{gin} Conserving a classic: Wixworth Gin saves rhinos

If there are two things that lie close to my heart, it’s endangered animal conservation and…well, gin. Wixworth Gin is keeping things cool and classic by saving rhinos with every sip!

Introduction

Very few of you will know that The Tall Hedonist and I are actually very keen gin aficionados. We humbly boast with an impressive collection of local craft gins at The Little House, and we probably drink gin just as often as we do wine. Friday nights are solely reserved for an icy G&T after a long working week, and so are Sunday evenings as we get ready for the week ahead.

My gin-fatuation began only a couple of years ago, as I started my hedonistic little journey. My love of gin has grown proportionally to the amount of craft gins I now own. I find gin to be very refreshing, light and utterly delicious. I prefer to buy and support local South African craft gins, purely because I believe we have so many great spirits on offer at the moment as we continue to ride the wave of the gin revolution.

For an idea how big gin is in Cape Town, you can read my two blogs on the Gin and Tonic Festivals of 2018 and 2019 here:

Gin and Tonic Festival 2018
Gin and Tonic Festival 2019

That being said, I was childishly excited when I received a little festive press drop from Wixworth Gin at the end of last year. Already having earned it’s rightful place in my coveted gin cupboard after I tasted it at the first Gin and Tonic Festival in 2018, Wixworth is simply my kind of gin. And I’m more than happy to tell you why…

Background

The Wixworth journey began with a desire to create a unique South African gin. They explored the gin-making methods and recipes dating back to the 17th century, which inspired them to create a gin that they could call our own. A gin that embraced tried-and-tested techniques and ingredients, but one that stayed true to its roots. This is the spirit of “being a classic”.

Handcrafted from six botanicals, Wixworth evokes the subtle flavours and aromas that are unmistakably South African. At the heart of Wixworth is a unique natural ingredient that puts a spin on a traditional dry gin. The sundried leaves of the indigenous renosterbos (dicerothamnus rhinocerotis) render a refreshing, herbaceous infusion that awakens a unique sensory experience of vast South African vistas (press release).

Wixworth Gin and conservation

I fully and wholeheartedly support brands who contribute to conservation efforts in and around Africa.  Wixworth is no different. They are passionate about conserving all that makes us original and are dedicated to the survival of all things classically South African, like the rhinoceros. The conservation of this beautiful animal lies close to their hearts.

Within these conservation efforts lies the link to the unique ingredient Wixworth adds to their gin: renosterbos (or rhinoceros bush). This nondescript indigenous shrub makes up the bulk of what is called “renosterveld,” a collection of fynbos that can be found in the Cape Floral Kingdom. The leaves has been used for many years for a variety of medicinal purposes, such as indigestion or a tonic to boost appetite. It was also used to mask the taste of brackish water, which fed into the Wixworth inspiration.

For every bottle sold, Wixworth contributes a percentage to the stoprhinopoaching.com initiative, so you can feel happy that you are not only buying something special, but that you are also giving back to a good cause.

Tasting notes

For me, a gin has to be juniper-forward. I guess I’m a bit old school like that. Surprise me with whatever follows after that initial juniper-bite, but let me taste that signature punch of a good, classic gin.

If it hasn’t become apparent by now, I’m particularly fond of Wixworth gin. Not only does it contribute to conservation efforts, but it simply ticks all the boxes for me. Made in a London Dry style, it’s deliciously crisp and refreshing, with clean lines. It’s ever so gently fragranced, but boldy aromatic at the same time. Perfectly balanced, it delivers a vision of the African savanna with every sip, thanks to the flavourful renosterbos leaves.

I particularly enjoy the woody, earthy notes that the renosterbos lends to the gin. The concentrated herbaceousness of this South African botanical is gently tempered by sweeter citrus notes, without losing the zing and hum of the orange peel profile.

How do I enjoy my Wixworth? As classic as possible. Tonic water and a squidge of lime. Another great way to enjoy your Wixworth is by adding a few drops of Mutiny Orange Bitters for a citrus twist on the classic.

Food pairing suggestions

Now this is where things get interesting. Unlike wine, gin can be perfectly paired with pretty much anything, any time of the day! I prefer savouring my gin without food, or as an aperitif, purely because I love the unspoiled taste of a great gin, and wouldn’t like to weigh it down with a meal.

But, on the odd Saturday afternoon occasion, I do enjoy pairing my gin with a classic, ovenbaked pizza. Think margerita with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes, spinach and feta with added plump calamata olives, or bacon and avo with lashings of peppery rocket.

G&T’s also love finger-foods and snack platters. Make sure to include some spicy chicken bites (like tikka chicken skewers!), strong, bold cheeses (like a creamy goat’s cheese or a mature cheddar), and beautiful slices of rustic ciabatta bread, topped with delicate strips of pancetta, parma ham or proscuitto.

In conclusion

If you are new to the world of gin, or if you are looking for something a little bit different to add to your collection, Wixworth is the place to start. Retailing at a great price point, this is a proudly South African product and a simply beautiful gin. The branding is stunning, the packaging is gorgeous and their ethos of conservation is something I’m more than happy to buy in to.

Thank you, Wixworth, for allowing me to create classic moments in life, whilst protecting what is important to us. Cheers to being reminded of our proud heritage and roots!

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.

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