After falling in love with craft gin in the Mediterranean, ex-lawyers Lucy Beard and Leigh Lisk refurbished a rundown warehouse on Hopkins street in Salt River, creating the Mother City’s first distillery, Hope On Hopkins. Lucy is the distiller – she has a knack for flavours and aromas and has developed the skills required to make the all important “cuts” in the spirit runs. Leigh keeps the equipment up and running and clean: the cold reality of running a distillery is that it is 90% cleaning and 10% distilling!
This dynamic husband and wife team are eager to share their knowledge with those willing to learn by way of their “Gin Experience”. It takes place on the first Wednesday evening of every month and the format is that of a curated gin tasting. Lucy and Leigh talk attendees through the goings-on at the Distillery, the gins they produce, as well as their journey to date. On Saturdays they offer ‘DIY’ style tastings, where you will learn how to serve the perfect G&T as well as how to garnish the gins to suit that particular gin. The idea behind it is that it is an educational experience and that you leave with a better understanding of the different types of gin.
Interesting facts about Hope on Hopkins:
- it is one of the few distilleries in the world that uses barley as a base for two of their gins
- their stills are all named after their grandmothers: Mildred, Maude and Mouma
- they currently use stainless steel stills, but have in fact just bought a beautiful copper pot still called Mad Mary, which will work alongside the other stills
- their stills were the first stills to be licensed in Cape Town
- they were the inspiration behind The Gin Box, South Africa’s first craft gin club.
Hope On Hopkins collaborated with JML Consulting, the creators of South Africa’s first wine popsicles, the PJ Pops™, to make South Africa’s first G&T Frost Popsicles (pictured below). The popsicles are available in two flavours:
- G&T Classic Popsicle which has the subtle bitterness and juniper-driven notes of a classic gin-and-tonic. The gin used in the classic Popsicles is a classic London Dry Gin.
- G&T Berry Infusion Popsicle which incorporates notes of blackberries, strawberries and blueberries to offer a rounded, slightly sweeter G&T experience. The gin used in the Berry Infusion Popsicles is a berry gin.
The popsicles are vegan-friendly and dairy-free. The gins used in the Popsicles were created by Hope on Hopkins. The popsicles are available at Hope On Hopkins and at selected grocery and liquor stores. Also from The Gin Box.
Hope on Hopkins produced three limited edition gins specially for The Gin Box to celebrate the season of giving. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh are the star attractions in the Christmas Gin Box and all three gins are defined by spiced, aromatic notes of cinnamon, star anise, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, angelica root, zesty citrus and of course classic Juniper. It will make a truly unique Christmas gift!
Tel: 021 447 1950
Address: 7 Hopkins Street, Salt River, Cape Town
Sales: Tuesday to Friday
Tastings: Saturdays only from 12:00 to 17:00
Gin Experiences: The first Wednesday evening of every month from 18:00
Leigh and Lucy – the distillers.
The Hope On Hopkins gins: Salt River Gin, London Dry Gin and Mediterranean Gin
The Tasting Room (photo by Retha Ferguson)
A gin tasting
The Classic G&T Frost Popsicles
The Berry Infusion G&T Frost Popsicles