The spirit of the Great Karoo was alive and well at the recent 2019 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards held on Friday (4 October) in Cape Town. Bossieveld Gin walked away with double gold for Inspiration – or as it’s more popular known as Meerkat.
Established in 1997, the awards offer South African producers the opportunity of having their wines and spirits adjudicated locally by a highly experienced and respected panel of professionals from around the globe. Success at this prestigious event generally reflects that the wines and spirits would be well received both in South Africa and abroad.
“Great Karoo Spirit has shown that it’s a producer that can compete with the best gin houses in the country. They say a great story always starts from humble beginnings and this is something we’ve shown to be true. From the moment pharmacist Louise van der Walt researched the medicinal properties of the Karoo bossies, it set in motion a journey that has culminated with this recognition,” says Ian Goss-Ross, CEO and co-owner at Great Karoo Spirit.
Great Karoo Spirit’s Bossieveld Craft Gin is made from three things – grain-based vodka, juniper berries and other traditional gin botanicals, and the Wild Karoo botanicals, i.e. the unique Karoo Bossies.
“While all proper gins require the first two components, our secret is Louise’s intimate knowledge of fragrant Karoo bossies. This has resulted in a botanical infusion of completely unique bouquets and flavours. Distilling her personal blend of bossies result in gin that creates a kaleidoscope of aromas and tastes so complex that it cannot be described easily.”
Bossieveld Mystique Gin evokes early mornings with hot coffee and aniseed rusks. Louise likens the taste to a family of sparrows chattering in the bluegum tree with the sun just starting to peek over the Bobbejaanberg. The gin is juniper-driven with hints of citrus and floral notes. Herbal notes are accentuated by the Wild Karoo botanicals which also add the 100% natural colour.
Bossieveld Inspiration Gin reminds Louise of warm summer evenings under the stars, and of a soft breeze through the bluegum trees and candle-light calling from inside open windows. It is also the fragrance of late afternoons after a long, hot day, and sunset colours when the deep indigo melts into warm red and orange.
This gin is distilled with traditional gin botanicals and complemented by a selection of Wild Karoo Bossie botanicals. Traditional botanicals include juniper, coriander, chamomile, kaffir lime, orange peel, lemon peel, orris route, angelica, and cassia bark. The gin is juniper-driven with hints of citrus and floral notes. Wild Karoo botanicals subtly accentuate herbal notes and add a truly amazing finish and completeness to the gin.
“Just like the people and region it hails from, our gin is invigorating and free-spirited. It is nostalgic and wistful. You really must live and experience it for yourself. And the awards we received reflect that it is a taste that compels and delights. Our success is a combination of efforts and input of many individuals and companies and we are grateful for the tremendous support and encouragement we have received. We are looking forward to continuing this magical journey with even more innovation and flavours,” concludes Ian Goss-Ross.
For more information, go to: https://www.greatkaroospirit.com
ABOUT GREAT KAROO SPIRIT
Long before craft gins became trendy, Louise van der Walt, a native pharmacist began researching the medicinal properties of the bossies. Armed with modern pharmaceutical knowledge, a deep love for the farm of her childhood, stubborn dedication and the help from a few descendants of the first people she picked, squished, chewed, boiled, distilled, extracted, mixed, made paste, made tea, made homeopathic drops, analysed and tested bossie after bossie. Until that one fateful day.
The day she infused a grain-based vodka with a mixed extract of aromatic bossies and served it to her friends. Louise recalls the day as “The day everyone stopped listening about my grand medicinal plans and discoveries to continuously interrupt me to ask for another taste of the gin.”
The rest is history (in the making). That’s how a quest for medicine created medicine for the soul, a sort of detox for the heart. That’s what friends are for. And that is how Great Karoo Spirit’s first product, Bossieveld Craft Gin was born.
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