24 August 2015 10:15

Introducing Musgrave Gin

Maurice Boon Musgrave, grandfather of founder Simone Musgrave, left Plymouth in 1949 bound for Africa to start a new life exploring and discovering the people and land of Africa. Three months on a ship with a small baby, measles and many a day of seasickness and the adventure that would change the shape of his family had begun. From then onward an African family would take on the adventure Maurice had started. The spirit of endevour, adventure and courage lives on in granddaughter, Simone, guardian of Maurice's passion for the unusual.

Musgrave Gin is an artisan gin celebrated for its top notes of Cardamom, African Ginger and Grains of Paradise.

Hope on Hopkins Distillery: a small-batch distillery in the industrial heart of the Mother City

After toiling away in the bustle of the City of London for nearly 15 years, ex-lawyers Lucy Beard and Leigh Lisk abandoned the rat race to follow the sun. The couple eventually found their way back home, to South Africa – after falling in love with craft gin in the Mediterranean - and refurbished a rundown warehouse in the heart of industrial Salt River, creating the Mother City's first distillery. It is in this small urban haven that the two of them work (and live), dedicating their lives to the age old process of batch distillation with their two faithful stills - Mildred and Maude – the first stills to be licensed in the City of Cape Town. Mildred and Maude are gleaming stainless steel, very much in keeping with the industrial heartland of Salt River, and a breakaway from the traditional copper pot stills used by other distillers in South Africa.

Lucy and Leigh collaborated with esteemed South African craft distiller, Roger Jorgensen, to formulate Musgrave Gin based on botanicals chosen by Musgrave Gin founder, Simone Musgrave. Juniper and coriander are steeped in neutral spirit, which is then finely distilled in Mildred, with a basket containing the rest of the botanicals sitting in the path of the vapour and delicately infused into the spirit. Lucy is the distiller, as she has the knack for flavours and aromas and has developed the skills required to make the all-important "cuts" in the spirit runs. Leigh keeps the equipment up and running and clean: the cold reality of running a distillery is that it is 90% cleaning and 10% distilling!

Musgrave Gin is born out of the flavours and history of Africa and its ancient spice route. Musgrave Premium is no ordinary gin and its top notes of aromatic Cardamom, African Ginger (Whitei Mondei) and Grains of Paradise are reminiscent of the perfume of spice markets. Cardamom, part of the ginger family is fragrant and spicy with a strong flavour and perfume and is used in North Africa to flavour tea and meat dishes. Whitei Mondei or African Ginger is a truly magical African herb. The roots are aromatic and taste like ginger or liquorice and have an aroma of vanilla. Mondei has for a long time been extensively and widely used in traditional medicine as an antacid and as a boosting tonic. Some sources indicate that the plant is further used as a symbol of peace and a sign of power. Grains of Paradise, native to Africa are worth a couple of minutes' meditation. The aroma is woody and forest-like and the flavour is an inviting, peppery warmth without the harshness of black pepper. The woody character gives way to cloves, cinnamon and a faint hint of cardamom and leaves you with a gentle flame. Musgrave Gin top notes are all linked by family of Africa or a family of flavours as is the Musgrave history.

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