The City of Gold’s first artisan distillery is nestled in the heart of Johannesburg’s trendy Maboneng precinct. Established in 2013, Time Anchor Distillery is a place where creativity and science merge into the harmonious, delicate creation of hand-made and distinctly artisanal spirits – including their unique and fragrant Mirari Gin Range, created by Chief Distiller Shanna-Rae Wilby.
Wilby’s alchemy journey started in a rose garden.
As a child, she would accompany her grandmother into her garden, picking roses to infuse into medical grade ethanol and learning to create basic perfumes.
This was the inadvertent starting point for her vocation as Chief Alchemist at Three Anchor Distillery.
The path to the creation of the distillery and their premium Mirari Gin range was further explored through youthful experiments with confectionary-infused vodkas at university, and later creations using a 5-litre micro-distilling copper pot still, gifted by her fiancé Warrick Brown – her partner in the distillery – after he noticed how passionate she was about creating products.
“The Latin roots of the word ‘Mirari’ are based in a sense of wonder - rooted in the miraculous and describing the act of observation and admiration.
It is an apt descriptor for a range of gin that presents a unique and explosively sensory experience”, asserts Wilby.
Mirari Gin is created off botanical elements which unify the taste and experience of its variants, which are African Amber, Pink Damask Rose, and Blue Orient.
The Amber African Botanical Gin bears the mark of 13 botanicals that includes multiple botanicals that are indigenous to South Africa, including, Honeybush, Rose Geranium, Sour Figs and Boekenhout Honey.
Each 500 litre batch of their Pink Damask Rose Gin,on the other hand, is distilled with over 1000 damask roses, chamomile, grapefruit, cubeb berries, green cardamom, and subsequently infused with rose water.
The Blue Orient Gin counterpart represents a traditional spiced gin, bearing the flavours of Cardamom, Grapefruit, Grains of Paradise, Ginger and Cassia Bark. Naturally coloured through the subtle infusion of blue pea flowers, the gin magically transforms from blue to pink when tonic is added.
WATCH: Chief Alchemist of Mirari Gin, Shanna-Rae Wilby demonstrates how the Blue Orient Spiced Gin magically transforms from blue to pink when tonic is added!