Updated: Sep 21, 2018
Ollie, Teddy and I went to see my family in Cape Town at the beginning on the year, this was the holiday we decided to actually bite the bullet and set up The Gin Inn.
We thought it was important to really get into the swing of things whilst we were away and taste as many gins as possible. There was one gin that we fell in love with and that is Six Dogs Blue – we do love the Karoo as well but the Six Dogs Blue has to be our favourite!
As soon as we had one we were hooked and we wanted to know how it all came about. We spoke with Charles and he gave us the background:
We started making gin as a hobby. That was after trying to make wine - and not succeeding. Well the gin seemed to take off with friends as we distilled on our converted copper geyser still in a garage surrounded by our six dogs. After a late night with my brother and entrepreneur Glenn, and friend and luthier Luigi we bravely decided to take the next step and become craft distillers. Luigi designed the still and imported the components while we built a distillery on our farm. It took two years to get our licence, and although these were very frustrating times, it did force us to spend the entire two years perfecting our gin. Our farm is surrounded by mountains with beautiful fresh water. Also, we are on the fringe of the Karoo biome and between the Fynbos and Renosterveld biomes. This of course offered up unique plants enabling us to create a classic gin with a Karoo overlay. We opened for business in December 2016 after a friend bought 8 bottles.
We actually thought the Karoo gin would be sufficient until we came across people drinking Blue tea in Indonesia. The idea stuck and a few months later the Six Dogs Blue was born. It’s a very robust gin, certainly a party gin that not only turns pink when tonic is added (we didn’t know this at the time) but can stand the most incredible array of garnishes. In contrast Karoo is a delicate, very finely balanced classic gin that requires no garnish at all. I must just mention that a mixologist once served us a Six Dogs Blue with curry leaves and strawberries. Delicious!!
We asked Charles how he thinks the best way to serve the gin and he said: We don’t like to prescribe ratios and cocktails as everyone’s taste is different. But a dry Blue Martini, or a Karoo G & T with Fitch & Leedes or Barker and Quin or Fever Tree is just sublime. Even on a cold day.
We have found we love both of the six dogs gins paired with Fever Tree Elderflower and we add rose petals to the Blue and Lavender to the Karoo. We also always find that as soon as we serve one at a party the bottle seems to disappear!
Cutting a long story short you can either come down to one of the events we are at and try some of this gin or you can head on over to Gin Kiosk and order it yourself – we promise you will not be disappointed!