Brand New Beverages

New liquor products to hit the shelves

Vusa premium vodka is new on the market

The best of Africa has been distilled into a new premium copper-distilled vodka: Vusa.

Using locally grown sugarcane from the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal and blended with only the purest water from the hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, this is African vodka at its purest. At the heart of Vusa is the legendary baobab tree, whose shells create the activated carbon filter that helps create Vusa’s signature smooth finish.

“With a fresh take and unfiltered point of view on African craft and style, we created Vusa to not only put new craft and new energy into the vodka category, but to also show the world what Africans have always known about our culturally and resource-rich continent,” says head distiller Angelo Page.

Not just vodka, but vodka with a purpose, Vusa (a verb) means “awaken”. True to its name it aims to demonstrate the power of African craft, culture and aesthetic, and challenge cultural bias on a global scale.

Using locally grown sugarcane from the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal and blended with only the purest water from the hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, this is African vodka at its purest.

In addition to its main distillery in the Midlands, Vusa is investing in a mobile distillery that will travel through the continent to produce exciting new flavoured vodkas and provide a platform to celebrate African voices and stories.

“Vusa embodies the vibrancy, creativity and quality you find in all four corners of the African continent and we have made it our mission to take this spirit to the world,” says creative director Thabo Molaba.

Vusa is committed to creating change in the spirit world and beyond. A portion of all profits are donated to the Khulisani Foundation, which aims to support urban farming and drive positive transformation in South African communities.

Vusa Vodka is available from Takealot and selected Spar stores.

For more information on Vusa, follow Instagram @vusavodka and Facebook @VUSA or visit www.vusavodka.com

Saluti to summer in a glass! Introducing Ginato, the essence of Italy

Premium drinks company Truman & Orange has launched a beautifully made premium Italian gin, Ginato, the very essenza dell’ Italia, with its effortlessly chic, timeless, sunshine-drenched way of life, distilled in a bottle just in time for summer.

The gin expertly combines the finest-quality produce from world-renowned terroir, including juniper berries from the rolling hills of Tuscany, citrus bursting with Southern Italy’s unique Mediterranean sweetness, and Italian grapes grown alongside northern Italy’s idyllic lakes. This combination of juniper, citrus and grapes, sourced from all corners of Italy, creates Ginato’s trinity of provenance, the very spirito d’Italia.

The Italian grapes used to make Ginato offer a unique flavour. Grapes are not commonly used in gin due to the complexities of working with them; however, the quality of the grapes coupled with the distillers’ skill result in Ginato’s distinctively palatable flavours.

Ginato is the first gin made using Italian grapes in its blend, that is available on the South African market.

Truman & Orange is launching two variants of Ginato: Pompelmo and Clementino. Pompelmo is a fresh, bright gin distilled using the peel of sun-ripened Sicilian pink grapefruit and blended with juniper berries and the finest Sangiovese grapes. Clementino expertly combines the finest Nebbiolo grapes, juniper berries, and Southern Italian clementines that give the liquid its signature, vibrant orange colour.

Available at all good bottle stores nationwide and on Takealot.

For more information visit: www.trumanandorange.com

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye launches in South Africa

The Jack Daniel Distillery has used its 150-year whiskey-making expertise to create a rye whiskey Jack’s way – bold and spicy in flavour but sippin’ smooth in character: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye has a grain bill of 70% rye, 18% corn, 12% malted barley and is carefully charcoal-mellowed for a finish that’s distinctly Jack. At 90 proof (45% alcohol), it offers rich flavours from start to finish. On the palate, this well-rounded rye whiskey glows with accents of caramel and dry baking spice, followed by a warm, peppery rye character finish on the back end. The aroma is an enticing blend full of soft fruit, layered with an underlying rye spice and oak. Available at all leading liquor stores.

For more information on Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey visit www.jackdaniels.com/en-za

Japanese Suntory whisky Toki hits South African shores

Hailing from Japan, The House of Suntory presents a new-generation whisky called Toki. Toki is a timeless blend of carefully selected whiskies from the House of Suntory’s globally acclaimed Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita Distilleries.

Toki, meaning "time" in Japanese, respects tradition while inspiring whisky convention to redefine the hierarchy between malt and grain. Modern, simple and boldly Japanese, the design of the bottle brings to life the concept that Toki whisky ensures a ground-breaking yet timeless product.

Suntory whiskies are subtle, refined and complex. The new Suntory whisky Toki joins the noble blend within the house, Hibiki — Japan’s most highly awarded super-premium blended whisky.

Traditionally crafted in accordance with Suntory’s art of blending philosophy, Toki whisky features the quintessential characteristics of a Suntory blend: exquisite balance, harmony and oneness. Often using Yamazaki malts as a key component, a fresh innovative approach was manifested by the House of Suntory’s chief blender, Shinji Fukuyo, when creating Toki. The blend incorporates two pillars, the singular Hakushu American white oak cask malt whisky — which adds its unique freshness, mellowness and spectacular green apple notes and as an accompaniment, Chita heavy-type grain whisky giving a clean taste with notes of sweetness and vanilla.

The pairing of these seemingly dissimilar but deeply accordant whiskies brings together the old and new sparking a powerful and creative energy in the world of whisky.

With a signature balance between malt and grain, this unique encounter between Hakushu malt and Chita grain whiskies gives Suntory whisky Toki its silky taste and vivid character. In giving the blend greater depth and complexity, two Yamazaki malts are included — Yamazaki American white oak cask malt whisky which harmonizes the Hakushu and Chita components, while bringing roundness and reinforcing the sweetness of Chita heavy-type grain whisky with peach and custard aromas. Finally, Yamazaki Spanish oak cask malt whisky adds woody and bittersweet notes to the blend, resulting in a well-balanced, subtle sweet-and-spicy finish.

Toki is available in a stylish 750ml bottle in major retailers nationally including Takealot, selected Spar and Norman Goodfellows.

For more information visit https://whisky.suntory.com/en/global

Suncamino Rum is a journey to the sun in a bottle

As rum grows in popularity across the world, and discerning drinkers seek out craft spirits and experiences, we introduce Suncamino Rum: the world’s first floral-infused rum,  conceived in Cape Town.

Suncamino Rum is a smooth-blended rum that’s distilled in Barbados for up to eight years using ex-bourbon oak barrels before it embarks on a journey headed for Cape Town. On arrival, it's further matured and infused with hibiscus, honeybush and orange blossom natural extracts.

Says Stewy van der Berg, the creator of Suncamino Rum, “This spiced and dark rum transcends gender and naturally appeals to both men and women, unlike other rums. By infusing the rum with floral extracts from the Cape, we have added another layer without compromising on its classic, smooth, underbelly – honouring its Barbados origin at the same time.”

Stewy – a self-proclaimed rum connoisseur - and two friends from Cape Town set out to create a floral-infused alternative for the person who is not a fan of Mother’s ruin, but is still looking for the same craft credentials in another spirit. Rum was the obvious choice.

It’s the most diverse spirit and unlike other spirits that are best enjoyed with a mixer, rum can be enjoyed straight up, on the rocks, in most cocktails and with fruit juices.

Suncamino rum has a 40% alcohol by volume content and is available from all good liquor stores.

For more information visit: www.suncaminorum.com

The Sexton Irish Single Malt introduces the unexpected

The Sexton Irish single malt is an interesting whiskey from a number of angles – and we aren’t only referring to its distinctive, dark hexagonal bottle. Firstly, it’s an Irish single malt: a rarity in South Africa, where our liquor legislation limits what may be sold here. While there are a number of Scotch single malts on South African shelves, Irish ones are few and far between.

The Sexton is made with 100% Irish malted barley, distilled in copper pot stills and exclusively matured in hand-selected first-, second- and third-fill Oloroso sherry casks to achieve a perfect balance between rich dried fruits, and memorable toasted oak notes to offer a smooth finish. Like most Irish whiskeys it’s also triple-distilled, further contributing to the liquid’s smooth approachability and memorable character.

The Sexton is a single malt made with a respect for tradition and a passion for innovation. This isn’t marketing malarkey: it was created by Alex Thomas (a woman) who founded the brand based on personal experience and 15 years of creating whiskey. Whiskey is in her blood.

The rich, sophisticated liquid is matched by its striking, hexagonal dark bottle, which tells its own multifaceted story. The bottle requires a strong grip mirroring the bold essence of those who drink and choose to serve it. Available at Makro, Norman Goodfellows, Tops @ Spar, Liquor City and Ultra Liquors as well as other good bottle stores.

For more information visit www.trumanandorange.com