The Distilling Natives
With the craft gin industry in South Africa well into its hey-day, it’s not hard to see how the juniper-
rich spirit, originally sought-after as a cure-all for the treatment of all manner of medieval ailments,
has captured the imaginations of micro-distillers across the country and become the fashionable
drink of choice millions of South African spirit connoisseurs.
While the origins of gin remain contentious, it has certainly been around for a long time, dating
back most notably to the Middle Ages when the Dutch began distilling gin in earnest with hundreds
of distilleries cropping up all over Amsterdam. But the true so-called “Gin-craze” exploded into
existence when the spirit skipped the English Channel over into England in the late 17th, early 18th
centuries, rapidly gaining popularity among denizens of London taverns and alehouses. This era
was so rowdy and ungovernable that Parliament passed no fewer than 5 legislative acts over 22
years in a vain attempt to rein-in the population’s gin-frenzy!
While things are remarkably better regulated and well-organized in modern day South Africa, it’s hard not to see the parallels between London’s infamous Gin Graze and the buzz surrounding the distillation of craft gin across the country. Connoisseurs can now find plethora of gins both on the shelves and boutique online stores to match all tastes, from botanically rich to citrusy, to flower, and more. One such gin, recently making its mark on the scene is Native Gin. A uniquely distilled highveld gin from Hartbeespoort at the foot of the Magalies Mountain.
Created in 2019 by entrepreneur and creative, Ashely Moemise, Native Gin is distilled at the award-winning Incendo Distilery. The three uniquely distinctive gins are distilled with no less than botanicals each mostly native to South Africa and the continent. Native Gin, the brand’s flagships marked by it’s Staple, Honey-bush, which is a relative of both fynbos and Rooibos, giving the spirits a distinctly amber color when infused. Native, however, is made by distilling the Honey-bush, as well as the three other citruses, to not only give its hue, but also its wonderfully crisp, smooth finish. The Trio of Gins is so rounded out by the Pink-tinged, Hibiscus-infused Kulture gin and the Orange-infused Cara Cara gin, which takes its name from the sweet, pink-fleshed Cara Cara orange farmed in Limpopo.
With over two decades of experience in design, international Tavel,restauranteuring,and entrepreneurship, brand owner Ashley Moemise created Native Spirits to be a reflection of all these loves, passion and experience, and a celebration off one’s spirit, resilience and sense of belonging on the world,which makes us all across-Africa and the world- Native .
With the Distilling Natives celebrating their 2nd birthday in April 2021,they have decided to give back to the communities that nurtured them by founding the Native Care Foundation.Led by a board of black, highly-educated industry leaders in business, academics and politics, the Foundations instead is trying to reinvent the wheel and aims to plug into existing educational needs and partner with various organisations to benefit young learners all across South Africa.With this in mind, they will be celebrating the official launch of the foundation with the Native Care Inaugural Golf Day set to take place at the Houghton Golf Club on 30 April 2021.
To shop Native Gin,visit www.thedistillingnative.co.za .To learn more and support the Foundation,visit www.nativefoundation.org