Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Launch of Geometric Drinks

Gin is In; how about a Gin and Tonic? Or a Martini?
We were invited to taste Geometric Gin this week at the Gin Bar in Wale Street. The gin is named after our endangered Geometric tortoise. It is produced by the Geometric Drinks Company and made by Jean-Baptiste Cristini, with help from co-founders Andrea and Chris Mullineux, who were inspired to "produce their own expression of Botanical and Grape-based. drinks". Analjit Singh, the force behind the Leeu Collection, is also involved. Jean-Baptiste, known as Tista, decided to distill his own gin using locally sourced botanicals
He also produces three different tonics to go with the gin; they are called Symmetry Botanical Tonics. Made from local botanicals with minimal sugar content. We were told that they have one quarter of the sugar found in commercial tonics. You buy them as cordials and mix them with carbonated water yourself. We tasted these first with soda water and they are all very different. Opened, the cordials last for 2 months in the fridge. The Citrus has multi citrus zest flavours and buchu. It has a rather bitter pithy taste which will appeal to those who enjoy bitters in their gin. The Spice is full of cardamom, cinnamon, clove and Kapokbos (local wild rosemary), with other recognisable spice notes. The Floral is gentle with notes of lovely camomile, lavender and rose scented pelargonium. We would like to find the tonic bottled and ready to take home, but Jean-Baptiste insists that he does not want to go in that direction. (We don't always have soda water at home)
There was a great selection of canapés served at the function, made by Source catering. This was warm popcorn 'salted' with seaweed powder
The Geometric gin in its retro Art Deco bottle with the tonic cordials. And some prawn crackers with guacamole
Next, we ventured to the other corner where this young man was producing Gin-based dry martinis, using gin and vermouth made by Jean Baptiste. You could have one with a slice of freeze dried orange, which had some chilli on it, or a dirty martini with an olive. They were very good and rather strong
Pesto vol au vents
Snoek paté on crackers
The freeze dried orange slices and the green olives. In the background is the dry vermouth
A nice chilled Martini
Some interesting sweet olives
Smoked salmon and cream cheese on tiny crackers
Delicious skewered rolls of springbok Carpaccio with buchu
Gin, Art Deco bird, a dry Martini and the tonic
The room is a very good place for a large stand up or seated function and can be hired
On the permanent bar, this barman was making Gin and tonics using the three cordials, but they were long drinks, rather watered down.. We would have like to have tasted the gin neat to sense its underlying character and taste its botanicals, but it was not offered
Jean-Baptiste tells us about the Tonics and the Gin
Jean-Baptiste Cristini with Chris Mullineux
The components
The Tonic cordials are served in precise measures. They come in 500ml bottles, and cost R160 each. The Geometric Gin, aka GG, is in a 750 ml bottle and costs R450. You can order them from www.http://geometricdrinks.co.za. We suspect that they will also be sold in good liquor retail outlets and bars
 And then we were off to the Raath trade tasting across town, the second of three Uber rides that evening. Under these circumstances, driving is not an option

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