her hopes for the next few years and the inspiration behind her mission. She shares what a typical week looks like, what she gets up to in her downtime (dancing, fishing, steering yachts and more!), and offers simple tips for people out there working on their dreams.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you lived in Hong Kong?
Hi, I’m Dimple, Co-Founder and Head Distiller of Two Moons Distillery. I was born and raised in Hong Kong – I’ve pretty much lived in this city my entire life (with the exception of a few years abroad in high school). It’s home.
You’re the co-founder of Two Moons Distillery, can you tell us a little more about the company? What inspired you to start it?
Two Moons is the first microdistillery crafting gin in Hong Kong with a mission to establish a strong gin-loving culture in the city.
My love for gin was what inspired me to become a distiller and establish Two Moons. A lot of people don’t know this, but as one of the broader categories of spirits, there are very few restrictions to what you can put in gin (the only key ingredient is juniper berries), so the sky is the limit when it comes to flavour possibilities. That’s precisely why I fell in love with the spirit.
As a distillery in Hong Kong, we really want to showcase a traditionally Western spirit through the eyes of a Hongkonger and share our story. We also want to create a community where people can gather and learn more about the incredible craft gin culture – which is why our distillery is open for tours. We’re excited to show people what Two Moons is about. Ultimately, we just want to share our passion and inspire people to love gin as much as we do!
There’s so much that comes with starting your own business. Can you share your most meaningful milestone?
The most meaningful milestone for me was the moment I distilled my very first drop of gin. Although I was only using some novice equipment and I had no idea what I was doing, it was exhilarating to come up with a recipe and actually make my own bottle. This milestone became even more significant when I brought that bottle of gin back to Hong Kong and gave it to friends to try in a blind tasting session (against some large international players!). To my surprise, my bottle was always ranked within the top 3. That really gave me the confidence I needed to go after my dreams.
What makes Hong Kong feel like home for you? Being born and raised here, what do you think makes someone a Hongkonger?
Hong Kong is home because my entire life is here. From my family, to my friends and now my baby (the distillery!). It is home to everything I own and love. I still find myself learning something new about this place and the people all the time.
As such a multi-faceted city, there are so many ways for Hongkongers to feel a sense of belonging and it’s not really correlated to the amount of time spent here. Whether you’ve been here for half a year or half a century, if you’re able to feel a strong connection with Hong Kong, be it through the culture, the food or the people… who’s to say you’re not one?
What about your biggest milestone outside of work?
I’m an ocean girl at heart so I’m always finding ways to connect with the sea. I’m incredibly proud to be a PADI certified rescue diver and I also have a Pleasure Vessel Operator License, which basically means I can operate any engine-operated yacht up to 15 meters in length and go wherever I want to – by sea!
What does a typical week look like for you?
My week usually starts with some planning and catch up meetings with the team. Some days are reserved for distilling, where it’s a chance for me to tune out from the outside world and focus on the process. On other days, I get to meet all sorts of people and it’s always nice when they start giving us ideas for future flavours, going into a creative brainstorm together.
What do you do in your downtime?
When I’m not at work, I love to connect with nature to refresh my body and soul. I’m usually relaxing on a boat or fishing. When it’s a stay-at-home kind of day, I love to cook a good meal and enjoy a fun board game session with friends.
What are three things you do to maintain work-life balance in your day-to-day?
- I’ve recently started to workout at home just to keep my mind refreshed. I get bored easily, so dance workouts are a great way to spice things up. Plus, jamming to some good music is a really effective method to destress!
- One of my favourite ways to end the day is either a good read or a true crime podcast.
- I also switch on my aroma lamp for a little wind-down aromatherapy before bed (I love the scent of lavender).
What are 5 personal goals you have for this year?
- Improve my fishing skills
- Create a new gin flavour
- Check a destination off my travel bucket list (depending how travel looks later this year)
- Learn the ukulele
- Make our gin available in a new country!
What are your favourite drinks to mix at home or order when you’re out? What are your favourite bars?
My favourite cocktail changes based on my mood and the time of day. For a hot summer afternoon, I love something refreshing (sometimes I ask the bartender to create something off-menu). On a chill evening, I love a good Negroni! I don’t think I can list my favourite bars as there are just too many to choose from, but Doubleshot is a new gem in Central that I’m loving at the moment.
We love what Two Moons Distillery stands for. Do you have any ideas for growing the brand?
In the long run we hope to establish ourselves as a leading distillery not only in Hong Kong but in Asia (or even worldwide!). We’ve already started taking our first steps to being internationally recognised; we are the very first gin from Hong Kong to enter and win Silver in the World Gin Awards. It was super exciting for the team!
How do you envision Two Moons Distillery growing in the next 1, 5, 10 years?
I envision it to have established its place as a leading distillery in Hong Kong. I plan for it to be widely available around the world. We also hope to work with an array of bars or brands to grow the local craft gin culture and inspire more people to become a part of the distilling community!
If you had one piece of advice to give to people out there working on their dreams, what would it be?
Become your best advocate and own your story.
All photos are taken by Claudia Lee and are property of Sassy Media Group.