Summer is definitely on its way and the best way to kickstart it is with a gin tasting.  We’ve been lucky enough to get a taste of the good weather these past few weeks. For most of us, summer revolves around friends, the outdoors, good music and sun-downers. And, who can blame you? Add in gin tastings and those truly are the good things in life!

The Wade Bales Cap Classique & Gin Affair 2018 delivered just that! Hosted at The Grand Africa beach bar in Cape Town, the event was held over two beautiful weekend afternoons. Guests had the opportunity to taste local MCCs and indulge in craft gin tastings from around the globe. To top off the afternoon, we indulged in fresh oysters and some live music.

The MCC.

Without hesitation, I jumped in and started with a crisp glass of Silverthorn “The Genie” MCC. With a breathtaking view of the Atlantic, my feet sank into the sand and I absorbed the afternoon sun. Walking around, I noticed everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves, listening to interesting tales from different farms. Some of the favourite MCCs being poured were the Krone Night Nectar, Steenberg Lady R, Nico van Der Merwe, Villiera Monro Brut 2012 and Waterkloof Astraues.

The Gin.

After a few oysters and some great conversation, I moved onto the gin tasting. If you enjoy gin like me, this would have been heaven for you!

Twenty-two distillers from around the world serving their best gins, each with different aromas, tasting notes and serving suggestions. Trust me, it was a gin tasting for the record books.

Most were served with an aromatic Fitch & Leedes tonic, others with Chinchona Premium Indian tonic. Once the gin and tonic was poured, I was offered an array of fruits and botanicals to add to my drink to spice up the gin tasting. Most distillers offered orange slices, lemon, cucumber and pomegranate seeds. One stood out for me by offering locally sourced botanicals with their pours. Introducing…

The Botanist GinThe Botanist.

Aptly named, this smooth gin boasts a subtle mint, aniseed and honey nose with a fresh citrus finish on the palate.

The first and only Islay Dry Gin, it’s crafted with 22 hand-foraged island botanicals. And, it’s damn delicious. Add the premium tonic and the flavours swirl together to create a sensational, refreshing way to cool down on a hot summer’s day.

For my gin tasting, I selected peppermint pelargonium as my botanical of choice. It accentuated the wild mint flavor profiles of the gin beautifully…what a treat!

Gins around the worldTime to say goodbye.

After a few more tastings from the likes of Bloedlemoen, Ginologist, Malfy and Monkey 47, it was time to head home. But first, I bought a few bottles as Christmas gifts!

What an incredible experience! I leave with a greater appreciation for both gin and MCC.  The event staff were very helpful and the tasting hosts charming and charismatic. It made an afternoon of MCC and gin tasting interesting and engaging.

My suggestion this summer is simple. Grab some of your closest friends, find an unforgettable view near the water, put on some chilled music and enjoy the sun with a glass of MCC or a refreshing gin and tonic spiced up with some foraged botanicals.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.