On the shores of Lough Allen in the province of Connacht in the West of Ireland lies the tiny rural village of Drumshanbo. Nestled in the foothills of Sliabh an Iarainn Drumshanbo is where you will find PJ Rigney’s The Shed Distillery, where medieval copper pot stills are used to fuse oriental botanicals with the local Irish ones. And, it turns out, they get on very well indeed.

The result of this passionate exploration is Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. It is unique, extraordinary and remarkable – in fact, it’s been voted best gin by the Irish.

Rowan Leibbrandt, founding owner of Truman & Orange (and the liquor distributor bringing South Africa this delightful new premium gin import), says, “South Africa is now the fifth-largest gin market globally and South Africans are thirsty for unique, premium gins that tell a story. The story behind Drumshano Gunpowder Gin is like an adult fairytale for curious gin-lovers looking to take the path less-travelled when it comes to what they choose to put into their tonic water. It’s the answer for those seeking to be invigorated by new, interesting drinks that are so much more than just a drink; they are experiences in and of themselves.”

If you’re looking for a story, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin is the real deal: the masterful PJ Rigney assembles 12 botanicals from across Asia and Ireland and slow-distills them by hand in a medieval copper pot gin still with a unique botanical vapour basket.

Eight botanicals are added to the copper pot still, including star anise from China; coriander seed from Romania; angelica root from Germany; caraway seed and cardamom from India; orris root from Morocco; Juniper berries from Macedonia; and Meadowsweet from Ireland. A further four botanicals are then added to the vapour basket: Gunpowder tea and Chinese lemon from China; oriental grapefruit from Indonesia; and makrut lime from Cambodia.

This unlikely concoction is left to rest and mature. Then it’s bottled, labelled and box-packed by hand in the remote ‘Shed Distillery’ – the first distillery in the west of Ireland in over 100 years – in the wild and rugged Drumshanbo.

The gin was voted ‘Best Irish Gin’ by the people of Ireland in 2016 and 2017. Its roaring popularity is owing not only to its enchanting story, but also to its exotic, long and mysterious finish. Aside from the smooth layers of fresh citrus flavours with subtle notes of spicier oriental botanicals and the intriguing gunpowder tea, which gives this Irish curiosity its signature finish, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin is beautifully packaged.

The bevelled, blue bottle features a mystical creature called a jackalope, a combination of a jackrabbit (which is not a real rabbit) and an American antelope (which is not a real antelope).

Conceived in a lightning storm, goes the legend, the jackalope appears in Drumshanbo at will, as in a dream, before it disappears in a flurry of feet and antlers. Symbolising the remarkable spirit of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin, the jackalope brings two disparate cultures and traditions together in a singular flash of inspiration.

Available at most good bottle stores, including Norman Goodfellows, Makro and Pick n Pay Liquor, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin retails for R399 per bottle.

Prize Details:

One lucky subscriber will win a bottle of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin.

How to enter:
Simply enter your details in the form below so we can contact you if you win.

Competition Ts & Cs:
– The winners will be announced on next week’s newsletter
– Winners will be contacted via details entered on form on Thursday March 7
– Winners are required to claim their prize by Friday, March 8 or another winner will be drawn
– Prizes are not refundable and cannot be exchanged for money
– Transport will not be provided.


Picture: Cape Town Motor Show

Email Address
Cell Number

Article written by

We love this place! Cape Town Etc features news, reviews, entertainment and lifestyle in the Mother City.