Gin & Vodka Tasting:
Building a legacy and starting a tradition in the heart of Cape Town. If you’re above the age of 18, it’s always gin o’clock. Whether you’re meeting a few friends for sun-downers after a stressful day, playing silly drinking games on a night out, or picnicking with the family at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden over the weekend, a stiff drink is always a welcomed reward for adulting successfully.
But all we really know about alcohol is that is combined with the right mixers, it tastes good, and if we drink too many yummy cocktails, we’ll end up feeling a little… erm… festive. So we visited Pienaar & Son to get a liquor education straight from a distiller’s mouth.
Pienaar & Son:
“People have become very accustomed to glossy tasting rooms,” the Son of the Pienaar & Son brand shares when he joins us. “I try model the brand as very relaxed and unpretentious. I don’t care for making things look ‘pretty’ or fake. People are welcome to come in here when there’s work in progress, and if we’re fixing a pipe, that’s what actually happens here. We aren’t ashamed of customers seeing what goes into making the product,” Andre adds candidly.
Founded in 2016, and already winning awards for best vodka in SA, Pieenar & Sons is proof that being sentimental about yesteryear isn’t always smart. “I believe that big brands have sold this idea that heritage equals quality, which means they can exclude people from the market.” Andre begins, “I find it funny that technology has allowed us to move forward in the world but people will insist that the way we made whiskey 300 years ago is the best way to make whiskey.” But the distillery’s mantra is to start a tradition as it’s never too late to build a brand.
“It’s just booze. It happens to be really good booze, but it is just alcohol at the end of the day,” Andre explains as we make our way to the main counter. “It’s fun, and as distillers we tend to take ourselves a little too seriously,” he adds, lining up our tasting glasses .