Produced in Rohnert Park, California, Sonbi is the “Western spirits” brand from Brandon Hill’s Tokki Soju. Initially launched in 2021 in Chungju, South Korea, Sonbi crafts premium, typically Western spirits with a Korean twist.
Named for the virtuous scholars of the Goryeo and Joseon Dynasty who passed up positions of wealth and power to lead lives of integrity in the pursuit of knowledge, Sonbi’s labels are designed to mimic Korean currency in a playful nod to the belief that knowledge and integrity are themselves true wealth.
Featuring 10 botanicals, Sonbi’s flagship Korean dry gin is a London Dry-style gin crafted to showcase its Korean-grown botanicals—most notably Schisandra berries, or five-flavor fruit, a berry known for its five different flavor components: spicy, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami.
Each botanical is treated differently during the production process beginning with the juniper which undergoes an overnight maceration in 100% corn spirit. The remaining botanicals—some fresh and some dried—are added directly into the still during distillation except for the lemon peel, which is vapor distilled. Distilled through a copper continuous column still, the gin is rested for a minimum of 2 months and proofed with reverse osmosis water before bottling.
For more information on the Tokki Soju brand, see the Tokki Soju producer page.