I pop in for a quick drink at Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar

by Karisa

For those who love a good G&T and a bit of a mingle, Mother’s Ruin over in Bree St is where you want to be.

This relatively new spot which opened back in December of last year is said to be Cape Town’s first dedicated gin bar – one which boasts an impressive selection of around 80 gins from all around the world.

Now Mother’s Ruin, for those who didn’t know, is a nickname this spirit earned back in the 1720s.  If you Google “Mother’s Ruin meaning”, Google suggests the following:

Gin joints in 18th century England allowed women to drink alongside men for the first time. It’s thought this led many of them to child neglect and prostitution. So gin became known as Mother’s ruin’.

That’s quite a hectic snippet of history right there…  It’s also said that at the time, gin was the most widely abused form of alcohol in the entire world, and the cause of oh so many painful hangovers I’m sure…

Today this popular spirit of old is back in a big way, with a wide variety of artisanal gins hitting the scene over the last few years.  Mother’s Ruin serves up their selection of gins either straight up with your choice of tonic water & garnish (if that tickles your fancy), or whipped up into a fresh cocktail covering old classics like an old school Negroni or a dirty Martini, and modern inventions like the Klein Slaaitjie with elderflower, tonic, mint & cucumber.

A shot of gin ranges from around R16 and up, but if you really want to splurge, you can try the Beefeater Crown Jewel 1993 at a cost of R500 per shot

Decor wise it’s hipster chic without being stuffy.  You’ll spot a few British touches as a nod to the spirit’s rich heritage, and then the space is split into an upstairs bar area and a downstairs lounge & outdoor courtyard.  The courtyard is super pretty with fairy lights and all.  It makes for the perfect spot to enjoy these last few summery evenings.

Now let me show you around (Apologies for the slightly blurry shots – I only had my phone on me and it doesn’t do so well with low light settings… #StupidPhone):

Click & zoom to get a better look…

If you’ve got gin hater in your group, don’t fear, because they also do a selection of red & white wine, bubbly, beer (both craft & mainstream) as well as whisky, vodka, rum, tequila, etc.  I highly recommend sticking to the gin though…

Oh and if you’re feeling a little peckish, they also do a few tapas style dishes like a Spanish charcuterie platter (R115), a build-your-own Italian charcuterie (options ranging from R55 – R115), and a South African cheese platter (R95).

To pay them a visit, do take note of the following:

  • You’ll find them at:  219 Bree Street, Cape Town City Centre
  • You can contact them on:  082 455 2223 or mothersruincapetown@gmail.com
  • And they are open:  Mon – Sat, 4pm to 1am

Even though gin isn’t my poison of choice, this spot is cool enough to warrant a few (or shall I say a few too many) return visits.  I’m really glad I finally got around to checking it out and I highly recommend that you add it to your weekend to-do list.

Aaaaaand with that… I’m going to say…  Cheers to the weekend everybody!


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