Are South Africans feeling too GINspired?
Hope on Hopkins, Inverroche, Musgrave Gin, Cruxland Gin, Mirari Gin, Red Stone Craft Gin, Geometric Gin, Distillery 031 Durban Dry Gin, Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Gin, Pienaar and Son, Flowstone Wild African Botanicals Gin, Bloedlemoen Handcrafted Gin, Wixworth Gin and Renosterbos,Clemengold Gin, Tanqueray, Strettons London Dry Gin Ginny Fowl Gin, Bombay, Durbanville Distiller, Old Packhouse Distillery, Deep South Distillery, Time Anchor Distillery, The Wilderer Fynbos Gin, Beefeater, Amari Ocean Gin, General’s Gin, Black Meerkat Gin, Gordons London Dry, Black Mountain Gin, Blind Tiger, Cape Town Gin Co, Ginologist, New Harbour Distillery, Woodstock Gin Co., Monks, Die Mas Kalahari Dry Gin, Jorgensen's, Prohibition Gin - Silver Creek Distillery, Six Dogs Distillery, Southern Cross Gin, Triple Three Estate Distillery…
These are just a few gin brands that come to mind when I think of how saturated the South African gin market is - and get this, it’s growing. I can vividly recall a time when bringing gin to a braai was somewhat looked down on. So many of my friends would crack jokes about how I always brought liquor that was usually reserved for Wimbledon tennis fans, sailors and disinterested housewives. Fast forward ten years, and gin is literally everywhere.
Even though gin’s glow up is a relatively new trend in South Africa, it’s rise has been undeniably memorable. The culture of juniper-based alcohol has matured exponentially, to a point where South Africa now has more festivals, bars and distilleries dedicated to tasting and celebrating gin. More than we need, in my opinion.
It seems these days, everyone and their mother is drinking gin. And in South Africa, everyone and their mother seems to be making it. Media entrepreneur, Tbo Touch whose real name is Thabo Molefe, has ventured into the gin industry. He’s the owner of 48 Gin. Other media personalities like Mashabela Galane (Moringa Gin), J’Something (Jin Gin) and Khanyi Mbau (I Am Khanyi Millennial Shimmer Gin) soon followed suit.
They’re all right! Gin is a delicious drink, and there’s something special about tasting flavours that are uniquely South African, but are we perhaps too GINspired? Surely this is a question on the lips of every mixologist.
Lest we forget the recent study done by researchers at Innsbruck University in Austria have in fact concluded that people who enjoy bitter tastes possess more malevolent personality traits. Essentially, gin-lovers could be psychopathic. Juniper-weary journalists, weighed down by new product press releases, wonder if the end is in sight.
After craft beer and the artisanal gin revival, what are the next big drink trends? We’ll have to wait for 2019 to find out.