From its earliest origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved from a herbal medicine to a much-loved spirit. Going back to its roots, The Botanist Gin is launching a series of pop-up gin bars, in both Cape Town and Joburg, paying penchant to the act of foraging and hand distilling.
A selection of 22 of the island’s herbs and flowers are seasonally (and sustainably) hand foraged from the hills, shores and bogs of Islay, and then carefully dried in preparation for distillation to create what we enjoy today, The Botanist. We here in South Africa are being offered this unique, traditional experience in a similar – yet completely unique – way.
Lindsay and I attended the launch of The Botanist Gin in South Africa so it seemed apt to attend and photograph the opening of THE FORAGER together. A secret pop-up bar (the location revealed on the day), is open for a limited time only to limited seating; 30 guests max. The bartenders, all experts in their craft, concoct three tasty cocktails for guests to sip and savour. The use of foraged ingredients and garnishes make the experience uncharacteristically distinctive.
On each night, the bartenders compete in a challenge to craft the most interesting serves using The Botanist Gin and their own locally hand-foraged botanicals. These will be presented to guests who cast votes for the most inspired cocktail.
We enjoyed food that paired perfectly with the earthy – yet sweet – zeal of each cocktail.
The Botanist Gin, grapefruit cordial, fennel fronds, coconut water, lime juice, orange juice
The Botanist Gin infused with cacao, antica formula, averna, absinthe rinse
Vee & T (Vegan and Tonic)
The Botanist Gin, quinoa orgeat, lemon juice, tonic, soda, lime.
Sip G&T’s after the cocktail tasting or enjoy further offerings – each cocktail tastier than the next. It was a special occasion for two friends to doll up, go out and razzle on a school night – and leave fully satiated and merry. Fun and social, THE FORAGER is a lovely opportunity to bond with friends, spoil your special someone and meet new people.
Tickets for the upcoming events are available online for R350 pp.
Cape Town: www.quicket.co.za
Photographs Dearheart Photo Words Lisa Wallace