On our way out of Stilbaai we stopped at Inverroche Distillery. Inverroche basically means the meeting of water (the Celtic word “inver”) and rock (the French word “roche”), specifically limestone found in the region.
It’s a boutique distillery just outside the town of Stilbaai, which produces “small batches of limited volume, handcrafted spirits incorporating indigenous flora. Fynbos flora is a main feature of all Inverroche gins, liqueurs and spiced rums which have been used for centuries by the Khoi and San people as medicinal and edible plants”
They provide detailed tours of the distillery at certain times of the day but we were too early for the next one and we couldn’t stay and wait. Instead we did a tasting of their three gins; Classic, Verdant and Amber.
We were the only guests in the distillery and the lovely Annalise, lady pictured below, gave us her undivided attention, answered our many questions and handled my camera in her face with grace. She explained the origin of the Distillery, the processes involved in creating the spirits and the unique attributes of each kind of gin, as well as how to drink it. Each “flavour” has multiple ways of being enjoyed and she let us taste each one.
We only really started drinking gin during our time in Zambia, up till then it had mostly been wine and beer. It must be something to do with the “colonial” lifestyle lived as expats, as friends of ours put it. We are both natives of the Western Cape and growing up with fynbos everywhere we loved the idea of it being incorporated into a local gin. I especially loved how each group of fynbos not only influenced the flavour of the specific gin but also it’s beautiful colour.
We ended up leaving with two bottles, one Classic and one Amber. Even if you are not in the area, make a plan to stop there and do a tour. It’s a beautiful establishment and the staff are warm, friendly, patient and informative.
The only thing we regretted was that we could not take the bottles back with us to Central America! Maybe they distribute or ship internationally?