Cape Town was founded by Jan van Riebeeck on 6 April 1652 as a halfway house and supply station for the Dutch East India Company during the height of the spice race. No sugarcane was grown in the Cape and the Khoi-Khoi educated the Dutch on how to harvest or milk the Suikerbossie Protea (known as Sugarbush) for its “honey nectar”. This nectar was boiled into a syrup called “bossiestroop” for sweetening food or drink. It was even used as cough medicine or a sugar alternative for diabetics. A folk song, sung during the harvest of the nectar, is still recognised today as “Suikerbos ek wil jou hê”.
When making our Protea Gin we harvest the nectar from Suikerbossie flowers by hand; gently squeezing the flower without damaging it. We macerate the King Protea to provide an extra floral layer to this soft and syrup-like gin.
This balanced blend uses 13 botanicals. It is macerated separately in the rectified grain neutral spirit at 50% abv for 4 to 6 weeks to ensure that as much flavour as possible is extracted. These macerated botanicals are then individually distilled using a custom 10-litre glass vacuum distillation column. Vacuum distillation reduces the pressure and lowers the temperature within the boiler to below 20°C.
This causes the macerated spirit to ‘boil’ and turn to vapour. The vapour moves through the condenser where the lower boiling essential oils called terpenes are collected at -89°C with dry ice (solid CO2).
The 13 individual botanical blends are diluted with reverse osmosis water and blended back together to form the one of a kind Bossiestroop Gin.