The best gin brands in South Africa is Autograph Gin, Duke Sportsman Gin, Inverroche Classic Gin, Inverroche Classic Gin, Umodzi Gin, and A Mari Atlantic Ocean Gin.
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South Africa is a country known for its wine, with some of the best pinot noirs in the world coming from the Western Cape.
But there’s another lesser-known drink that South Africans can be proud of, one that has only emerged in recent decades, has a long history of global popularity and is associated with a quintessentially British experience: gin.
With so many gin brands in South Africa, choosing a good one can be a challenge.
When you want to get the best out of your drinking experience, you must know what to look for in a gin brand.
The perfect gin brand should have a high alcohol % and have sufficient flavours to make your taste buds come alive.
Here are some great South African Gin brands that you will love as well as some cool Gin cocktail recipes so that you can mix things up a bit and make your drinks taste even better.
1. Autograph Gin
Autograph Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa. It is handcrafted by people who are passionate about their craft.
Autograph Gin is a small batch premium gin, made with passion and care.
The liquor is produced by copper pot distillation and it has a delicious taste that makes it a favourite among many people.
The result is a smooth, aromatic and well-balanced gin that you can enjoy on its own or as part of a cocktail.
Autograph Gin can be found in leading bars, restaurants, liquor stores and on some airlines in South Africa.
2. Duke Sportsman Gin
Duke Sportsman Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa, with a long history and many awards.
This locally produced gin is made using a copper pot still to give it a great taste, and the distillery has been around since 1950.
In the bottle, Duke Sportsman Gin has a pale yellow colour that looks more like vodka than a gin.
When you open it up, you notice that there are clear citrus notes right at the top of the aroma, but they blend well with the juniper.
It’s very well balanced and has a smooth finish that you can enjoy neat or in your favourite cocktail.
Duke’s gin is made from a combination of grain spirit and grape-based brandy, with an alcohol content of 42%.
The result is a unique flavour that stands out from other gins on the market.
3. Inverroche Classic Gin
Inverroche Classic Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa.
It has a unique, earthy flavour from the fynbos it contains. Fynbos is a type of shrubbery that grows in the Cape Floral Kingdom.
The gin has notes of green pepper, geranium and lavender, which makes it perfect for enjoying on its own or using as the base for a cocktail.
It can be enjoyed neat or over ice, but we recommend mixing it with tonic water and garnishing it with fresh grapefruit.
This refreshing cocktail will pair well with food if you’re hosting a dinner party.
We suggest serving up some gourmet seafood dishes like grilled prawns or a delicate fish broth.
4. Umodzi Gin
Umodzi Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa.
If you are looking for a good quality gin brand that offers great value for money, then you should consider Umodzi Gin.
Umodzi comes from the Ngoni language, which is one of the many ethnic groups in Malawi, and means ‘freedom’.
The reason why we chose to name our brand after this Swahili word is because we want to celebrate the freedom that we have as a country, now that we are an independent nation.
5. A Mari Atlantic Ocean Gin
A Mari Atlantic Ocean Gin is a premium craft gin handcrafted in small batches by master distiller and head bartender, Neil Ellis.
This exceptional gin starts with a base spirit of wheat grain that is distilled six times before being infused with botanicals.
The botanicals include juniper, coriander, angelica root, liquorice root, orange peel, lemon peel and grapefruit peel.
There are also foraged fynbos botanicals including honeybush and buchu as well as some which are locally sourced including seawater from the Atlantic Ocean and African Wormwood.
The final result is a bright, vibrant gin that evokes the essence of the South African coastline.
The nose of this award-winning gin has notes of juniper and citrus with hints of floral fynbos and a whiff of brine.
The palate offers up notes of juniper, citrus and herbal fynbos with hints of spice and dry pepperiness on the finish.
6. Bloedlemoen Gin
Bloedlemoen Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa.
The bottle has a beautiful design and with the colour blue, it gives a fresh look.
The packaging is something I can relate to, by making me feel as though I’m having a beach day every day.
It’s a great gift for any occasion and it can be personalised which makes it even more special.
I would recommend this gin to any gin lover because it’s a must-try!
And if you are in the Cape Town area, you can visit their tasting room which is located in Strand.
The shop sells gin, gin merchandise and other items such as aprons, t-shirts, caps or glasses.
7. Muti Gin
Muti Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa.
It is hand-crafted from fresh botanicals and is infused with a special blend of African botanicals to create a true local flavour.
The Muti Gin range consists of four gins: Muti Gin, Muti Classic Dry Gin, Muti Navy Strength and Muti Barrel Aged Gin.
The Muti brand has its roots in traditional African medicine practices and the meaning of “Muti” is medicine in Zulu.
Each gin in the range takes its name from a traditional medicinal plant.
All of these plants are used in the distillery as additives to enhance each product’s uniquely South African flavour profile.
The botanicals used are also sourced locally and are therefore also authentic to South Africa.
8. Hope on Hopkins Gin
Hope on Hopkins Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa. And it’s not just us saying it, they’ve won multiple awards at a number of international spirits competitions.
The distillery was started by two brothers, who were dissatisfied with their day jobs, and wanted to do something more creative.
They discovered that no gins were being made in South Africa and decided to be the first.
Today they are one of the leading craft gin distilleries in South Africa.
They’ve also collaborated with other well-known brands including Harley Davidson and created a range of gins for the local market as well as for export.
9. Cape Fynbos Gin
Cape Fynbos Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa. This small-batch gin is made in the Western Cape with African botanicals like Buchu, Honeybush and Rose Geranium, distilled in a copper pot still called Prudence.
Fynbos Gin was an instant success when it launched in 2016. At the time, there were only a handful of South African gins available and local consumers were keen to support a proudly South African product.
It wasn’t long before international attention followed, with Fynbos Gin winning a Gold medal at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Now you can get your hands on this unique South African spirit in New Zealand!
10. Musgrave Gin
Musgrave Gin is one of the best gin brands in South Africa, and we were very excited to try out their new flavours.
The Musgrave Rosemary Lemon Gin is a delicious mix of fresh rosemary and citrus.
The Musgrave Gin Distillery is located in Durban, where they also hold tastings and tours.
They have three main gins available, which are the original Musgrave Gin, the Musgrave Pink Gin and the Musgrave 11 Botanical Signature Dry Gin.
The Musgrave Rosemary Lemon Gin might be our favourite yet and it’s perfect for summer cocktails!