Gin often evokes feelings of hot summer days or of warm evening air steeped with the fragrance of blossoms. With so many flavours infused in gin, it lends itself to many occasions. Musgrave Gin is new on the scene and it’s no ordinary spirit. It’s an artisan gin imbued with African botanicals and a family story.
Maurice Boon Musgrave left Plymouth in 1949 to start a new life in Africa. Three months on a ship with a baby, a measles outbreak and rampant seasickness kicked off the adventure that would forever change his family.
Maurice’s granddaughter, Simone Musgrave inherited her grandfather’s spirit of endeavour, adventure, courage and passion for the unusual. The history of Africa and its ancient spice route inspired Simone to establish Musgrave Gin.
Musgrave Gin top notes feature African flavours such as Cardamom, African Ginger (Whitei Mondei) and Grains of Paradise. Cardamom, part of the ginger family, is fragrant and spicy with a strong zest and perfume. Whitei Mondei tastes like ginger or liquorice and has an aroma of vanilla. It’s been used for years in traditional medicine as an antacid and boosting tonic. Native to Africa, Grains of Paradise has a woody and forest-like aroma and an inviting, warm, peppery essence.
The woody character of Musgrave Gin gives way to cloves, cinnamon and a hint of cardamom, leaving you with a gentle flame.
A gin-loving couple, Lucy and Leigh, refurbished a rundown warehouse in Salt River to create the Mother City’s inaugural distillery, Hope on Hopkins. They dedicate their lives to the age-old process of batch distillation with their two stills; Mildred and Maude – the first to be licensed in the city. The two are stainless steel; different from the traditional copper pot stills used by other distillers in SA.
Lucy, Leigh and esteemed South African craft distiller, Roger Jorgensen helped Simone Musgrave to make Musgrave Gin a reality. First, Juniper and coriander are steeped in a neutral spirit which is then distilled in Mildred. A basket of Simone’s African botanicals sits in the path of the vapour and delicately infuses into the gin during the process.
Because Musgrave Gin came about from a spirit of adventure and nostalgia for the past, they launched with an unusual event, which is set to continue. In years gone by, people traded and bartered for goods with whatever they had on offer. The Musgrave Gin Trading Post invited attendees to experience the nostalgia by trading a currency of whim-whams and bygones for a gin cocktail. I bargained with the eccentric trading post appraiser – a distinguished English gentleman, and scored exotic drinks in return for my trinkets.
Follow Musgrave Gin on Facebook and Twitter to find out when you will have the opportunity to trade curios for a taste of gin. They are set to host events on First Thursdays and other in-trade events.
Musgrave Gin is the perfect gin to toast our beautiful country at any time of day. Musgrave Gin is available at Hope on Hopkins Distillery and various stockists, bars, and restaurants. Look out for the new Pink Gin, which is launching later in May 2016.
When Distillery tours and tastings by appointment
Where Hope on Hopkins Distillery, 7 Hopkins Street, Salt River
Cost +- R340 for 750 ml, contact the Distillery to arrange a gin tasting
Contact [email protected], www.musgravegin.co.za