Literary heroes sang the praises of the spirit that’s as revered as it is reviled after a night of indulgence. Novelist Raymond Chandler told us how to mix a real gimlet (basically, just gin and lime juice), and author Ian Fleming taught us to like it shaken, not stirred. For some, swigging the spirit might lead to symptoms of ecstasy, depression, insanity, blackouts and, more commonly, reduce a perfectly rational person to a teary mess.
Back in 18th-century Britain, gin became known as ‘mother’s ruin’, the idea being that a crudely distilled version was behind the moral decline of London. By the time the 1990s arrived, gin had fallen so far that, until just a few years ago, the only person who drank it (apart from your great-aunt Tilda) was the queen. So when the spirit started making its way into the hands of our savviest social influencers – who artfully place it next to an obscure tonic water bottle to rack up the likes on Instagram – it piqued our interest.
The celebration of gin is far from over, and in fact, it even has its own day – 10 June. Local craft distiller Inverroche is embracing the spirit of the day across South Africa. If you prefer to share your love of gin with like-minded people, head to Carbon Bistro in Pretoria, Sin & Taxes in Johannesburg, Fourteen on Chartwell in Umhlanga, and The Gin Bar in Cape Town for some creative Inverroche cocktails.
But if you plan to host a party at home, impress your guests with a winter-inspired cocktail: the coffee, quinine and sweet orange flavours in the Mocha G&T complement the citrus notes of Inverroche Gin Classic, while the bubbly and fruity finish lingers on the palate.
50ml Inverroche Gin Classic
150ml tonic water
10ml Cointreau orange liqueur
10ml Kahlúa coffee liqueur
30ml cold coffee/espresso (pour over ice to chill and strain, or use cold brewed coffee)
A bruléed orange slice, a long curl or twist of orange zest and a cinnamon stick, to garnish
Select a generous-sized whisky tumbler and add lots of ice. Pour the gin over the ice and add the tonic water. In a second mixing glass, combine and stir the Cointreau and Kahlúa with ice until chilled. Strain the mixture carefully into the G&T and garnish with a bruléed orange slice, a long curl or a twist of orange zest and a cinnamon stick.
Pair it with Lindt Excellence Intense Orange dark chocolate or A Touch of Sea Salt dark chocolate, or with a slice of marmalade toast for added effect and bask in the knowledge that this proves that anything Britain can do, South Africa can do better.