When I’m not pouring myself over a good bottle of wine, you’ll find me kicking back at sunset with a craft spirit in hand, slowly swirling against a pink-tinged sky. Recently, I’ve been savouring the company of Copeland Spirits‘ Tiki Gin and Cape Rum.
As much as I love that rich, fruitful first sip of an icy Viognier, or the warming embrace of a Syrah, as much do I adore the full-sense botanical experience of a fine craft gin, or the velvety drops of a golden rum.
As with anything in life, there is a time and place for all. Dictated by mood, ambience, audience and other situational factors, there’s space on my palate to appreciate both a good wine and a good craft spirit.
I was generously gifted two bottles of Copeland Spirits a while back by my good friends from Covert Distributions. I carefully packed them into my travel bag for a weekend away, as the weather forecast seemed to suggest a strong chance of sundowners and spirits.
Copeland Spirits was founded a few years back by James Copeland – rum enthusiast and globetrotting DJ. Inspired to change the complete lack of rum culture in South Africa, he set out on the near impossible task of finding molasses and sugar cane during the worst drought in decades whilst simultaneously learning distilling and the trade.
Since then the Copeland Spirits offering has expanded with typical tropical flair to include Tiki Gin, Pisco and Gold rum with the intention of presenting a premium portfolio of fun and exotic boundary pushing spirits (press release).
Probably the most eye-catching branding I’ve seen on a gin bottle to date, the Tiki Gin oozes island vibes and tropical fruit from the moment you lay eyes on it. Distilled with real pineapple and a handful of warm spices, the Tiki Gin still sits splendidly classic on the palate, but leaves you with a hint of the exotic, and a taste for more.
The Tiki Gin further invites you to be playful with your summer sippers. It offers you a clean, neat canvas on which you can paint your most favourite colours. It’s a delicious cocktail gin that can be easily complimented with the addition of fresh fruit, fruit juices, warm spices or even a cheeky can of ginger beer! Never forgetting a sprig of fresh mint for the ultimate pop of freshness. Or, if you are a gin-purist, you’ll be happy to know it’s honestly silken when enjoyed on the rocks.
In the middle of the Swartland, as the sun began to set on another weekend of adventure, we enjoyed the Tiki Gin with Cape Cola‘s Lemi-Lemi – a fantastically quaffable ginger lemonade.
I know there is a bit of trepidation around rum and the looming rum revolution starting to take hold in Cape Town. The handful of excellent craft rums available in Cape Town should be treated almost like one would a whisky – with very little additions, and with much respect. Not just respect for the complex layers of flavour carefully built into each sip, but also for the intricate, artisinal process that foregoes every finished bottle of rum.
Miles away from the stuff you used to chug by the jug at the back of a dark pool bar, craft rum is an enjoyment learnt and earned, with Copeland Gold Rum the ultimate premium reward Cape Town has to offer.
From the house of Copeland Spirits comes the new Copeland Gold rum. With The Tall Hedonist and I both avid fans of craft rums, this one is a sparkly new gem in our growing collection.
The delicious tropical spectrum and smooth flavour of the Cape Rum is perfectly rounded out with the warm spice and smoky char of American Oak. Whilst not aged long enough to qualify as a sipping spirit, this rum is rested “reposado” style for a few months for the flavour to develop and mellow.
Made from 100% African Blackstrap molasses potstill rum, it has been double distilled and barrel rested in American Oak. A beautiful half-way point between a white rum and an aged rum, this has Cape Town summer written all over its indulgent bottle. Light enough to mix into a cocktail, but deeply flavourful enough to enjoy on its own.
Again, I paired the Cape Rum up with another Cape Town local, Cape Cola‘s signature cola – made with nothing more than 100% natural ingredients, and a whole lot of heart. Add a squidge of lime and the classic Cuba Libre is instantly transformed into my Capa De Luz – Light of the Cape.
Signature tropical fruit notes from the Cape Rum mingle with caramel and spun sugar. Oak imparts spicy smoke and vanilla. Hints of stone fruit and orange zest.
My perfect serve
Over the winter months I had an abundance of lemons. Let that not sound like a complaint! On the contrary, I love the absolute versatility of this fragrantly gnarly citrus fruit. To accompany my Cape Rum, I made a zesty, old-fashioned lemonade syrup. Just that. I call it “Golden Hour” – Cape Town’s sunset in a glass. Uncomplicated and deliciously simple.
This one lies very close to my heart. Just like me, borne and distilled in the “Kommetjie” of the Deep South, I feel a certain affinity with Copeland Spirits. There’s just something so special about Cape Peninsula sunsets, and James managed to capture its absolute essence into these two bottles.
If you’re still stuck on finding the perfect festive season gift for someone, grab a bottle or two of Copeland Spirits. These bottles are aesthetically easy on the eye, and even easier on the palate. They make uniquely different gifts, or a classic tableside presentation. Proudly Capetonian, there’s no better way to support local this year. But you better buy two sets of each, because you’re bound to hold onto them once you’ve experienced the charm of Copeland.
Thank you so much, Copeland Spirits and Covert Distributions, for creating and offering us premium spirits right here in the most beautiful city in the world. Cheers to plenty of golden Copeland sunsets this summer!
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.