Artisanal gin-tasting experience at Hope Distillery in Cape Town

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Give the hipster gin bars a rest and go straight to Hope Distillery for a tasting experience that will let you see exactly what goes into crafting the super spirit – and sip perfect-serve G&Ts while you’re at it.

Did someone say gin o’clock? Step into Hope Distillery, arguably one of Cape Town’s coolest artisanal gin distilleries – and one of the only ones in the world that distills its base spirit from barley – for an experience that’ll blow your mind (and gin-lovin’ taste buds).

Hope Distillery Gin-tasting Experience

This unique gin-tasting experience gives you a real insider’s view of the magic that happens behind Hope gins. Over the course of two hours, owner-distillers Lucy Beard and Leigh Lisk, along with distillery cat Mimo, distillery-cat-in-training Martini and rescue pup Mr Scruff, will offer you the inside scoop into the whole artisanal gin-making business, from the ingredients they start off with to the magic that happens in their two gorgeous stainless-steel stills, Mildred and Maude.

The Eatsplorer Guide to the best gin tasting in Cape Town. Discover the best artisanal gin-tasting experiences in Cape Town that you should not miss out on.

But it’s not just all talk. To help you get a handle on it all, you’ll get to sample four of the hand-crafted gins in their range – including their very first, the classic London Dry, the Salt River, which is infused with the local herb, kapokbos, and the Mediterranean, infused with olives, rosemary and basil – in perfect-serve gin and tonics.

Made with local, artisanal tonic, each of the drinks will be customised with different garnishes to showcase the unique characteristics of each gin style. Bet you’ve never thought of garnishing your G&T with twist of grapefruit and sprig of thyme, have you?

Helping you keep a level-ish head, there’ll be snacks provided, but Lucy and Leigh strongly recommend organising a taxi or Uber home. After all, when it’s this amazing, it’s hard not to drink all of the gin, and then some.

Highlights

  • Taste 4 different handcrafted artisanal gins
  • Enjoy a guided experience with distillers, with an overview of the distilling process and brief background on what makes gin “gin”
  • Sip perfect serve G&Ts overlooking the distillery floor
  • Each G&T accompanied by small bites
  • Guest appearances by distillery cats and rescue pup

What’s included

  • 4 gin and tonics made with Hope Distillery craft gin
  • Light snacks to accompany the gin and tonics
  • Curated tasting with distillers Lucy and Leigh
  • Overview of the gin-making and distilling process

Tell me all about it!

The tasting lasts two hours, beginning promptly at 18h00 at Hope Distillery in Salt River. You will be given a welcome drink on arrival before a short talk giving an overview of the distillery set-up and the gin-distilling process.

This will be followed by a seated, curated tasting, using a tasting board with 4 craft gins. Lucy and Leigh will guide the group through mixing the perfect G&T for each style and guests also get to “mix their own” gin and tonics as they go.

Each drink is explained – both in terms of the botanicals and nose and palate, as well as why it is garnished in a particular way. Each will be paired with a simple snack. All of the gins are available for sale afterwards, and Leigh and Lucy are happy to recommend their favorite spots for dinner in the area to head on to afterwards.

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Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald

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