If you like the idea of having a new local gin delivered to your door every month, look no further than The Gin Box, South Africa’s first craft gin club. Founded by Jean Buckham who recognised an appetite for the spirit in SA, this innovative concept gives gin lovers the opportunity to sample a multitude of locally produced craft gins and tonics from a host of different brands.
‘Gin has long been enjoyed in South Africa and, for decades, we have been drinking many imported British gins because, up until recently, we had never really “South Africanised” it,’ says Jean. ‘In addition, gin had always been drunk with a simple tonic, but it can be adapted by adding hints of flavour, garnishes like pomegranates or rosemary, or even changing the colour of the spirit.’
With more than 75 gin brands being produced by distillers around the country as well as a plethora of diverse flora available, such as fynbos and rooibos, the local gin industry has grown in leaps and bounds, producing unique offerings that Jean wants to showcase to South Africans. ‘The Gin Box is about indulging South Africans to the multitude of local gin brands, their unique stories and how best to enjoy them. After all, if you’re going to offer a drink like gin, there’s only one way to do it – with real flair and finesse,’ she says.
Choose between a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly subscription and, for just R650, you will receive a customised box that will include a small-batch craft gin, accompanying tonics and complementary gourmet snacks related to the taste of the month. No two months will be the same, and for an extra R100, boxes can be ordered on an ad hoc basis as gifts.
‘There’s no doubt that there’s more bravery and fun with gin drinking because there’s more versatility with it,’ says Jean. ‘ In the same way that whisky experienced its own period of popularity, gin has rapidly emerged as the new star player of the drinks cabinet and bar scene.’