Cheers to ‘Ginuary’, the drink for January
Like many people, you might be participating in “Dry January” after overdoing things during the festive season. But some of us have a tough time dropping alcohol for a month – and that’s where “Ginuary” comes in.

As the name suggests, Ginuary is a campaign designed to encourage people to try in, ranging from chocolates laced with it, gin-based drinks and even cakes. We asked Johannes le Roux – founder of The Duchess gin, the world’s first sugar-free, non-alcoholic gin and tonic – and Lucy Beard – founder of Hope on Hopkins Distillery,  about their take on Ginuary. 

Beard said Ginuary means indulging in a range of gins in January. “There is a challenge within the gin community  to encourage people to experiment with drinking gin. 

“Drink a different gin or gin cocktail every day during January to learn more about the spirit. People will realise that no two gins taste the same and that there is an enormous variety of gins out there. There are now more than 100 South African gins, each with their own aste and botanicals, so, there’s more than enough out there to ensure a successful Ginuary challenge,” she said.

“There is a growing demand (for gin), and this has caused a huge upsurge in the number of people making gin.  People are starting to enjoy a range of gins, rather than just sticking to only one brand. There  is an overwhelming number of local craft gins using unusual botanicals which are not available in other countries – which also means tourists are interested in sampling local gins," said Beard. 

Le Roux said:  “The Duchess is a non-alcoholic gin and tonic, so it makes perfect sense to promote the brand during a month when many consumers decide to go booze-free. We  encourage consumers to rather take part in Dry January, because of its health benefits. But why not combine Ginuary &and Dry January? 
“We love and appreciate craft gins, but as a non-alcoholic gin brand, our target market caters to those who choose to go booze-free, whatever the occasion might be. We think people can enjoy a gin any time of the year, but Dry January makes more sense to us than Ginuary, because it’s a month when people start their New Year’s resolutions, which more often than not include healthier lifestyle habits, including cutting out booze,” he said. 

People enjoy products like craft beer, craft gins, etc because it evokes the idea that it’s of better quality. Consumers are moving away from mass production towards trusted local brands – for example, being able to visit a local craft gin distillery, or a brewer. 

“A big selling point is the product’s origin, which makes it more authentic.  The place of origin is more tangible, and thus more trusted. People are willing to pay more for something if they perceive it to be better quality “crafted”. That is also why the craft gin and even craft beer market in SA has grown a lot over the last few years, because consumers are becoming better educated about what they are consuming, and also more conscious about consumerism in general,” said Le Roux.