Top 5 Gin Tasting Experiences in Cape Town

With over 50 distilleries in South Africa, the craft gin revolution has taken over and new places are being established on the monthly where people can experience gin infused cocktails, gin tastings and gin and food pairings. Gin has very much become a lifestyle for many South Africans today, and it has proven to be an entirely new dynamic culture on its own.

Why Do Gin Tasting in Cape Town?

Cape town is an incredible place for gin tasting experiences due to the favourable beauty of its surroundings. Each gin tasting establishment is rich in history and diverse culture. Travelers can expect to learn a unique and different story at each distillery and can expect different surroundings from beautiful sea views to breath-taking mountain views. Cape Town is the place to be if you’d like to enhance your gin tasting experiences.

1) Hout Bay Harbour Distillery

Hout Bay Harbour Distillery offers a glorious gin tasting experience in Cape Town. Nestled on the outskirts of the vibey city, the picturesque family run gin distillery has been awarded by the World Gin Awards, which is held in the United Kingdom annually, for two of their gins. Not only is the gin experience one for the books, but the environment surrounding the distillery offers breath-taking views of the ocean and endless mountains.

The distillery has successfully curated two impressive award-winning hand-crafted gins, Harbour Dry and Navy Strength. Both gins are so smooth, they can be enjoyed on the rocks or with an Indian tonic of your choice. The gin tasting itself aims to deliver an immersive and entertaining experience to their customers, during which the team shares the process involved in making their award-winning Gins. Hout Bay Harbour’s popular gin tasting sessions can be pre-booked online here, and this is also the home of their on-line store.

2) Hope and Hopkins

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxed atmosphere for your gin tasting experience, then Hope and Hopkins is the place for you. The distillery was the first ever to be established in Cape Town and they boast a relaxing, dog friendly, and eclectic atmosphere. The gin tasting includes three or four gins which arrive in medicine style bottles served with a tonic of your choice. They also have a selection of adult Gin Popsicles made with Hope gin.

If you’d like to arrange a gin-tasting for you and your friends, reservations can be made online here.

3) Deep South Distillery

Established in 2017, this petite and fun gin tasting distillery is nestled in picturesque Kommetjie, owners Steve Erlank and James Copeland are there to entertain you and provide knowledge to their customers on gin. Watch bottles being hand-labelled and learn about the distillation process with Steve on a distillery tour. After this, enjoy a tasting of their two gins, Ruby gin and Cape Dry Gin. Their Cape Dry Gin is inspired by a London Dry style infused with aromatic Cape botanicals while their Ruby gin was inspired by Christmas and floral notes.

The tasting experience encourages you to ‘play around’ with your gins so expect to add various fruit and herbs to your glass as you taste.

Gin tastings can be enquired about here and they are happy to host private events for groups of 8-16 people during the week.

4) Pienaar and Son

This father and son owned distillery boasts hand-built stills built by the dynamic duo. The dad, Schalk Pienaar, has over 40 years of distillery technology experience and he designed the whisky still at the award-winning Bains distillery. His son, Andre, is a master of distilling and dedicates so much time and effort formulating their vodka and gins.

Expect a short tour of their distillery where they explain the process followed by a tasting of their two gins and vodka. Their gins are made from South African maize and the bottles are a piece of art and imported from Italy. Their Empire Gin is a dry English-style gin with fresh hints of earthy citrus, pine notes, Juniper berries and Angelica, while the Orient Gin is inspired by Eastern spices from the Malay culture.

Tastings can be arranged here from Friday to Sunday.

5) Wilderer

Wilderer is South Africa’s first ever private distillery and the most awarded, with over 70 international medals and awards inclusive of many Gold and Double Gold Medals.

Wilderer has two locations in Paarl, Cape Town. Their second location opened in January of 2013 on the well-known Spire Route Farm in Paarl. Here, gusts can enjoy their tasting room where gin and grappa tastings are on offer. After this, enjoy lunch at their restaurant, La Grapperia Pizza and Bistro while you marvel at the breath-taking views of the Stellenbosch Mountains and Table Mountain.

You can contact them here to make a reservation and experience unique and award-winning gins.

The Best Gin Tasting in Cape Town

There are a plethora of gin tasting experiences in and around Cape Town, but a fan favourite is the Hout Bay Harbour Distillery. Not only is the establishment surrounded by gorgeous views of Cape Town, but travellers alike can brush up their gin tasting knowledge thanks to the information provided by the passionate team. Their World award-winning Navy Strength Gin is in its own league amongst South African produced Gins and is a must-try for all gin connoisseurs.

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