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Saturday, September 3, 2022

11 glorious gin experiences in and around Cape Town for all budgets

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The craft gin revolution has now exploded with over 50 distilleries in South Africa and new locations are opening virtually month-to-month the place you’ll be able to style gins or simply sit again and luxuriate in a gin cocktail.

The earliest confirmed recording of the business manufacturing of gin was in Holland within the seventeenth century, the place it was produced as a medication to deal with a lot of maladies. To make it extra palatable, they started to infuse the alcohol with juniper, which had some medicinal properties of its personal. Cheers to the Dutch I say!

Listed here are 11 gin-tastic spots that I discovered in and round Cape City that come extremely beneficial.

1. Hope on Hopkins Distillery, Salt River

Contact: Tel 0214471950, hopeonhopkins.co.za
Photo by Rachel Robinson

Once I arrived at Hope on Hopkins on a Saturday afternoon to strive their handcrafted gins, somebody requested if they may have a pre-drink whereas ready for the remainder of their occasion to reach, to which the reply was, ‘You are able to do no matter you need to’. This just about sums up the relaxed and enjoyable environment at this distillery, which was the primary distillery in Cape City (additionally why they’re first on this checklist).

Sit at both of their lengthy tables, on the bar or cosy up within the nook on the sofa and luxuriate in a tasting of both three or 4 gins, which arrive in tiny medicine-style bottles, served with tonic. There’s a helpful booklet with a tasting information and knowledge on every of their gins, however the waitrons are solely too comfortable to reply any questions. While you’re there you’ll be able to count on a sniffing over from Mr Scruff, their resident rescue canine. If you’re actually fortunate you might get to fulfill their distillery cats, Martini and Mimo too. Earlier than you permit, be sure you take dwelling one among their Gin Popsicles (R30), made with Hope gin (at 7% alcohol they’re not advisable for youngsters).

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Gin tastings are presently closed for walk-ins, however appointments might be made be made by way of e mail right here. In addition they host a Gin Expertise on the primary Wednesday night of each month the place you’ll be able to take pleasure in a guided expertise with the distillers and style 4 handcrafted gins accompanied by small bites at R250 per particular person.

2. Deep South Distillery, Kommetjie

Contact: Tel 0217830129, deepsouthdistillery.co.za

Photo by Rachel Robinson

A gin-tasting at this small distillery in an industrial park in Kommetjie is one-third information, one-third alcohol and one-third enjoyable! Open since mid-December 2017, Steve Erlank and James Copeland are hoping to make the world a greater place one drink at a time. Steve will fortunately take you on a distillery tour the place you’ll meet Tiny, Whiny and Shiny, watch bottles being hand-labelled, together with studying in regards to the distillation course of. That is adopted by a tasting of their two gins, being the Cape Dry Gin (London dry type gin infused with Cape botanicals, together with mountain fynbos and Honeybush) and the ‘unashamedly floral’ Ruby Gin, which was initially developed as a Christmas gin. You’re given whole permission to play along with your gins, so count on so as to add orange peel, thyme, strawberries and rosemary (to call just a few) to your glass.

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Gin tastings can be found each Saturday from 11:00 to fifteen:30 till the tip of March 2018 and price R120 per particular person. They’re additionally comfortable to host non-public tastings for teams of 8-16 folks in the course of the week and evenings, together with being out there for personal occasions – additionally they have a pop-up gin bar!

3. Cape City Gin Firm, Metropolis Bowl

Contact: capetowngincompany.com
Photo by Rachel Robinson
The Cape City Gin Firm has been making gins since 2016 and you’ll take pleasure in a tasting of their three gins (two of that are award-winning) at their tasting room in Heritage Sq.. Pleasant and easy-going Richard Purce will take you thru their handcrafted, small-batch gins whereas telling you about their distillation course of and the botanicals used, together with some attention-grabbing historical past in regards to the origins of gin.

Their Cape City Basic Dry Gin pays homage to the primary gins made in Holland and England when Juniper berries have been the predominant flavour, whereas the hibiscus flowers and rose petals-infused Cape City Pink Girl Gin (my favorite) is known as after the Mount Nelson Lodge and their Cape City Rooibos Crimson Gin is infused with natural, handpicked rooibos.

Whereas this gin-tasting isn’t as elaborate as some, it’s a enjoyable and relaxed expertise the place you’re assured to be taught one thing new about gin. Plus, at R60 for a tasting, it’s the most inexpensive gin-tasting expertise within the metropolis. Tastings are performed by way of a web-based appointment which might be booked right here.

4. Pienaar & Son Distillery, Metropolis Bowl

Contact: Tel 0214614993, pienaarandson.co.za
Photo by Rachel Robinson
Steampunk followers will marvel on the hand-built stills at this father and son owned distillery. Schalk Pienaar (father) has over 40 years of distilling expertise expertise (he designed the whisky nonetheless at Bains Whisky) and his creation is a surprise to behold! His son, Andre, is the grasp distiller and if you go on a distillery tour and tasting, you’ll discover out simply how a lot effort and time he put into formulating their gins and vodka. The testomony to that is all of the bottles of concoctions (together with Moonshine) behind the bar!

The quick tour explains their distilling course of and is adopted by a tasting of their vodka and two gins. Their gins are made out of South African maize, with the Empire Gin being a dry English-style gin with recent hints of citrus and earthy, pine notes of Juniper and Angelica, whereas the Orient Gin pays homage to the Jap spice commerce that influenced Cape City (suppose Malay tradition and the Bo-Kaap). The bottles, imported from Italy, are a bit of artwork in themselves.
Photo by Rachel Robinson

They’re planning a bottle refill service within the close to future, whereas in 2022 you’ll be able to look ahead a Bourbon-style whisky! Tastings are R60, Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.

5. The Gin Bar, Metropolis Bowl

Contact: Tel 0712412277, theginbar.co.za
Photo from The Gin Bar

Housed in a constructing that was as soon as a morgue, there was all the time a way of intrigue about The Gin Bar when phrase first obtained out about its existence. It was affectionately often known as The Secret Gin Bar, hidden behind a chocolate store in Wale Avenue! It’s very well-known now (the key is out), but it surely’s nonetheless a unusual little spot to take pleasure in a gin or three. In addition they do gin tastings within the Upstairs Bar (minimal six folks) the place you’ll be taught to establish a myriad of botanical flavours and experiment with completely different mixers and garnishes.

The Gin Bar is open from Tuesdays to Thursdays from 17:00 and on Fridays and Saturdays from 15:00. The small courtyard is on a primary come first served foundation, or you can also make a reserving for the Upstairs Bar if there are six or extra of you.

6. The Drinkery, Metropolis Bowl

Contact: Tel 0711915034, Web site right here
Photo by Rachel Robinson

Once you stroll into The Drinkery, upstairs in Heritage Sq., you’re feeling as when you have arrived at a bohemian dwelling, with comfortable vintage couches full of brilliant cushions, softly lit lamps and attention-grabbing artwork items, whereas feathered angels flutter above the door main out to the balcony overlooking the colourful sq. beneath. You’ll additionally discover quite a lot of vintage clocks, as proprietor, Shaileen Davis, has a small obsession with clocks after seeing The Persistence of Reminiscence by Salvador Dali. What’s extra, the whole lot you see is on the market together with the sofa you’re sitting on!

You possibly can take pleasure in a free gin-tasting if there’s one occurring, but it surely’s apparently Shaileen’s martini’s which are actually magical! I by no means had a martini, however I did take pleasure in my glass of Whitley Neill gin served with a slice of grapefruit, a splash of basil leaves and a splash of pink peppercorns that got here from a palace exterior Jadpur.
Photo by Rachel Robinson

There’s a big selection of fine spirits, from gin to tequila, together with beers and ales and wines and bubbly from the world. You possibly can select to have your drinks by the glass, or just purchase the bottle – it really works out the identical when you purchase by the glass or bottle. Pet homeowners will even be happy to know that this can be a pet-friendly institution (by association), however your canine should be well-behaved and good to Mia, the resident cucumber-loving and Spanish talking Schnauzer, who was adopted Costa Rica. She’ll steal your coronary heart lengthy earlier than you’ll be able to say ‘Me gustaria un gin tonic, por favor’!

The Drinkery is open Mondays to Fridays from 16:00 to late and on Saturdays from 14:00.

7. 12 Apostles Lodge and Spa, Camps Bay

Contact: Tel 0214379029, 12apostleshotel.com
Photo by Rachel Robinson

For those who fancy beginning off your weekend in type then the Gin-Making Expertise in The Conservatory on the swish 12 Apostles Lodge & Spa is unquestionably the place to be on a Friday night! Not solely do you get to style top-class gins whereas scoffing scrumptious canapés, you additionally get to be taught in regards to the completely different types of gin and the gin-making course of, together with taking dwelling a small bottle of your personally handcrafted gin. Pairings are each savoury and candy and there are additionally bowls of olives, coated peanuts and savoury corn kernels to nibble on whilst you make your approach by way of a tasting of three gins, together with Woodstock Inception and Inverroche Amber gins, earlier than making your personal mix of botanicals to take dwelling.
Photo by Rachel Robinson

8. Botany, Newlands

Contact: 0218243367, https://coppercollection.co.za/
Photo by Rachel Robinson

Subsequent door to Patina within the Newlands Quarter in Dean Avenue, you’ll discover a little bit bubbly and gin bar, serving the classiest gin cocktails on the town. Open since December 2017, this new addition to the Patina household is ideal for date nights (loads of cosy nooks and crannies and dim lighting), an evening out with the women (their pink gin cocktail is a favorite), or pop in earlier than or after your steak dinner at Patina.

They’ve loads of native and worldwide gins to select from, together with a variety of gin cocktails, together with Strawberry and Pink Peppercorn, Spicy Tomato Gin, Mint and Pink Grapefruit and Thyme and Lime. I actually loved their Coriander, Ginger and Cinnamon cocktail together with a number of tapas (a few of that are gin-infused). I can extremely suggest their gin and fennel mussels and the melt-in-your-mouth grilled calamari tubes with aioli lime dressing! Nevertheless, I’m instructed that the de-shelled prawns with champagne butter are a agency favorite on the menu.

Botany is open on Tuesdays to Sundays from 13:00 till late and the venue can also be out there for personal capabilities (no venue cost, however there’s a minimal spend required).

9. Basic Cats at Vredenheim Property, Stellenbosch

Contact: Tel 0617831156, classic-cats.co.za
Photo by Rachel Robinson

For those who like basic automobiles as a lot as gin, then pop into Vredenheim Property for a craft gin-tasting on the Basic Cats Gin Tasting Bar whereas admiring their superbly restored automobiles, together with classic memorabilia. The automobiles, together with Jaguars (from 1957 to 1965), a 1955 Triumph TR2, a 1963 Austin Mini, a 1958 VW Beetle and a Fiat, have been there for 10 years, whereas their gin bar has solely been serving handmade gins for 3 months. It’s a cocktail of previous and new and you’re more likely to discover one thing new each week, together with their featured gin altering on a weekly foundation. There are 52 homegrown gins to select from in your tasting and also you’ll have enjoyable including numerous botanicals to your glasses as you go alongside.
Photo by Rachel Robinson

10. Sansibar Gin Bar at Asara Wine Property, Stellenbosch

Contact: Tel 0218888000, asara.co.za
Photo by Rachel Robinson

Whether or not you’re sitting on the terrace overlooking a dam, vineyards and the mountain vary past, or getting comfortable on an opulent sofa within the lounge whereas big followers whir above your head, a go to to Sansibar Gin Bar at Asara Wine Property is a magnificently opulent expertise by itself. However gin-lovers are in for an actual deal with because the Sansibar Gin Lounge boasts one of many largest choices of gin on this planet, with 350 native and worldwide gins (from Columbia to Sweden) presently out there.

In case your thoughts is boggling earlier than you’ve even seen all of the bottles, then I recommend you go for a tasting of their signature gin, being Southern Cross Gin which hails from Cape Agulhas. Infused with an extended checklist of botanicals, together with wild rosemary and angelica root, this relatively particular gin is created utilizing triple distilled Pinotage Grape spirit and seawater from every of the 2 oceans. What’s extra, the bottle is totally environmentally-friendly and when you take the empty bottle again to Sansibar you’ll get some a reimbursement in the direction of your subsequent bottle. Joseph Kasongo, their splendidly charming Bar Supervisor, will take you thru a tasting, which can discover you infusing your gin with granadillas, mint and extra.

Photo by Rachel Robinson

In addition they have an intensive vary of whisky’s, cognacs, native beers and non-alcoholic cocktails. Open each day of the week from 11:00 to 23:00.

11. The Royal Lodge, Riebeek Kasteel

Contact: Tel 0224481378, royalinriebeek.com
Photo by Rachel Robinson

No matter you do in Riebeek Kasteel, do not miss swigging again a gin and tonic on the magnificent stoep of this landmark lodge. I haven’t been there for just a few years, however they’re nonetheless served in gigantic brandy glasses with slices of cucumber and pomegranate seeds, along with a beaming smile. They’ve roughly 50 gins to select from and you’ll have your first repair from 11:00. The most important G&T’s within the Western Cape, from R18… for actual.


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