26 November 2011 by Robyn Campbell

A toast to Mr Bains

There are many reasons to be impressed by Andrew Geddes Bains, the rather clever chap who built the Bain’s Kloof Pass through the Limiet Mountains that links the picturesque and historical town of Wellington, to Ceres and Worcester.

Without Bain’s man-conquers-mountain feat of civil engineering, visitors to the Wellington winelands would have to forgo the pleasures of the region’s fine brandies, and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, South Africa first single malt whisky, which is crafted at the James Sedgwick Distillery, situated at the foothills of the famous mountain pass.

Now there is another spirited reason to give thanks for Mr Bain’s engineering prowess, and it comes in a see-through bottle on which is stenciled in elegant, slender Charles Rennie Mackintosh look-alike font the name of South Africa’s first artisan gin: Jorgensens.

Produced by master distiller, Roger of Jorgensen’s Distillery, the juniper infused liquor has gin connoisseurs swooning - and not because they have, like WC Fields, opted to increase their gin intake before breakfast.  Rather, they can’t get over how good Roger’s gin is; and likely neither will you.

Roger explains that Jorgensen’s Gin is designed as a sipping gin. Spicy Macedonian juniper, wild harvested, is the cornerstone of Jorgensen’s Gin; but Roger found it important to put an African twist into his premium hand-crafted spirit.

Sweet naartjie (tangerine), buchu, Cape lemon, spicy West African Grains of Paradise, Namibian Ohandwa*, rare home-grown African ginger, calamus root, orris root and angelica root, and rose geranium all make subtle contributions to this extraordinary organic spirit.

Hand crafted in tiny batches in a copper pot still, the botanicals for each batch are suspended in the still above the purest wine spirit to bathe in its vapours.  This gentle bathing gives Roger’s gin delicacy and finesse. Were I to attempt this complex alchemy, I’d no doubt create a witches brew that would see me receive a lifetime membership to the coven in Mcbeth.

Roger describes his gin as made for one-in-a-million individuals, so next time you’re in Wellington, call ahead and make an appointment to visit Jorgensen’s Distillery. Roger’s passion for premium spirit production and his range of exceptional hand-crafted spirits, which includes Absinthe, vodka, and potstill brandy will be the highlight of your visit, I guarantee it.

When you’re there, dink a toast to two one-in-a million men: master distiller and spirit evangelist, Roger Jorgensen, who has provided the perfect excuse to travel to Wellington, and Andrew Geddes Bains, the man who made travel there possible in the first place.

Jorgensen’s Distillery
Versailles Farm, Regent Street, Wellington
Tel: +27 21 864 1777
Email: customercare@jd7.co.za

Note reproduced from Jorgensen’s website:
Exotic, perfumed Ohandua (Zanthoxylum ovatifoliolatum) is harvested by Himbas from the rare Kaoko knobwood in remote reaches of Kaokoveld.  Himba women hand-grind Ohandua and blend it with butter fat and red ochre to protect their beautiful skin.

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