Here we are in 2019! It’s hard to believe that another year of foodie adventures has come and gone, but before we seek out the new, let’s have a quick look back.

As a true gin fanatic, one of my favourite outings each year is the Gin & Tonic Festival. 2018 was its 3rd year and with over 50 local and international gins on offer, we were truly in gin-soaked heaven.

Our strategy was simple, we arrived early (by Uber of course) and sought out the new faces on the scene. First up was one of my new favourites, Autograph, from Stellenbosch. This gem is infused with many of my best botanicals. Being someone who grew up with the aroma of citrus at home, Autograph’s nose of naartjie, lemon, citrus buchu and Pelargonium makes it an absolute winner.

Sticking with the citrus as well as the season, we just had to sample Bloedlemoen’s limited edition festive offering. With Blood Orange, Liquorice Root and many of the spices that evoke memories of family and celebration, it’s truly Christmas in a glass. Next we happily stumbled upon Still 33 Distillery Co. where Curtis and Bronwyn introduced us to Flivver and Jenny. If ever there were gins with fascinating stories, these are them. Taking lead from the anniversary of prohibition and the age of homemade bathtub gins, Still 33 have created a noteworthy pair which will be staples in my collection from now on. The sweet citrus burst and smooth earthy Rooibos of Flivver, beautifully contrasts the essential oils of Macadamia nuts, almond, grapefruit and coriander of Jenny.

After a few pitstops at some of our other favourites, Hendrick’s, Inverroche and Six Dogs, the bubbling and smoking creations of Rhino Beetle caught our eye. Paired with Rosemary, mixed berries and Pomegranate, the strong flavours of this one of Polokwane’s ‘Little Five’ are ideal for toasting special occasions.As the day wore on, we enjoyed delicious craft food accompanied by second rounds of some of our fest favs and some chilled sounds from Jackie Queens, Oh Those Guys and Academie on the Schweppes Stage.

The Gin & Tonic Festival proved once again that it is the best place to experience gins both new and old. Be certain to book your tickets for G&T Festival 2019!