So you were invited to what seemed like a very average braai. Your friend then pulled out a local craft, not only making him everyone’s new favourite host, but kind of making you want to be more like him. Well, now you can. With more local liquors being accessible at general retailers these days, you can easily turn any occasion into the talk of the town.
Whether you are hosting a small gathering at your house, or you just need a cold one after a long day, these are the local liquors that will make your drinks trolley bloom this spring:
Die Mas Die Kalahari Truffle Potketel Brandewyn
No drinks trolley is complete without a good brandy or cognac, and we have just the one for you.
Only four years after they bottled their first brandy, Die Mas competes against some heavyweight titles with significant success. Originating in Kakamas, Northern Cape, they offer two proper South African brandies named ‘Ver in die Ou Kalahari’ and ‘Die Kalahari Truffle’ Potstill Brandy. Both are equally enjoyable, but with complex fruit flavours, I have to admit the ‘Truffle Pot Still Brandy’ is a true showstopper.
Savour the flavour by slowly enjoying this one on the rocks.
L’Ormarins Litchi Eau de Vie
Here in the Western Cape we have an endless list of beautiful wine farms and quality craft distilleries right on our doorstep. Anthonij Rupert Wine Estate, a food and wine heaven just outside of Franschhoek, does not disappoint in this category. Two years ago they introduced the L’Ormarins Litchi Eau de Vie to the Anthonij Rupert family, and what a pleasant discovery this was for me.
The hints of litchi in this Eau de Vie is unmissable, making it the perfect spring or summer sip-worthy drink. It has a dry finish which gives it that perfect balance. Enjoy it neat as an after-dinner aperitif.
Trouvaille Blossom & Hops Gin
Probably one of the biggest trends of the last few years has been the craft gin movement, with gin and tonic festivals scattered all over the country and new concoctions popping up at every bar counter. It’s probably something I get way too excited about, which means that a gin or two would be first on the shopping list for my drinks trolley.
Trouvaille’s Blossom & Hops gin was such a golden find. What separates this one from other gins in its class, is the exceptional hints of floral undertones combined with mesmerising traces of lime. Pair this gin with either cucumber, rosemary or fresh citrus to experience the full flavour Trouvaille Blossom & Hops has to offer.
(PS: I’ve caught myself staring at this beautifully designed label at least five times now.)
Geometric Drinks Company Symmetry Floral Tonic
I can name a lot of things that go together perfectly, like campfires and marshmallows, eggs and bacon, or tacos and Tuesdays. But I’ll sit back and wait while you try to think of a more iconic duo than gin and tonic, because I can’t.
That’s why we just had to follow up our craft gin with an equally crafty tonic. With three delicious flavours to choose from, Geometric Drinks Company gives a whole new meaning to a craft g&t. These concentrates are mixed with soda water, giving a more elegant flavour profile that standard – often overly sweet – tonics, and you can even drink this without alcohol for a refreshing virgin cocktail.
After having a difficult time deciding which flavor to try, we chose the Symmetry Floral tonic to pair with our floral gin, all in the spirit of spring. The bottle’s design is just as pleasant to the eyes as the fragrant rose and lavender notes are to your taste buds. Definitely a top contender for your drinks trolley this spring!
Leonista Blanco 100% Karoo Agave
Last, but surely not least, the Leonista Karoo Agave is sure to light up any occasion. This smooth Mezcal is the first 100% Karoo Agave spirit made in the traditional way in South Africa. The production process uses a wood fire oven hence the Blanco has a smooth and smokey finish with subtle sweetness
In 2018, Leonista walked away with a silver medal at the San Francisco Spirits Awards, and with good reason! If you have a taste for the sweeter things in life, forget your old tequila drinking ways, and rather take your time to enjoy this one on ice with a splash of soda.
Set up your own drinks trolley
We’ve picked a few favourites to set up your own drinks trolley. Just add a few plants of floral arrangements to go with your curated selection of local spirits.
What is on your drinks trolley this spring? We would love to hear about all your favourites in the comments below.