Guest Explorer: Higgo Jacobs

A law graduate from Stellenbosch, Higgo was lured into the wine industry after his studies, and what was meant to be a sabbatical ended up as a way of life.

Certified with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Higgo consults to various establishments; judges on wine competitions and publications locally and abroad, and tries his hand occasionally at writing.

In the drinks business, as in any other commodity business I suppose, the difference between a trend and a fad is merely duration. Trends have long-term effects on the market.

Gin is not a fad in South Africa. It doesn’t look to be knocked off its fashionable high ground by another category as predicted by some. It is still very much trending worldwide, and here in South Africa we are only scratching the surface in our playful discovery of the effects of our wonderfully diverse range of botanicals on the spirit.

Even the tonics are getting interesting. The G&T lover has so much to play with when stirring that afternoon cocktail. With summer around the corner, here are some of my favorite craft gins available on the local market.

South African Gins
Photo credit @hopeonhopkins from Instagram

Hope on Hopkins Mediterranean Gin

Made from a triple distilled grape spirit this gin is inspired by flavours from the Mediterranean. It is infused with olives, rosemary, basil, thyme and cardamom with overriding citrus notes and hints of juniper.

South African Gin
Photo credit @salud_salute from Instagram

Triple Three Citrus Infusion Gin

Experience fresh and crisp citrus aromas with a smooth, silky finish. This zesty gin was enriched with hand-picked, farm grown citrus fruit. Each distilling carefully crafted to ensure a balanced gin with an abundance of citrus notes for your ultimate drinking pleasure.

South African Gin
Photo credit @ginieinabottleza from Instagram

Ginologist Floral Gin

An aromatic bouquet accentuated by rose geranium and orange blossom so soft and playful that it comes with a license to thrill. The floral medley gives the Floral gin a perceived sweetness, making it ideal for those who prefer to serve gin with lite tonics or soda water.

South African Gin
Photo credit @newharbourdistillery from Instagram

New Harbour Spekboom Gin

Spekboom Gin is produced using only the grain neutral spirit, rectified using a particular copper catalyzation process. The main botanical is the leaf of the Spekboom tree or in Xhosa, called iGwanitsha.

South African Gin
Photo credit from Instagram

Jorgensen’s Original Gin

Jorgensen’s Gin is a journey through extraordinary African aromatic botanicals. South African grown Juniper and peppery Grains of Paradise from Wild WestAfrica.

South African Gin
Photo credit @inverroche from Instagram

Inverroche Gin Amber

Red bush, Rooibos tea flavours emerge to taste with hints of sweet toffee apples that give way to delicate florals. The spice returns towards the end in a layered and intriguing flavour journey.

South African Gin
Photo credit @woodstockginco from Instagram

Woodstock Gin Inception Beer Base

A more robust, punchy gin. It has a slight caramel, ovaltine flavour on the nose from the initial beer distillation. This transcends into the traditional juniper berry flavour and picks up the lemon, lime and spices which carry through into the aftertaste.

South African Gin
Photo credit @sixdogsdistillery from Instagram

Six Dogs Karoo Gin

Six Dogs Karoo Gin is a unique and delicate Gin of twelve select botanicals, distilled and bottled at Six Dogs Distillery. Sip it and you will pick up the paired notes of Juniper and Wild Lavender that introduce the Karoo.

South African Gin
Photo credit @pienaarandson from Instagram

Pienaar & Son Orient Gin

A unique gin made from South African maize, infused with botanicals that have been carefully selected to pay homage to the Eastern spice trade that influenced Cape Town culture and cuisine alike. A refreshing, uninhibited gin packed with spice and citrus.

South African Gin
Photo credit @ginifergin from Instagram

Ginifer Small Batch Handcrafted

Ginifer is an Artisanal Joburg Dry Gin carefully crafted in small batches and copper distilled in Linbro Park, Johannesburg. 13 different botanicals, sourced from all over the world, giving smoothness and refreshment to the gin.

South African Gin
Photo credit @amarioceangin from Instagram

Amari Ocean Gin

Distilled with Atlantic Ocean water, Juniper, Coriander, Tangerine, Lemon, Angelica Root, Pelargonium, and a secret, delicious selection of Cape Coastal Fynbos. The nose shows a citrus-forward freshness, echoed on the palate with highlights of citrus merging into a mid palate of rich florals and peppery spices.

South African Gin
Photo credit @bloedlemoengin from Instagram

Bloedlemoen Handcrafted Gin

A Handcrafted, small batch Gin from a meticulous selection of ten natural botanicals including Juniper, Blood Orange, Orange Peel, Grains of Paradise, Coriander, Cassia and nutmeg. A classic London Dry Style with citrus, light Juniper and spicy floral aromas.

South African Gin
Photo credit @wilderer_sa from Instagram

Wilderer Fynbos Gin

This unique South African GIN is carefully crafted from a special selection of fynbos botanicals, roots & spices, including wild dagga, honeybush, buchu and devil’s claw.

South African Gin
Image credit: @cruxlandgin via Instagram

Cruxland Gin

Infused with the rare Kalahari truffle, Cruxland gin in a 100% pure grape gin, double distilled in potstills with the highest quality juniper berries and seven other distinct botanicals, including truly South African rooibos and honeybush.

South African Gin
Photo credit @thisisstacky from Instagram

Geometric Gin

Geometric Gin is distilled from neutral spirits and fine grape spirit, resulting in a textured, silk-like gin, fresh juniper is underpinned by citrus and cardamom, followed by heathery fynbos.

South African Gin
Photo credit @albertskevin from Instagram

Musgrave Pink Gin Botanicals

From a bygone era to today, the rose is symbol of love and passion. Rose-scented oils still grace festive occassions, and exotic rosewater exalts our food and beauty regimes. Musgrave pink celebrates the flower of love and beauty with the source of the rose, rosehip, which complement Musgrave’s spicy nature.

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