Cape Town’s new gin route highlights inner-city distilleries for you to visit

2018-07-18 15:30 - Maxine Becket
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(Maxine Becket)

Cape Town's gin route, an approximately 6km journey between Cape Town and Salt River, was recently launched on World Gin Day. 

This route introduces new and old gin lovers to tastes from rooibos infused gin to hints of fynbos. The tour includes six distilleries with 20 different types of gin. An uber or designated driver is most-definitely advised.

Distilleries are bringing a taste of their own, with a dash of South African flavours like beer-based gin or Spekboom - a native South African plant.

The Cape Town Gin Route aims to celebrate the skill and premium gins of six inner-city distilleries, namely Hope on Hopkins, Musgrave Gin, the Woodstock Gin Company, New Harbour Distillery, Pienaar & Son and the Cape Town Gin Company.

New Harbour sets its Gin cocktail apart by garnishing with an African herb that gives the drink a pink colour.

The Pink Lady – Cape Town Gin & Spirits Company’s most popular gin is infused with hibiscus and rose petals and gives a taste of Turkish delight.

  • At Musgrave Gin, you will be treated to tastes of cardamom and African ginger while Pienaar & Son brings you the traditional dry English gin with refreshing hints of citrus and cucumber.

"Gin is a trend and a lifestyle," Pepperclub Hotel & Spa's General Manager Efi Ella said during the route's

"We thought of something that no one tapped in to, we are onto something very big," he said.

Mostly enjoyed as a summer drink, distilleries along the route know that this shouldn't hamper one from enjoying the clear spirit throughout the year.

Certain gins are sold more in winter, they have noticed, and are making the most of this.

The tour includes a full day guided tour where you get to make your own gin, along with the tasting experience.

The route is between The Woodstock Gin Company in Albert Road and the Cape Town Gin and Spirits Company in Shortmarket Street. To a arrange a formal Gin Tour, contact the The Pepperclub Hotel & Spa.  

  • Woodstock Gin Company
    399 Albert Road, Woodstock | +27 21 821 8208
    As the name implies, this small scale distillery is based in Woodstock and was founded by Simon Von Witt. With a passion for gin-making and a belief that creating the perfect gin is far more than simply infusing alcohol with juniper, Simon has developed a fynbos gin that fuses Rooibos, buchu herbs and honey bush – a combination of endemic Cape botanicals that make this gin truly unique. Tasting can be enjoyed at the distillery, but bookings are essential so be sure to call ahead to arrange a tasting session or tour
  • Inverroche Distillery
    ?Laurenskirk Estate, Old Riversdale Road (R305), Stillbaai | +27 (0)28 754 2442
    For a rewarding day trip, a visit to Inverroche Distillery is highly-recommended. Ingredients are harvested by hand from the Cape’s coastal dunes and mountainous regions, with a focus on sustainable harvesting that has little impact on the surrounding environments. The distillery produces three uniquely South African gins starting with the Classic Gin which boasts citrus flavours along with Angelica root and Cassia bark to add depth, and lastly a hint of coriander seeds and cardamom pods. Gin Verdant, their more subtly favoured product, features ingredients from all over the globe from exotic African flavours, to spices from the Middle East and the European juniper. Lastly, the Gin Amber is a complex gin balanced by coastal botanicals that produce its amber colour. Visitors can choose from a distillery tour and tasting, or a simple 15 minute sampling experience. Bookings are essential.
  • New Harbour Distillery
    Unit 009, Masons Press, 7 Ravenscraig Road, Woodstock | +27 (0)82 550 3421
    Also based in Woodstock, the New Harbour Distillery uses both modern and traditional distilling techniques to create a selection of spirits that include gin and vodka. Their specialties include Spekboom gin which is created from the leaf of the Spekboom tree and is very high in vitamin C. while their Rooibos gin provides a one-of-a-kind flavour using botanicals unique to the Cape Peninsula. Along with their distillery tour, you can also try your hand at a gin making class or book a gin tasting. Bookings are essential for all activities.
  • Jorgensen’s Distillery
    Versailles Farm, Regent Street, Wellington | +27 (0)21 864 1777
    Jorgensen’s Gin uses spicy juniper berries that is harvested in Paarl from South Africa’s only juniper plantation. Exotic additions to the gin include angelica root, orris root, calamus root, coriander, liquorice root, bitter apricot kernels and African wild ginger, which all add plenty of depth, while top notes from delicate touches of naartjie and Cape lemon peels, buchu, Grains of Paradise, rose geranium and perfumed Ohandua from Kaokoveld, further enhance the gin’s flavour profile. Tastings and tours are available on request and bookings are essential.
  • Hope on Hopkins
    7 Hopkins Street, Salt River | +27 (0)21 447 1950
    A boutique distillery based in Salt River, Hope on Hopkins is the Mother City’s first gin distillery and offers plenty of character. Named after the owners’ grandmothers, Maude and Mildred are the first two stills to be licensed by the City of Cape Town and are used to create a unique gin range that uses botanicals for added taste and aroma. Hope on Hopkins offers a special tour and tasting experience where Mimo, the distillery cat, will be waiting to greet you.