It fascinates me how the local Gin market is growing by leaps and bounds, and that new Gin producers see new gaps to launch their brands. On Monday I attended the launch of Cape Town’s newest Gin brand Geometric Gin and associated with it unique Symmetry Botanical Tonics.
The Geometric Drinks Company was established by Jean-Baptiste Cristini, who has a French name and an Italian surname. He made it clear to us that Geometrics is not a Gin company but is a Botanicals company, and it appears that he has further products up his sleeve, mentioning a Dutch style Jenever Brandy, and a whisky, using Mullineux grapes.
What makes his Tonics unusual is that they are concentrated syrups, available in three variants:
#. Citrus Tonic, with Lemon, grapefruit, and Buchu.
#. Spice Tonic, with clove, cardamom, and Kapokbos
#. Floral Tonic, with Rose Pelargonium, lavender, and chamomile.
In making gins using Geometric Gin, one adds one of the three concentrated Tonics, and then carbonated water, which is made by the Geometric Drinks Company too. The first tasting Station we were directed to was the Botanical Tonics, tasting only the Tonics with the carbonated water.
Jean-Baptiste told me that he had worked in Champagne for ten years, coming back to our country four years ago, and he was the marketing director for the Charles Back properties before going on his own, to start Geometric Drinks Company.
Andrea Mullineux sat next to Jean-Baptiste at a wedding two years ago, and the two connected about Jean-Baptiste’s dream of producing a Gin. It had been the dream of Chris and Andrea Mullineux too, and so they decided to collaborate, providing guidance in the production of alcoholic products, Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines being one of the most highly regarded wine producers in our country, and Andrea having been named the best winemaker in the world by Wine Enthusiast earlier this year! Mr Analjit Singh, founder of the Leeu Collection, who owns a 50 % share in Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, has a share in the Geometric Drinks Company too.
While we were tasting at three stations in the beautiful rustic upstairs event venue at The Gin Bar, we were served the most delectable canapés, made by Source Food, using flowers such as snapdragons, pansies, and also pea shoots to add beauty and colour to the canapé platters, linking to the emphasis on Botanicals in the Symmetry Tonics. Source Food is owned by Jonathan Moldan. I had not previously seen the company name nor experienced its canapé platters at events. I was very impressed with the endless supply of canapés, and the professionalism of the two staff members taking the platters around the room. We were served the following:
#. Snoek pâté
#. Smoked salmon
#. Tomato and basil pesto on crisps
#. Prawn crisps
#. Unusual popcorn topped with seaweed
# Black olives served on a bed of sprouts
# Fish Tacos
#. Koeksisters ended off the canapé spoiling.
The second Station we were encouraged to visit served three Gins with the Botanical Tonics, and I selected the Gin with the Citrus Tonic, while my friend Gail chose a Gin with the Floral Tonic.
The third Station was a Drinks trolley, at which The Gin Bar Master Bar Tender, as whisky guru Bernard Gutman called him (‘Mixologist’ not being a cool name, according to Bernard) Peter Lebese made martinis, one of them a Dirty Martini, which contained an olive, while another was made with freeze-dried grapefruit. I was fascinated
that the Dirty Martini was smudged with a twig of lavender which was lit, the aroma of the lavender being absorbed into the martini. The Dirty Martini is made with 2,5 measures of Gin, and 0,5 measure of Vermouth.
Bernard informed us that a good martini should be made with Gin and not Vodka. It should also be stirred to open up the Botanicals, and not shaken, contrary to the image presented by James Bond movies. Peter told us that it should only be shaken if citrus is added.
Twice in less than a week I have seen marketing material printed on recycled paper containing seeds, in the instance of the Geometric Drinks Company launch the recycled paper contained African Daisy seeds, and one is encouraged to sow the business card as well as a Symmetry card in light moist soil, once one has recorded the information and contact details. I was told that Jean-Baptiste will be growing the Botanicals for his Tonics at The Siding, formerly the offices of Graham Beck in Franschhoek, and once a nursery, which I supported when I lived in Franschhoek.
Disclosure: We received a bottle of the Symmetry Tonics, and I chose the Citrus Tonic.
Geometric Drinks Company. www.geometricdrinks.com Twitter: @GeometricDrinks Instagram: @Geometricdrinks The Geometric Gin costs R490, while the 500ml Symmetry Botanical Tonics cost R160.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Twitter: @ulmenstein Instagram: @chris_ulmenstein