The South African craft gin industry is growing steadily, with women taking a leading role in this exciting industry.
On the other end, it’s wonderful to see that more consumers are requesting local craft gin and tonic when they’re out and about. The gin lovers out there are spreading the word and it’s working! Here’s to sharing in the truly wonderful world of craft gin!
It’s true that South Africa’s gin distilleries are producing award-winning spirits distilled with unusual botanicals. For Women’s Month we’re acknowledging just a few of the sensational, creative and determined women behind craft gin.
Lorna Scott – Inverroche Distillery
“Gin is the only spirit you can enjoy all year round, and which suits any occasion. It is one of the only spirits that allows storytelling through its unique ingredients,” says Lorna Scott, founder of Inverroche Distillery and doyenne of the South African craft gin industry.
“SA craft gin inspires so much creativity, especially on the use of indigenous botanicals.”
Di Davis – MONKS Gin
“Gin’s willingness to be shaped and infused with a plethora of botanicals makes her an exciting playmate,” says MONKS GIN’s Di Davis.
“SA craft is about celebrating truly bespoke, hands-on and wholesome products that are made with integrity.”
Glyn French – Flowstone Gin
“Innovation fueled by our legendary energy,” says Glyn.
“We’re down at the bottom end of Africa and still the world sits up and takes notice.”
We featured the Flowstone Wild Cucumber Gin in the March 2018 Gin Box.
Jacqueline Grobler – Westcliff Gin and Ginifer
“Distilling gives me poetic licence to let my creativity loose,” she says.
“Those 2am dreams are made into products that clients truly appreciate and I’m very proud of.”
“SA craft means innovative and incredibly creative use of native botanicals combined with traditional distilling techniques. South Africa has a vast array of plant materials, from the fynbos of the Cape to the bark of trees in Limpopo, used for many years in indigenous medicine and now in gin.”
Lucy Beard – Hope on Hopkins
“Our stills deserve a mention this Women’s Month,” says Lucy, who is one half of Hope on Hopkins. “Each one is named after my and Leigh’s grandmothers and mothers: Mildred, Mouma, Maude and Mad Mary. These stills are the ones behind it all after all.”
“It’s wonderful to see South Africa immersed in a juniper cloud and people playing with unusual and interesting botanicals.”
“To me, SA craft is all about things passionately handmade on a small-scale basis, where you know the people making (or rather, handcrafting) the products.”
“No two gins are alike and the excitement of coming up with new recipes and tinkering with different botanicals is what really fuels my passion for gin.”
Nodumo Jongile – Mayine Gin
Nodumo Jongile is one half of Mayine Premium Gin, South Africa’s first black-owned gin and the recipient – and inspiration! – of our first-ever SA Gin Business Bursary.
“The craft gin industry is an emerging market with a lot of potential, the possibilities are endless,” say Nodumo.
“SA craft means diversity, creativity and variety.”
Colleen Smith and Lesley Clarke – GinSmith
Newcomers Colleen Smith and Lesley Clarke of Tygerkloof Distillery in the Groot Winterhoek mountains bring a spectacular addition to the SA Craft Gin fold: Ginsmith.
“We see gin as a platform for the expression of the creative and pioneering spirit of South African women.”
“It showcases extraordinary and diverse botanicals that create gins that are truly unique to SA.”
Shanna-Rae Wilby – Time Anchor Distillery
Shanna-Rae Wilby, the creative force behind Time Anchor Distillery, which not so long ago produced the limited addition Mirari Pink Shimmer Gin. Find the Mirari Pink Gin (without the shimmer) here.
“I love the creativity that is coming from the Distillers in RSA,” says Shanna-Rae.
“SA craft means been an authentic producer and maker.”
Chantal Bruwer – Phantom Gin
Chantal is one half of Phantom Gin, based in Knysna.
“The unique look of each new bottle and the excitement for the flavours within is what fuels my passion for gin,” says Chantal.
“Craft gin is about experiencing products with creative brand stories and proudly local ingredients.”
Hanneli van der Merwe of Barker & Quin
The wonderful world of gin would be incomplete without high quality tonic water to accompany it, all the better if it too is a craft product – made in small batches by hand. This is where Barker & Quin comes in, founded and driven by the dynamic Hanneli van der Merwe.
“I’m a creator and creative, so I get energised by the positive feedback from consumers. I mean, who doesn’t want to give someone something that they love? Makes my day every time!”
Teresa James – Blossom & Hops
Teresa James is one half of Trouvaille Spirits, the distillers behind Blossom & Hops Gin.
“The combination of science and creativity to create something special, something different really fuels my passion for craft gin.”
South African craft gins are adventurous and they bring some truly unique botanicals to our palates. It’s also an industry that is fueled by the most passionate, authentic people.”
Simone Musgrave – Musgrave Gin
Simone Musgrave is the powerhouse and founder of Musgrave Gin.
“There is a sense of quality in premium craft. Musgrave Gin is a beautiful bespoke product, rich with stories and heritage.”
“Craft is about people – in the industry, our customers, consumers and partners. Without them this journey would not be possible. I am so grateful for the support we have received.”