Now we’re back into another lockdown, it’s safe to say that my Craft Gin Club box arriving this month was certainly well needed. This month’s box paid homage to the glorious country of South Africa, with a warm, citrusy gin distilled in Cape Town – and it was certainly one of my favourites!
Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate for Craft Gin Club, and have not been compensated in any way for this post. My gin subscription is ordered and paid for out of my own money and all opinions are my own.
What’s in the Box?
Pienaar & Son Orient Gin
Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic and Bitter Lemon
Firetree Rich Volcanic Chocolate
Two Keys Lemon Mixer
Tyrrells Popcorn Sweet & Salty with Salted Caramel Seasoning
Amarula Cream Liqueur
Savoursmiths Somerset Cheddar and Shallot Potato Crisps
MangaJo Red Grape and Rooibos Tea
Savannah Spritz Cocktail Syrup
Dried lemon and cardamom to garnish
Pienaar & Son Orient Gin
Distilled in Cape Town, Pienaar & Son Orient Gin is designed to capture the essence of the vibrant city. The first thing you notice about the gin is the citrussy, spicy scent. There’s fiery touches of allspice and ginger, complemented beautifully with notes of mandarin and vanilla. Normally with citrus based gins, you’ll get a refreshing sort of feel to it, but I think the addition of the ginger and allspice makes the flavour more warming, so it’s actually quite a good choice for this time of the year – while it captures the sunny essence of Cape Town, the warming flavours and spices still make it a lovely gin to be drinking during the autumn months!
Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic & Bitter Lemon
This month’s box contained two cans of Indian tonic and one can of bitter lemon, so I naturally tried both flavours with the gin separately. I really loved the tonic especially – it was probably one of the more aromatic tonics I’ve tried so it paired incredibly well with this month’s gin. I’m not normally a fan of bitter lemon as I find a bit too (spoiler alert) bitter, but this one was actually rather nice. The light and zesty flavour and scent made such a great pairing with the gin and made it feel really refreshing – I definitely could have drank more of it!
It’s probably clear by now that I have a love-hate relationship with the snacks that arrive every month. This month’s offerings unfortunately let the side down again which is a bit of a shame seeing as how lovely the gin was. I didn’t mind the Firetree chocolate, although it was perhaps a little bit too rich for me and it left quite a bitter aftertaste so I probably wouldn’t have it again. I was quite optimistic when I saw that there was popcorn in this month’s box – especially the sweet and salty variety – and the salted caramel seasoning seemed like it would be right up my street. Unfortunately it wasn’t – it was almost too sweet and the salted caramel flavour was actually quite overpowering. I’ve yet to sample the crisps yet or the MangaJo tea mainly because I haven’t quite got round to it yet, but I’m hoping that they’ll be some of the better snacks in the box!
The Cocktail: Savannah Spritz
The Savannah Spritz cocktail made use of this month’s gin paired with the Two Keys Lemon Mixer, combining the mandarin and spice flavours of the gin along with refreshing lemon notes of the mixer. While this one wasn’t exactly my favourite cocktail, it was quite nice but it seemed to leave a bit of an aniseed-like aftertaste at the end,, which is a flavour I’m not really a fan of. Overall though, it was light and fresh and the citrus flavours really came through – it was just a bit of a shame about the aniseed aftertaste!
This month’s gin was certainly one of my favourites, and the selection of mixers worked incredibly well with it. While the offering of snacks and the cocktail wasn’t the best, I feel like the gin and the G&T recipe really stole the show and saved the day! I’ll be honest, I’m REALLY looking forward to December’s box – my mother in law has been a CGC member for much longer than I have and we sampled the December offerings last year and the cocktail especially was so good!
Overall Rating for November’s Box: 7/10
Catch Up on Previous Reviews
May 2020 – La Distillerie De Monaco Gin Aux Agrumes
June 2020 – Dartmouth English Gin
August 2020 – Rock Rose Citrus Coastal Gin
September 2020 – Stranger & Sons Gin
October 2020 – Whitby Gin The Demeter Edition
December 2020 – Cotswolds Dry Gin: Cloudy Christmas Edition
January 2021 – Pennington’s Lakeland Moon Snowfell Gin
February 2021 – Seppeltsfield Rd Distillers House Gin
March 2021 – The River Test Distillery Chalkstream Gold Gin
April 2021 – QVT Dry Gin Édition CGC