Craft gin has been on the upswing for a while, but even this drinks writer was surprised to find there’s a whopping 13 local brands in South Africa, and at least two more in the pipeline. Take a look and give them some support #localislekker.
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1. Hope on Hopkins
Lucy Beard and Leigh Lisk make their own base spirit (a single malt vodka) at Cape Town’s first official gin distillery using local malted barley. They infuse it with botanicals to produce their London Dry, Salt River and Mediterranean gins. (R350)
2. Musgrave Gin
Simone Musgrave’s premium gin is made from 11 botanicals, with top notes of aromatic cardamom, African ginger and grains of paradise. The beautifully packaged Musgrave Pink Gin is infused with rose water. Both are distilled at Hope on Hopkins. (R380–R400)
3. Woodstock Gin Company
Simon Von Witt produces fynbos-infused gins using water from Albion Spring in Newlands. The Inception Wine Base has hints of jasmine and coriander, while the High Tea has added rooibos and honeybush undertones. The Inception Beer Base has a lovely Ovaltine aroma. (R230–R250)
4. New Harbour
Nic Janeke and Andri du Plessis run a carbon-neutral distillery, recycling all by products. Their Spekboom Gin and Rooibos-infused Gin (with it’s distinct red amber colouring) are infused with eight botanicals each. (R350–R380)
The London-dry style Bloedlemoen Gin is the brainchild of Pierre Strydom, who has it distilled at New Harbour Distillery. It contains juniper, coriander, angelica root, liquorice root, cassia, nutmeg, grains of paradise, blood orange and sweet orange peel. (R350)
Wilderer Gin is produced with fynbos botanicals, roots and spices – including wild dagga, honeybush, buchu and devil’s claw – and spring water from the Franschhoek Mountains. Helmut Wilderer’s distillery is in Paarl. (R295)
Lorna Scott’s Inverroche, made in Stillbaai, comes in Classic, Verdant and Amber. The main feature of each is indigenous and fynbos flora, hand harvested from dunes and mountains in the Cape. (R300)
Roger Jorgenson uses South African grown Juniper and West African grains of paradise in his gin. It’s made using traditional, small batch distillation techniques at his distillery in Wellington. (R300)
9. Triple Three
Made at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate by distiller Rolf Zeitvogel, Triple Three comes in 100% Juniper Berry Gin, Citrus Infusion and African Botanicals. He favours a copper column-pot still. (R300 each)
10. Cape Town Gin and Spirits Co
The classic round bottles of this gin come in two flavours: Cape Town Classic Dry and Cape Town Rooibos Red. The first has a strong juniper flavour, while the second has the South African twist of added organic rooibos. (R299 each)
11. Distillery 031
Andrew Rall is behind Durban’s first craft distillery, which produces various craft spirits. The only gin currently in his stable is the Durban Dry Gin, but he’ll be releasing a barrel aged gin (the first in SA!) as well as an American style gin later in 2016. (R350)
12. Red Stone
Red Stone is distilled at Clarens Brewery. Natalie and Stephan Meyer harvest local apples to make apple schnapps, which they then infuse with juniper and other botanicals to produce this fruity gin. (R295)
13. Time Anchor
Long time friends Warrick and Shanna-Rae make two gins in the Maboneng Precinct: a classic London Dry Gin with a citrus focus and their Livingstone Gin, which showcases African botanicals. (R320 and R330)
John and Kim Austen are working on their Dam Fine Gin at R'new Pecan Farm and Wellness Centre on the Vaal Dam. They’re currently experimenting with botanicals grown in their Chartres labyrinth, and aim to have bottles out mid 2017.
15. Black Horse
Word has it that Marius Bezuidenhout has some gin up his sleeve, which he’s making at the Black Horse brewery in the Magaliesburg. Watch this space.
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Catch Leah on Twitter at @leahvandeventer or Instagram on @theveneervandal.
- Leah van Deventer