An evening spent at the launch of “The GIN Box- SA’s Premier Craft Gin Club”
Tucked away in the leafy suburb of Hyde Park, is a quintessential venue called Beechwood Gardens. The late afternoon drive to this breathtakingly scenic and heavenly spot is fuelled by my personal love affair with Gin, coupled with my sister’s FOMO given her current state of both pregnancy and the subsequent forced sobriety. We arrive separately yet simultaneously, equally flustered by the quest to find this place. As we back up into the allocated parallel parking spots, it becomes apparent that the consensus amongst those also arriving with us, is that the location of the venue carries some mystery, either that or our respective GPS devices need an upgrade. Anyway, we are here now and as we make our way through the lush green gardens, we are met by quirky event signage and welcoming hosts.
Once we are accredited and armed with tasting glasses, you can imagine our, well, MY eagerness to tuck into all the various craft gins. To get an idea of what craft gin is, have a look at this brief article by Norman Goodfellows (https://www.ngf.co.za/blog/craft-gin/). It turns out The Gin Box is the brain child of mother of 4, Jean Buckham. Her husband takes a moment to formally welcome us and introduces both to his wife and her business/gin club. He explains how the idea came about, the tough decision to abandon her previous work and even takes a moment to dote on her with pride and admiration for holding down their household, taking care of him and their 4 kids. At this point, I cannot help but share his admiration of her for taking on this venture albeit what seems like an already full plate. I am left feeling warm and cushy and well, teary eyed and yet I am not even the hormonal one. In all honesty, I feel like we can never get enough of these hero momtrepreneur stories!
As we waltz from one counter to the next, we are treated to the sounds of a live musical ensemble and delicious finger snacks. The sun is out to play with us, so I’m relieved I’ve got my shades on but I’m even more chuffed for fighting the temptation to wear heels as I notice a few ladies sinking into the grass- I feel their pain! We taste an array of gins, with flavours ranging from rooibos, marula, wild cucumber and even chilli. It is impressive and it is delightful to experience the creativity that these distillers bring to their gins, and this is evident by the fact that no single gin tastes like the other- each experience is unique in taste, aroma and a few even look distinctly different in colour and texture, believe it or not.
The concept of an alcohol club, and particularly a gin club appeals greatly to me as I think this is an opportunity to sample many and fine tune my knowledge of gin. There are various club subscription options at The Gin Box. A member can opt to pay R650 per month for a box filled with a bottle of one of SA’s premium gins, some specially chosen tonic water and a few other gourmet foodie goodies. There are also bimonthly and quarterly options for the fiscally conscious. While the subscription comes at a premium, I would recommend The Gin Box club as a gift to an avid gin lover who will love and savour the array of craft gins. Now imaGINe that experience! (see what I did there)