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New G&T premix distilled with the flavour of the Cape

Greenleaf + Terroir is a new G&T craft brand that intends to shake up the pre-mixed alcoholic drink market, which has, for the most part, failed to truly win over consumers.

Staking its place in the gin renaissance, Greenleaf + Terroir – or G+T for short – is a pre-mix of locally produced, small-batch gin and craft tonic served conveniently in individual-sized glass bottles.

Dreamt up by a group of friends in Cape Town, the newly-launched beverage is a base spirit that is mixed with distilled Pinotage wine from grapes grown in the Durbanville area outside Cape Town.

It is then distilled further with juniper berries imported from Tuscany, hand-peeled lemons and limes, coriander and fennel.

“Many gins these days are using interesting, locally sourced botanicals to give their product a flavour that is distinctive to them. We decided to use gin distilled with South African Pinotage grapes – what’s more reflective of our Cape region than our own SA grapes?” explains Rudolf Fourie from Greenleaf + Terroir.

The tonic, produced in partnership with Paarl-based Barker and Quin, is made in small batches, using all natural ingredients from earth-friendly suppliers.

According to the G+T team, the premix is best served over ice in a glass, but those with a knack for experimentation may add their favourite garnishes like lemon, orange, berries or fresh herbs.

Here, Fourie shares the inspiration behind the new product.

Firstly, who are the brains behind Greenleaf + Terroir?

The idea for the brand came about after we – a group of friends in Cape Town – decided to try our hand at creating our own drinks brand. We also wanted to create something different that truly encapsulates the gin experience.

The result is an easy-to-enjoy, refreshing drink that is perfect for a summer afternoon or evening sundowners.

What lured the team to the alcoholic beverage market?

We are all gin lovers and decided to try our hand at making our own.

Why did you decide to go with a pre-mix?

Seeing how the popularity of gin was growing around the world, we realised there was a gap in the market for a quality pre-mix.

We were also mindful of the convenience of having it in one bottle and wanted to ensure that it was representative of the Western Cape region, hence including Pinotage.

Explain the production process for G+T. How is it made?

Greenleaf + Terroir uses a base spirit that is mixed with distilled Pinotage wine, which is then distilled further with juniper berries, hand-peeled lemons and limes, coriander and fennel.

The gin is then mixed with a craft tonic that is produced in partnership with Barker and Quin.

Tell of your experience getting the product to market. What were the biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge was to change perceptions about pre-mixed drinks. Greenleaf + Terroir is a quality product and as it is pre-mixed is also very convenient, the perfect drink for the festive season with friends and family.

We were also overwhelmed by the positive response from the market. Greenleaf + Terroir is already available in Checkers and Spar Tops nationwide and at select Vida e Caffes, which is testimony to how popular the drink has become.

Greenleaf + Terroir retails for R22.99 a bottle or R89.99 for a four-pack and is available from Checkers Liquor Stores nationwide, Tops stores in the Western Cape and KZN, selected Vida e Caffes and in independent stores including Norman Goodfellows, Roeland Liquors and Yuppiechef.