If you thought you knew all there was to know about gin and tonic, prepare to have your world shaken, and maybe a little stirred too.
“A gin and tonic under its tiny canopy of lime, I said, elevates character and makes for enlightened conversation” Michael Chabon
Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries. From its earliest origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved from a herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Gin was developed on the basis of the older jenever, and became popular in Great Britain when William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Republic, occupied the English, Scottish and Irish thrones with his wife Mary.
All gins include juniper as an ingredient: other botanicals used are coriander, angelica, orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, cubeb berries and nutmeg. A fine gin typically contains six to ten botanicals.
Whilst on safari at Londolozi, there is nothing better than stopping for a sundowner and sipping on a beautifully executed Gin & Tonic, or Gin & Soda (my particular favourite!)
As a family owned business, we at Londolozi tend to gravitate towards other family owned businesses, so typically we love the range of Inverroche Gin.
INVERROCHE is a family owned, artisan distillery located just outside the coastal resort of Still Bay on the southern coast of the Cape. Lorna Scott and her son Rohan have developed a range of uniquely South African gins. Mini-Meg – a miniature copper potstill – sat on the Scott’s kitchen table for three years and through trial and error a range of Fynbos gins were born. Combining traditional botanicals – (juniper, citrus and spice) with the exotic and aromatics from the leaves, blooms and berries of selected Fynbos
The name Inverrroche is made up of the Gaelic word inver (confluence of the waters, in this case the Goukou River and Indian Ocean) to celebrate the Scott’s Highland heritage and roche (French for rock) for their Huguenot roots. The rock in question is limestone and reaches deep into the earth’s crust below the river and estate forming an abundant aquifer with lime-rich water.
One thing to remember is that to avoid ‘killing’ the botanicals of all good Gins, use the peel of citrus and not the wedge!
There are also many mixers for Gins – and tonic is the most well-known. We are lucky to also serve a Swan Craft Tonic and Fevertree make an Elderflower Tonic which both add an interesting taste element. However, you can also mix your afternoon Gin with soda water which adds a burst of refreshment and really brings out the botanicals.
The Inverroche Gins:
An elegant, crisp and complex gin created from a flavourful blend of African and traditional botanicals. Refreshing and dry on the pallet with juniper and citrus top notes followed by hints of spice.
Serve it on ice with tonic and a curl of grapefruit peel or chilled with a twist of lime zest in a dry martini.
A delicate, floral gin which blends African and traditional botanicals to create a refreshing aromatic spirit. Satin soft and fragrant on the pallet with hints of spice, subtle juniper, sweet citrus and liquorice top notes.
Best enjoyed with tonic on ice and a twist of lemon zest.
A distinctive, aromatic gin which is the result of a selection of Cape coastal Fynbos. Smooth on the pallet with a hint of spice. Earthy base notes are followed by fresh citrus, subtle juniper and fragrant fynbos top notes. After distillation the spirit is mellowed with tannin rich coastal botanicals, transforming it into an amber coloured, full-bodied gin.
Savour it neat on the rocks or with tonic and a curl of tangerine or orange zest.
When Gin became my personal drink of choice (when not quaffing Champagne) a year ago, I was amazed that it was something I could actually pair food with, so instead of a food & wine pairing, I was delighted to find that these pairings work perfectly.
You’d also be surprised to know that another delicious food pairing is that of the simple prawn sandwich.
Lay the slivers of parma ham on a tray and place in a hot oven at 180 degrees celcius – allow the parma ham to crisp up which takes about 8 minutes – be careful not to let them burn!
For the Parmesan Crisps – grate the cheese and spread out on a tray, as long as you’d like them to come out. These will take about 10 minutes. Take out the oven and using a metal spatula, remove the crisps gently from the tray and allow to cool.
Wash it all down with the Inverroche gin of your choice, and if so happens that you’re watching a sunset over Londolozi with the lions roaring in the distance whilst you’re doing so, all the better…