01 July 2015 13:23

Botanist Gin Arrives in SA

Super premium artisanal gin brand, The Botanist, has launched in South Africa.

Hand-crafted on the wild Hebidean island of Islay, The Botanist is trickle distilled and augmented with a harvest of 22 botanicals hand-picked by an expert foraging team from the windswept hills, peat bogs and Atlantic shores of the island.

The layered complexity of The Botanist is a hit with professional mixologists who appreciate its nuanced flavours. As such, a number of the country's finest bartenders were recently invited to a bespoke foraging experience, and were be joined by global brand ambassador, Joanne Brown. Along with local foraging expert, Roushanna Gray, and Chairman of Kirstenbosch Botanical Society, Rupert Koopman, she guided them on an excursion to choose their own local flora with which to create their unique serves of The Botanist.

The next evening the mixologists gathered at Haas in Cape Town's Buitenkant St to compete in The Botanist Foraged Mixology Challenge. The task was to develop the most interesting and unique foraged serve using The Botanist and one's own locally foraged ingredients. The stakes were high; the prize was an all-expense paid trip to Islay, to join some of the world's top bartenders in experiencing first-hand the philosophy behind The Botanist and foraging in the Hebrides.


Foraged Gump


Lotus Terra Donum


Forager's Find



The Explorer #22


Gulliver's Travels


The Risk


As expected, the competition was fierce, and the esteemed judges were visibly drained by the unenviable prospect of picking a winner. Well, except for Antoine (pictured left):

The Judges


In the end it was Gareth Wainwright, the proprietor of The Landmark Bar in Johannesburg who deservedly took first place. Having returned from a lengthy hiatus from competitive bartending, the older statesman showed the rest of the field how it's done. Congrats to Gareth and the rest of the bartenders for throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the foraging and subsequent challenge, and well done to Edward Snell for putting on a launch that was not only interesting for competitors and guests alike, but was also a wonderful showcase for the Botanist Gin and the 22 botanicals that give it its complex flavour.



The Botanist is available for purchase HERE.


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