DOUBLE gold medals were awarded to 21 gins out of 125 entries from all over South Africa, in the 2020 South African Craft Gin Awards 2020, presented by Takealot and associate sponsor Schweppes premium mixers. It is the only dedicated competition for craft gins in South Africa.
The gins were tasted blind by a judging panel which included Kurt Schlechter, bar owner and spirit expert; Jean Buckham, owner of the Gin Club; Thierry Lubala, mixologist at Africa’s largest gin Bar in Asara Estate; and Pam Koen, owner of Africa Infused, a beverage consulting and training company.
Roger Jorgensen, “The Guru of South African Gin”, who chaired the judging panel, commented: “I am delighted that, despite the pandemic, the SA craft gin industry is in rude health. We were impressed with the level of entries this year, especially from new gin brands. The judging panel concentrated on rewarding gins that delivered on taste and quality. We look forward to witnessing the continuing boom in craft gins in South Africa, as they can clearly hold their own against international competitors.”
There is no doubt South African gins are diverse and fascinating. “I’m pleased to have won an award as the convener of the judges’ panel was none other than ‘The Craft Father’ – Roger Jorgensen, who is a dear friend and mentor,” said James Copeland of Copeland Spirits. “To get the nod from him is certainly an achievement. To top it off, I’m also pleased that I managed to win with such an exotic concept as Tiki gin.
“In a category where everything has already been done before, I found a unique angle. I knew spice, pineapple and juniper were flavours that worked due to my experience with cocktails that had those combinations, but that doesn’t mean those with a more traditional gin palate would be impressed. Happy to have scored the gold!”
For a full list of winners, click here.