The best gin brands in South Africa are 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 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.
Best Gin Brands in South Africa
1. Autograph Gin
Autograph Gin is an exquisite small-batch premium gin made with care and passion in South Africa.
Crafted by master distillers using copper pot stills to ensure the highest quality, its unique flavour comes from a careful selection of carefully sourced botanicals.
Rich undertones of juniper and citrus mingle with smooth notes of lavender, elderflower and coriander to create a well-balanced distilled spirit that’s stunning when enjoyed neat or as part of your favourite cocktail recipes.
Autograph Gin can be found in leading restaurants, bars, liquor stores and on some flights throughout South Africa for those wanting to get their hands on this decadent sipping experience.
2. Duke Sportsman Gin
For over 70 years, Duke Sportsman Gin has been impressing South African consumers with its distinctively flavourful and smooth taste.
Distilled from grain spirit and grape-based brandy in a copper pot still, this local icon has a light yellow colour more reminiscent of vodka than gin.
On the nose the gin presents clear citrus notes that are complemented by the classic juniper scent, creating an aromatic balance that’s hard to resist.
Its smooth finish allows it to be enjoyed neat or as part of your favourite cocktail.
With an alcohol content of 42%, Duke Sportsman Gin has earned numerous awards and developed a loyal following thanks to its unique flavour profile no other gin can quite match.
3. Inverroche Classic Gin
Inverroche Classic Gin is a highly sought-after spirit, making it one of the most premium gin brands in South Africa.
Blending together rare botanicals, this unique gin boasts an earthy flavour profile thanks to its characteristic fynbos and floral notes.
Fynbos is native flora which only grows in the Cape Floral Kingdom and includes fragrant herbs such as green pepper, geranium and lavender.
A glass of Inverroche Classic Gin makes for an ideal sipping experience on its own or as part of a delicious cocktail.
For best results, we recommend pairing it with tonic water then garnished with refreshingly tart grapefruit slices – perfect alongside your favourite seafood dishes like grilled prawns or crisp fish broth!
4. Umodzi Gin
Umodzi Gin is an award-winning brand of gin, hailing from the picturesque nation of Malawi.
Derived from the Ngoni language – one of Malawi’s many ethnic groups – ‘Umodzi’ translates to ‘freedom’.
The name embodies all that this beautiful nation represents as it continues to celebrate its newfound independence.
Crafted with quality ingredients and attentive care, Umodzi Gin produces a delightful and invigorating beverage that offers unbeatable value for money.
Whether you’re sipping on a classic gin & tonic or inventing your own signature cocktail, reach for Umodzi Gin and savour the flavour and freedom it symbolizes!
5. A Mari Atlantic Ocean Gin
The exquisite Mari Atlantic Ocean Gin is an artisanal craft gin created by master distiller and mixologist Neil Ellis.
This limited-edition spirit begins with an expertly distilled wheat grain base, which infuses with a bevvy of botanicals, both native to South Africa and foraged sustainably from the region.
Juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, and liquorice root combine with orange peel, lemon peel and grapefruit peel in this unique blend.
In addition to these traditional ingredients, Neil has infused his gin with local flavour: locally sourced seawater from the Atlantic coast brings a hint of brine while Fynbos honeybush and buchu add fragrant floral notes to the nose – alongside classic juniper aroma.
On sipping this award-winning libation one’s palate experiences juniper berries and citrus combined with dry pepperiness on the finish; truly evoking the essence of the South African coastline.
6. Bloedlemoen Gin
Bloedlemoen Gin is an exquisite South African gin brand, easily distinguishable by its fresh and vibrant blue packaging.
Its beautiful design has been crafted to give the feel of a beach getaway; making it a great choice for any occasion or celebration!
Plus, each bottle can even be personalised to make it extra special.
From the delicate note of citrus in its aroma to the smooth juniper-infused flavour with subtle hints of lime – this gin is definitely something for every discerning gin lover’s wish list.
Those visiting Cape Town are sure to enjoy their experience at Bloedlemoen’s tasting room located in Strand which sells everything from the signature gin itself to merchandise like aprons, t-shirts, caps and glasses.
7. Muti Gin
Muti Gin is an award-winning South African spirit that brings the essence of traditional African medicinal practices to life with its incredible flavour.
The brand derives its name from the Zulu word for ‘medicine’ and in keeping with this medicinal theme, each unique product in their range includes a special blend of African botanicals native to South Africa.
Their four distinct gins – Muti Gin, Muti Classic Dry Gin, Muti Navy Strength and Muti Barrel Aged Gin – are all crafted from fresh regional botanicals expertly chosen to give them an unmistakable taste of Africa.
All the botanicals used in the production process are locally sourced and help create a flavour profile that has something for everyone; each gin offers something new yet still pays homage to ancient local traditions.
In short, if you’re looking for a delicious drink that encapsulates everything about what makes South Africa so special then look no further than a generous pour of Muti Gin!
8. Hope on Hopkins Gin
Hope on Hopkins Gin is an award-winning South African craft distillery that has made a name for itself in the international spirits scene.
Founded by two brothers who longed for something more creative than their everyday jobs, Hope on Hopkins became the first-ever gin distillery in South Africa when the pair saw the lack of locally-made gins.
Following their success and numerous awards, they have since partnered with renowned brands such as Harley Davidson to create even more exquisite and delicious gins.
This incredible range can be enjoyed both within South Africa’s borders as well as exported across the world.
9. Cape Fynbos Gin
Cape Fynbos Gin is quickly becoming one of the most acclaimed gin brands in South Africa.
Hand-crafted in small batches and infused with African botanicals like Buchu, Honeybush and Rose Geranium, this distinctive spirit is distilled in a copper pot still named Prudence.
Since its launch back in 2016, Fynbos Gin has enjoyed great success, quickly becoming a firm favourite among local consumers who were thrilled to have access to a proudly South African product.
This reputation spread across borders and was recently rewarded when it won Gold at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – confirmation that Cape Fynbos Gin is one of the best quality gins on offer today!
Excitingly for those further afield, you can now get hold of this unique South African spirit here in New Zealand too!
10. Musgrave Gin
Musgrave Gin has long been one of South Africa’s finest gin acquisitions and when their newest flavour, the Musgrave Rosemary Lemon Gin debuted, we were intrigued.
Crafted in the historic Durban Distillery, this special mix is an exquisite marriage between herbal rosemary and zesty citrus notes.
The three main variants available from the distillery are the classic original Musgrave offering, a fruity take on their award-winning spirit with the Pink variant and for those who prefer something more complex – their 11 Botanical Signature Dry Mark III gin.
As far as summer drinks go, our taste buds have never been more tantalised than by this delightful Rosemary Lemon infusion – a must-try for all discerning tipplers!