During my first visit to the Mother City in late 2015, on a boozy Friday night out, I asked a bartender for something local to have with my tonic water. His recommendation? Salt River Gin, made by the local distillery Hope on Hopkins.
After the hangover subsided the following morning, I did a little research and found that their distillery is the first to be licensed by the city of Cape Town. After a few email exchanges with the master distiller, I was invited for a tasting – and who can say no to that? 🙂
Hope on Hopkins make a number of gins and a small batch vodka, but I had to play favourites in order to stay within Australia’s duty free limit – along with one other delicious gin, I decided to bring a bottle of the Salt River Gin home with me.
True to the name, the nose of the gin is almost salty – on first taste as the juniper hit fades, the peppery spicy flavours from the buchu plant come to the fore with the pine notes of the kapokbos plant around the edges. Buchu and kapokbos are both native to South Africa. It’s definitely more of a savoury gin, but the botanicals make it quite different to other savoury gins I’ve tried.
I’d encourage anyone living in or visiting South Africa to look this gin up – I’m certainly planning on bringing more back next time I have an opportunity to travel over there!
How to drink it
I really enjoyed this gin neat, but it also works well as a G&T with grapefruit (I tried it again just recently with a sprig of rosemary, but that was overkill). It would make for an interesting Martinez or maybe a dirty, dirty Martini! 😉
Gin nerd stuff
- ABV: 43%
- Style: London Dry Gin
- Botanicals: Kapokbos and Buchu
Picture credit: Gin tasting at Hope on Hopkins (taken by me)