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September 22, 2017 3 min read

Protea, MARETHCOLLEEN, Gin, New Harbour GinProtea, MARETHCOLLEEN, Gin, New Harbour Gin
A good G&T is just about our favourite thing on a Friday afternoon (or any afternoon for that matter..) So when we discovered there is an actual gin distillery moving in next door to our studio we could hardly wait to become "friendly" neighbours!


HOW DID ALL START? 
Andri: "Since I've met Nic he was distilling, it's like they were one thing. He was that guy making booze in his parents garage and bringing it in squeegee bottle to dorm parties. I automatically became part of the process when we fist hooked up. It was a general interest and hobby for him like drawing and painting was for me. It was actually a very natural process that we would start our own business since we are both creative individuals and never really fitted into the corporate scene.
Both of us come from families that have worked for a corporate or big establishment so we are basically the first "entrepreneurs" in the family.  Most of our business skills are based on experimentation and research. We are still soaking in a lot of knowledge and educating ourselves on every aspect."
WHO'S WHO? 
Nic is more technical & I (Andri) tend to be more emotional, but at the end of the day we balance each other out. We are both creative individuals and we have to focus on different factors of the business. I get crazy over small details on the design and aesthetics of the brand - Nic is the same but on the tasting factor - he has an insane palette!
WHY SPEKBOOM?
"We happened to come across Spekboom by chance! We were having a braai with friends when one pointed at her Spekboom plant in the garden and said "that's edible, so use it!". The next day we decided to play around with the plant and the flavour was sensational! We love using South African elements that's why we also have the Rooibos and now the Protea Gin." 
ANY CHALLENGES?
Well we are married to that's a challenge in itself! Taking work home is something we cannot actually avoid but we do try to find a balance. We also discovered that we cannot be precious about money - a start-up means that money comes and goes really fast and there's always something that needs fixing/ improvement. We have learned to focus on the brand and not materialistic things. 
10 YEAR PLAN
We are both moved by the smaller, everyday details, for Nic it's definitely finding a unique idea or taste that he never knew excited, and for me it's visual; everything from the detailed foiling on the cork or the glassware we use for tastings.
TELL US ABOUT THE GIN LAB 
We realised as soon as we started selling our products that there was a massive interest in the method of creating spirits. Our GIN LAB is basically an experimental and educational side of the distillery. We toy around with some unusual botanical infusions, hand blended recipes and educate the public about distilling in general. We then created the Gin Blending Classes & the Distilling 101 courses, where we focus more on home distilling techniques.
BEST SONG TO PLAY IN THE DISTILLERY 
Louis the Child DJ - It's Strange 

NIC'S FAVOURITE COCKTAIL RECIPE
Marygold 
ANDRI'S FAVOURITE COCKTAIL RECIPE
Winter Warmer 
Singel Shot Rooibos Gin
Single Shot of Dry Vermouth
Table Spoon of Simple Sirup
Splash of Tonic 
Top up with Ice
Garnish
Orange rind & cinnamon stick

TASTINGS 
Tastings & Tours are R850 pp and by appointment only.
(closed on Sundays)
Andri & Nic will be launching the first ever Protea Gin on Heritage Day!
South Africa's first PROTEA 
GIN,
dedicated to our rich fynbos and flower heritage

Click on the link to Pre-Register

A film by Karien Mulder
@karienmulder
kayavil@gmail.com

 


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