This week we would like to share with you an unusual item that we will stock at the villa for the delight of all guests – Azenja!
Alcohol is not something we had prioritised on our sourcing list, however we decided very early on that we would have wine, beer and a selection of spirits available. Having attended some fairly ‘militant’ retreats, and experienced enforced restriction of caffeine, alcohol, meat and other, sometimes seemingly arbitrary rules, whilst we respect others’ principles, we personally wish to offer choice to retreat leaders and guests.
Over the years, we have sampled ‘Azenja‘ in development at the Sanctuary. During our visit in February we had a fabulous evening with our friend and creator of the drink, attempting to discern the (top secret!) subtle flavours combined in the final exquisite formula. With 20 years of experience as a doctor of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Herbs, Dr. James Spears has masterfully crafted a spirit that combines and balances 21 different herbs, spices and fruits, drawing inspiration from ancient dynasties of the Orient.
We love this drink, not only because of its deliciousness, but also the journey of development, which so closely mirrors that of Gratitude Vietnam. With a concept born in Thailand (at the Sanctuary), developed in China, and now produced with La MartiniQuaise in Vietnam, it also has a beautiful underlying philosophy of elemental balance. We may not yet be up and running, but are thrilled to have been the first company to buy a ‘stock’ of bottles, albeit a small one.
We would also like to extend our congratulations to Jim for gaining a ‘Double Gold Medal’ at the China Wine and Spirits Awards in 2018, and wish him success in the launch and development of additional Azenja products! If you see this bottle on your travels, it’s a MUST TRY (we prefer room temperature over-ice!) – and if it so happens that you need to join us at Gratitude Vietnam to do so, then you are of course, very welcome!
With gratitude, love, and spirit!
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create” Jana Kingsford