Brits get a taste of desert gold in their G&T

Scenes from the Kalahari, a brutal but splendid place PHOTO Luke Daniel

The Gods must indeed be crazy!

Britons looking for something exotic to mix with their tonic at end-of-year cocktail events will be able to spice things up a little this year with some flavours of the Kalahari in KWV’s boutique-style handcrafted gin, Cruxland.

Angie Jacobs, brand manager for KWV’s premium spirits in South Africa, said on Monday that media and other commentators in the UK were responding extremely very well to the recent arrival of this unique gin in the UK, which she described as “a very difficult market to crack”.

With its launch of Cruxland in South Africa last year, the South African wine and spirit producer tapped into the craft-spirit trend and, according to some, raised it a level.

The boutique-style London Dry gin is infused with nine exotic signature botanicals, including rare Kalahari N’abbas, also known as Kalahari truffles or desert gold. The species of truffle, indigenous to the Kalahari Desert, grows only for a short time after the first rains. KWV said in a statement that only a very experienced truffle hunter could spot where to start digging for them.

Well-known British reviewer Oz Clarke, writing on the portal Three Wine Men, said: “Don’t even ask me whether I like this stuff – I love it.”

He added: “Unlike some craft gins, it goes brilliantly with every tonic, good or bad.”

Jacobs said it was too early to comment on sales of KWV Cruxland, but “activity and awareness of the brand has been great and sales have definitely shown a positive trend”.

According to Anneke Mackenzie, KWV’s global portfolio manager for spirits, Cruxland’s successful introduction into this discerning market was due to the gin offering a “distinctive point of appeal”.

She added: “Experts say the gin revival has been sparked by unusual flavours and launches of small batches, which are adding vitality to the category and the re-emergence of a cocktail culture. KWV Cruxland Gin offers gin consumers something that is 100 percent unique and, more importantly, something that has a ‘taste of origin’.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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Siobhan Cassidy

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