The best reason to visit Woodstock (yes, it's gin!)
Hands up- anyone who knew that Cape Town was voted the World Design Capital in 2014?
I have to admit that I had no idea but after just one day in the Mother City, it’s clear to see why they won such an accolade. It feels as though every area in this beautiful city is simply brimming with creative potential. Walking through different suburbs, you pass stores teeming with a variety of crafts and designs that you simply have to own. Even the buildings are covered in stunning artworks from the likes of Faith 47 and many other talented artists all out to beautify their city, as if it needed it.
Not surprisingly, gin has taken Cape Town by storm with designated gin bars – my favourite being Mother’s Ruin and of course a huge selection of gin distilleries.
Mother's Ruin Gin Bar
In turn, having access to such a large variety of unique, hand-crafted and many small batched gins, a number of restaurants promote the plethora of gins and gin cocktails available from the hands of their very own distillers.
What I love about these distilleries is that majority of them are accessible to public and open for tastings on various days. Unfortunately my short stay meant that I could only visit one. Luckily, The Woodstock Gin Company is open to walk-ins for tastings between 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday and till 4pm on Saturdays.
Located in Woodstock, the lovely little distillery is nestled between stores that you can wander past once you have had your gin. Nothing like a little lubrication to spur a shopping spree.
The tasting started with a quick tour of the distillery which has two stills and manages to fill 100 gin bottles every eight hours.
Posing with the stills
Gin can be made from any pure alcoholic base and The Woodstock Gin Company chooses to distil both wine and beer for theirs. Their range of gins consists of three different varieties using either pale ale beer or chenin blanc as the base. Both are double distilled and infused with fynbos, giving their gins a complex and remarkable flavour.
Woodstock Gin Company's botanticals
The first gin in their range is the grape distilled Inception gin which is smooth with a unique hint of lavender in its botanicals. Served to us with their very own Woodstock tonic and for garnishing a slice of apple, cucumber and mint. Their serving suggestion is a sliver of grapefruit but the other additions brought out an entirely new level to the gin.
Grape distilled served with mint, apple and cucumber
The second is the Malt distilled Inception gin which I favoured slightly more than the grape base. More robust and spicy, this one was served with a wedge of orange rind and believe it or not, pieces of cinnamon bark which really warmed up those almost oriental flavours.
The third took my heart immediately.
Malt distilled served with orange and cinnamon
The High Tea Gin is grape distilled and has a gorgeous amber colour because it includes Rooibos as a botantical. Served to us with a lemon segment, mint and not tonic this time but ginger ale, I was bowled over at the impressive flavour. It tasted like tea with a kick and had I not been flying home that evening with no check-in luggage, I would have purchased a bottle then and there.
High tea served with lemon, mint and ginger ale
High Tea gin and their own tonic
Their prices are insanely affordable at R290 per 750ml bottle and R200 for a 500ml
The Woodstock Gin Company also offers a GnT premix which is a ready to drink, bottled wine distilled gin mixed with their own tonic water.
They also offer gift packs containing 6 x 50ml bottles of their three gins (two of each) which is perfect as a souvenir or a gift, if you are willing to part with it. An absolute steal at R160.
Woodstock Gin Company's Beautiful gin, tonic and spices
Unable to purchase the alcohol, I ended up buying a R35 pack of GnT spices sold on site. 6 silk tea bags containing indigenous spices which you drop into a Woodstock Gin Company G&T or if you are daring enough, a neat gin, allow them to infuse and sip away.
The tastings cost R50 per person but for very bottle of gin you purchase, you get one tasting free.
There is also a small food pairing option for R75 which takes place on a Saturday.
The Woodstock Gin Company distributes their gorgeous drink to various smaller chains and to The Bottleshop, Takealot and Makro where you will get the best price if you are unable to make it to the distillery. I have already placed my order and can’t wait pour my very own Woodstock Gin Co G&T at the end of the week. Visit their website for more info on their wonderful range www.woodstockginco.co.za
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