Gin has captured the hearts of Capetonians – we are in love with artisanal anything! Bread, food, meats – and then someone added gin – and we were sold.

Gin is fast becoming one of the Mother City’s most popular alcoholic drinks. Several locally produced gins have been internationally recognised, such as Black Mountain Gin, which scooped several gold medals at the 2017 MichaelAngelo Wine and Spirit Awards, and is becoming a demanding market.


Dutch physician Francisus Sylvius is credited with the invention of gin. The first gin he produced was in the 17th century, and was sold in pharmacies as a herbal treatment for various ailments such as gallstones, lumbago and gout. Juniper berries were introduced during the stilling process to make the liquid more palatable.

English troops who were fighting the Spanish in the Eighty Years’ War drank the liquid to calm themselves before going into battle, and was fondly referred to as ‘Dutch courage’.

The juniper berries found in gin are known for their detoxifying qualities, and also promote healthy digestion and healthy skin. These berries are also well-known for packing powerful antioxidants and antibacterial properties, which improve blood circulation (hence, healthy skin).


  • Have gin neat instead of using anti-wrinkle cream.

The antioxidants in juniper berries boost the regenerating cells in your body, which makes for firmer, smoother and healthier-looking skin.

  • Gin keeps your waistline trim

Gin is one of the least caloric spirits in the world. One shot of gin contains 97 calories, and the enzymes in its main ingredient, juniper berries, breaks down food to help aid digestion. Keep your drink neat, as adding tonic adds calories.

  • Gin can prevent heart disease

The flavonoids present in juniper berries improve blood circulation, which keeps heart disease at bay. However, gin must be drunk in moderation as excessive drinking has the opposite effect.

  • Gin can help you detox

Juniper berries stop the body from retaining water, which allows you to pass more water than you would be drinking any other type of spirits. This means that all the harmful toxins and bacteria consumed prior to your gin drink will be flushed out of your system.

  • This miracle drink can also relieve gout

Gin’s juniper berry makeup offers relief to aching joints and gout. This coupled with its alcohol content can also be an effective treatment for chronic pain and inflammation.

Try soaking raisins in gin and storing them in a jar. Have a few every day and see the health benefits.

  • Gin alleviates coughs

The oils contained within juniper berries expels mucus from the throat and aides in lung congestion, which can alleviate a hacking cough. A piece of ginger soaked in gin can also soothe a sore or scratchy throat. 

To delight in the wonders of gin in the heart of Cape Town, pay a visit to The Gin Bar located 64A Wale Street, Cape Town or visit their website

This Wednesday, join @thebotanistgin , @theonista and @veldandsea for a three-tiered experiential event celebrating the cycles of fire and fynbos as we raise funds for Goodhope Hope Nursery, which was ravaged by fires last year. The three themes of “Flames”, “Dormancy” and “Regrowth” will be represented by three different bartenders creating three different gin-based cocktails for your drinking pleasure. There will also be fire talks, flower-crown making, light snacks, and a make-your-own own wild-flavour cocktail station. Get your tickets now on Quicket (link in bio!) and be part of an amazing cause. More info about the fundraiser: This event is in aid of the Cape Point fires that took place last year in November with all proceeds going towards restoring the fynbos around the Good Hope Gardens Nursery. Through her workshops, Roushanna Gray has been educating people about our amazing botanical biodiversity, and has been an inspiration to many in terms of it’s culinary and mixological uses. We are honoured to be able to give back in support of this cause. ?

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Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.