Gin tonic: the rare botanicals giving the spirit a South African twist

South Africa’s Western Cape is home to thousands of unique plant species infusing a new range of gins

The global gin renaissance continues apace, and the Western Cape is turning into an unlikely trendsetter, as a new wave of gin makers gives the age-old spirit a South African twist. It’s less about juniper and more about endemic botanicals plucked straight from the Cape Floral Region, home to more than 9,000 plant species, nearly 70% of which grow nowhere else on earth.

Inverroche was the first brand to experiment with varieties of fynbos – a family of fine-leaved shrubs with distinct terroirs – chosen for their unique tastes and aromas. In 2011, it launched a few bottles of three handcrafted gins – Classic, with limestone fynbos; Verdant, with mountainous fynbos, and Amber, with coastal fynbos. Now it’s producing 18,000 bottles a month, and exporting to 15 countries.

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