Gin definitely seems to be undergoing a major popularity revolution right now… I’ve spotted a few new local brands that have made an appearance on the market recently, we now also have dedicated gin bars here in Cape Town, like Mother’s Ruin and The Gin Bar in Wale Street (still need to pay this one a visit), and an alcohol industry insider recently told me that it’s the fastest growing white spirit at the moment (not sure if that’s only in SA or worldwide, but impressive nonetheless).
As a new fan of a finely crafted G&T, I was excited when I received the invite to the South African launch of The Botanist…
The Botanist is the first & only Islay Dry Gin – Islay, for those who are scratching their heads, is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is known as “The Queen of the Hebrides” and is the fifth-largest Scottish island and the seventh-largest island surrounding Great Britain.
But back to The Botanist… This small-batch, artisanal gin is made from 9 classic gin aromatics which is then infused with 22 local botanicals which have been hand-foraged (you have to say that with your best Scottish accent) right there on the island by their team. They use only natural ingredients which are distilled in a pot still which dates back to 1955 and is affectionately known by their head distiller, Jim McEwan, as “Ugly Betty”.
The South African launch took place last week at the sexy Haas in Buitenkant Street where we enjoyed a selection of beautiful gin cocktails paired with canapés designed by local foraging expert and chef, Kobus van der Merwe.
You can find The Botanist at selected retailers here in SA at a cost of around R459 per bottle. Also keep an eye out for it at selected bars and restaurants.
Oh and if you happen to have a spare G&T lying around, I can be there in 5… 😉