The past weekend saw the Grand Opening of a craft gin bar inside the Classic Cats showroom at the Vredenheim wine estate, and naturally we had to attend. And so, Sunday we got in the car for a mini road trip out to Stellenbosch to sample some of the finest craft gin in the land.
It was extremely hot as we drove out, and we were keen to cool down with a G&T (or two). As you arrive at Vredenheim and park, you’re greeted by a few zebras who loiter in an area neat the entrance, and towards your left, the “gin tasting” sign beckons you.
As we arrived the classic cats showroom, we noticed the sign that said “please don’t go beyond this point… unless you have gin in your system” and decided to strictly enforce it. After perusing the price list, we decided on the craft gin tasting, which allows you to sample 3 craft gins for R70.
We were shown the shelves carrying the weight of the vast amount of gins available, and told to select any three. We decided to sample the Six Dogs Blue, The Pink Lady Cape Town, and Inverroche Amber.
The tasting itself is divided into three parts: first, you try the gins neat. Next, you add whichever combination of garnishes you’d like, which are provided on the table, to your gin. Finally, after trying your garnish-flavoured gin, you choose which tonics you’d like to add to your gins, and enjoy the final product.
After sipping it neat, and appreciating how flavourful they all were, we proceeded to add in our extras – orange for the Six Dogs Blue and Inverroche, and strawberries and blueberries to compliment the sweet Pink Lady. After sampling these we added our tonics to the Six Dogs Blue and Pink Lady only, as we were advised that the Inverroche would be good with some ice and water.
All were delicious (even without the tonics) and partly thanks to the tips of the wonderful lady who helped us with our tasting. The Inverroche is a smooth drinking gin, capable of being drunk with just ice, like a whiskey. The Pink Lady was delicious, though quite sweet with the pink tonic, but will definitely a great summer cocktail. The Six Dogs Blue was definitely my favourite, not just because it matches my hair. Easy drinking, it paired well with the orange and tonic water, and went down extremely well. We were told that a winning combination for the Six Dogs Blue is orange and ginger ale, and I am very excited to try this out very soon.
Our tasting complete, we decided to stroll around the showroom, and admire the vintage cars on display, all of which are available for hire. All in all, it was a Sunday well spent (we took a stroll around the estate to the big cat park and animal farm, which I’ll probably do a follow up post on) and if you’re a gin lover, I’d highly recommend to stop by one beautiful summer’s day to have a drink there.