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Meet the Maker: Love-Gin

Love-Gin is a family owned business, established by mother and son duo, Sandra and Heinrich Swanepoel. I love their product which is essentially a DIY bathtub, gin making kit that gets you to create your very own juniper spirits.

A brief gin history

Just to refresh everyone’s memories – distilled gin is made from a neutral spirit which is almost “steamed” in the still to imbibe those various botanical flavours. This is not, however, the only way to make gin. This method is more suitable for bigger distilleries and home distillers with the experience and equipment.

The good news is that there is a second option available for those fearful of going blind from creating their own moonshine.

Bathtub gin is created by taking an already distilled neutral spirit – usually vodka and steeping the various botanicals in it until it becomes gin. This process is exactly what Love-Gin is all about.

The kit

Each gin making set includes two bottles, a tin of botanicals and a funnel for you to craft your very own gin with. If you are that way inclined (as I suspect I would be if I had a set) you can also add your own botanicals to create a more complex and unique gin.

Up close and personal

I chatted to the Love-Gin team, gleaning more info about this unusual and interesting business venture.

"We love gin. It is as simple as that. After the whole craft beer awakening for me (Heinrich) in 2016, I started getting more curious about my favourite drink’s history. After attending a distilling course, I was ready for the first step, to set up my own distillery at home!" shares Heinrich.

Heinrich loved the process so much that he wanted to help people craft their own gin at home. However, it is an expensive procedure and not everyone would be able to purchase a pot still for personal consumption. It was at this point that Sandra came up with the idea, after reading the history of gin, to make bathtub gin - a combination of botanicals in a distilled beverage composed primarily of water and ethanol (Vodka!).

"We were making between 5-10 different recipes weekly, testing different flavours on our friends and getting the same one ranked as number one - exactly what we were looking for. Friends and family loved our gins! We have played around with different botanicals but the original is still our favourite."

They began sourcing the ingredients and different elements that comprise the Love-Gin Gin Kit which was launched just before Christmas in 2016. Now you have the ability to create your own gin at home within 48 hours – isn’t that just fabulous!

The Love-Gin team's personal favourite gins are of course their own original gin as well as Ableforth’s Bathtub gin. Their Facebook page is packed full of unique gin ideas that are worth a look if you are a gin lover and looking for interesting recipes to sample.

Each gin kit costs R499 and comes with pepper, cardamom, coriander, lemon, clementine and of course, juniper. You can add additional botanicals for a more bespoke gin, and it is a fun activity to do with friends. The best part is that at the end of it, you get to drink gin! The ideal gift for family, friends or even if you just feel like treating yourself.

Read the original Meet the Maker on SamSamButDifferent.
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About Samantha Snedorf

Snedorf is a qualified journalist and full-time blogger. She is obsessed with gin and is trying to bring light to the enormous number of gins and talented crafters that we have in South Africa. She films weekly videos where she samples different gins and focuses on their different botanicals. In the near future, she would love to host gin tastings and sell the handcrafted botanical bags she creates. She adores travel and wants to explore the world whilst drinking gin and taking beautiful photos.