Artisan distilleries introduce locally made gin to Cape Town

With gin bars popping up across Cape Town it’s no surprise that artisan gin distilleries have arrived hot on the heels of the craft beer movement. Here’s where to taste ‘mother’s ruin’ in the Mother City (as Cape Town is called by locals).

Worldwide, the demand for premium gin is booming and Cape Town distilleries have been quick to hop on the mixology bandwagon with a range of artisan handcrafted gins.

Although Inverroche is distilled on the southern Cape coast a three-hour drive from the city, you’ll find this fragrant gin at top-notch bars across the city. Infused with indigenous fynbos it’s a true taste of the Cape.

Closer to home, the Inception gin from The Woodstock Gin Company is also getting attention from gin lovers and mixologists.

While the focus is often on small-batch producers, one of the most interesting gins to appear on bar counters this year has come from the drinks giant KWV.

First distilled from pure grape spirits, Cruxland gin is then distilled a second time in a copper pot still allowing the bespoke blend of aromatic botanicals to infuse with the spirit.

Those botanicals include the typical gin notes of juniper berries, aniseed, cardamom, almonds and lemon, with the addition of honey bush tea and rooibos for a touch of local flavour. It also includes one very special ingredient: Kalahari truffles.

These rare truffles grow in the arid Northern Cape province, forming after the first rains have fallen. As they grow a crack appears in the dry earth, a hint as to where they can be dug out. Hence the name, Cruxland.

It’s a smooth gin best suited to sipping, not mixing, with classic juniper notes that mellow into a lingering spicy sweetness.

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