Despite smartphones, genetic engineering, and putting people in space, the human species has yet to markedly improve on the technology of pot still distillation. Invented in the late 1700s, the basic pot still design is still used by many distillers across the globe. Pot stills are used to make many of the world’s great spirit styles, such as single malt scotch, cognac, many rums, gins, vodka and brandy.
On the SA local front, Relihan Distillery and Diemersfontein Wines are reviving an age-old Swartland distilling method in the potstill way.
Based on the family farm in a quiet corner of the Riebeek Rivier valley, Relihan says “It’s an age old tradition for each Swartland farm to have a potstill.
“Wherever possible, we try to source ingredients from local farmers and producers so as to ensure that our gin and vodka stays unique, and to ensure that every batch is of superior quality”.
The aromatic base distilled from local grapes adds to the complexity of this Gin. Apart from the classic Gin ingredients such as Juniper, Coriander and Liquorice, they also add healthy and tasty local ingredients such as Buchu, wild Fennel, Sour Figs, Black Figs, Saffron, Pomegranate and Rooibos.
Enjoy with lots of ice, a dash of bitters, quality tonic and whichever berries or herbs you like.
Relihan Vodka is created with the same care and focus on quality as their gins. They only use the best part of their distilling runs to produce a Vodka of exceptional purity and in small batches in the Potstill method.
Diemersfontein 10 year old Potstill Brandy
This unique and limited amount is made from a blend of Chenin Blanc and Crouchen blanc grapes. The wine is double distilled in a hand-made copper pot still and aged in small French oak barrels for 10 years. Only a limited amount of 745 bottles are made and bottled each year.