The whole idea of going back to school and studying again gives me the shivers, but if you mention that there’s gin involved I might just ask for a slice of cucumber and sing a different tune.
Inverroche Gin School at Café Gannet Restaurant in Mossel Bay
Inverroche Gin Distillery has set up school in Mossel Bay at Café Gannet Restaurant’s Ochre Building, one of the oldest buildings in Mossel Bay which was built in 1847 for the Barry & Nephews trading company, and for the past few months school has been in session.
And it has been an educational experience of note. Gin notes.
Instead of starting the class with a pencil and notebook, you start with a gin-on-arrival, a glass of Inverroche in the midst of a love affair with floating fruity bits and berries before moving on to the story of gin, Inverroche Distillery, and a thorough explanation of the different bases to choose from when making your own gin.
The base gin botanicals include juniper of course, angelica root, cassia, coriander and orange zest and then you choose between a floral, citrus, herbal, cool and spicy base; each base is made up of its own ingredients and includes uniquely South African twigs and leaves like wild dagga, kooigoed and buchu to name a few.
And then the fun really begins and you live out your mad scientist dream you had when you were 13 years old as you add more flavours – top notes such as cocoa powder, rooibos, mango, kapokbossie, banana and coconut – to your concoction which gets tied up, beaten up by mortar and pestle and then thrown into a golden pot of alcohol that will then reach a certain temperature before your distilled gin starts dripping drops of future Friday nights in the beaker.
As you wait, you do a gin tasting with four of Inverroche’s varieties, Gin Glassic that is crisp and dry (limestone fynbos), Gin Verdant that is soft and floral (mountain fynbos), Gin Amber that is rich and aromatic (coastal fynbos) and Coco Carissa, a creative collection and limited release range.
And one more drop.
You give your gin a name, slap some stickers on the bottle, mix the contents of your beaker with water, swish it around without trying to make a mess and then voilà, you have made your own gin.
And then all you need is the tonic, and perhaps a Mossel Bay sunset for the perfect sundowner.
But wait, there is more happening with Inverroche Gin at Café Gannet. There is also a gin-and-food pairing offering where you can taste a bit of South Africa. Imagine digging into a lightly smoked rooibos salmon nigiri and vetkoek with bobotie mince and zesty spekboom chutney? Sounds lekker, right?
Watch the video:
Want to go to school in Mossel Bay? Here are the Inverroche Gin School details.
Classes are offered twice daily, there is a session at 11:30 and one at 16:00. The Ochre Building can accommodate groups of up to 36 guests; bookings for individuals can be made on the day (or in advance) but if you are a larger group earlier bookings are recommended.
Price: R595. The price includes arrival drink, gin tasters, the experience and at the end of the day, your own home-made bottle of gin.
Duration: 2½ hours.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 044 691 1885 | 084 505 9060
Interested in the tutored gin pairing experience with canapés?
Pairing happens every day at 10h30 and 15h00 and is R180 per person.
Disclaimer: Going Somewhere Slowly was hosted by Mossel Bay Tourism and Café Gannet, all opinions are my own (while some opinions might have been fueled by the love for gin). Photos supplied.