Exploring South Africa’s Gin Scene: Top Distilleries and Bottles to Discover on Your Journey

A glass of gin with lime

South Africa is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural history, but did you know it also has a burgeoning gin scene? With a unique blend of local botanicals, passionate distillers, and innovative techniques, the country has emerged as a global hotspot for gin enthusiasts.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to the best gins to check out while you’re exploring the wonders of South Africa.

Inverroche Gin

Situated along the picturesque Garden Route in Stilbaai, Inverroche Distillery is a must-visit destination for gin aficionados. The distillery’s selection of gins incorporates indigenous botanicals like fynbos, imparting a distinctive South African flavor.

Try their flagship variants: Classic, Verdant, and Amber, each offering a unique taste profile that showcases the country’s rich biodiversity.

Musgrave Gin

Musgrave Gin, founded in Cape Town, takes inspiration from the city’s vibrant culture and exotic spices that trace back to the ancient spice route. Their two main offerings, Musgrave 11 and Musgrave Pink, blend traditional gin botanicals with African spices such as cardamom and African ginger, creating a truly unique gin experience.

Woodstock Gin Co.

Located in the heart of Cape Town’s trendy Woodstock neighborhood, Woodstock Gin Co. offers a range of handcrafted, small-batch gins that pay homage to the area’s creative spirit.

Be sure to sample their High Tea Gin, which incorporates indigenous Cape fynbos and aromatic buchu, or their Inception Beer-Based Gin, distilled from local craft beer.

Cape Town Gin & Spirits Company

This award-winning distillery is best known for its Cape Town Classic Dry Gin, Cape Town Pink Lady Gin, and Cape Town Rooibos Red Gin. The latter infuses gin with the iconic South African rooibos tea, creating a smooth, amber-hued spirit with a subtle sweetness that appeals to both gin lovers and newcomers alike.

New Harbour Distillery

New Harbour Distillery in Cape Town is an experimental hotspot for gin enthusiasts. Their Spekboom // IGHUNU Gin stands out, featuring the unique addition of spekboom, a local succulent known for its carbon-storing capabilities.

This eco-friendly gin has a fresh, crisp flavor profile and supports reforestation efforts in South Africa.

Six Dogs Distillery

Nestled in the Karoo region, Six Dogs Distillery crafts a range of gins that celebrate the area’s natural beauty and abundant flora.

Try their Blue Gin, which changes color when mixed with tonic due to the infusion of the blue pea flower, or their Karoo Gin, which incorporates wild lavender, juniper, and other local botanicals to create a truly South African gin experience.

As you can see, South Africa’s gin scene is flourishing, offering a wide array of distinctive and innovative gins that reflect the country’s unique landscape and cultural heritage. Whether you’re a gin connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, be sure to sample these exceptional South African gins on your next adventure to this incredible destination.

Featured image: Tara Winstead 

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