Creating a buzz at Six Dogs Distillery
A pioneering project to save distressed bees has found a novel outlet with the creation of a honey-infused gin that is set to tempt tastebuds this summer.
Six Dogs Honey Lime Gin is the latest product to be released by Six Dogs Distillery near Worcester.
The delectable drink is the result of a sustainability project that began when South African bee conservation company, Bee Smiths, approached Six Dogs Distillery to relocate bees to the farm on which the distillery is situated.
Bradley and Tayla Seaton-Smith are passionate about bee conservation. They re-hive urban swarms of bees to more suitable locations. The distillery, on the intersection of the Fynbos and Karoo biomes, proved to be the ideal location for the bees.
While the distillery’s six dogs soon learnt to keep a respectful distance from the hives, master distiller, Charles Bryant, learnt that the combination of farm honey and home-grown limes, when blended with the finest botanical spirit, proved irresistible.
Inspired by nature, Bryant tapped into the small grove of lime trees growing right on the distillery’s doorstep. The sun-ripened fruits were picked, peeled and dried before being added to his classic London dry style gin recipe.
“Just a small dollop of honey gives the spirit a subtle sweetness that cuts through the zestiness of the limes. Sublime is what I would call it,” said Bryant.
While farm honey may be one of the hero ingredients in this product, it is interestingly one of the few ingredients that may not be included in a gin according to South African liquor regulations. This restriction however spurred Bryant on to make the finest botanical spirit and then to classify this – for the South African market – as a spirit aperitif. The result: a burst of flavour that defies convention and crosses traditional categories.
In the other 18 countries to which Six Dogs Distillery currently exports its products, it will continue to be sold under a gin classification.
“We started rescuing and relocating distressed bees over four years ago when a swarm moved into our home compost bin. Bees are critical to the environment so we knew we needed to do everything to save them. Since then, we’ve been selling our local raw honey and using the proceeds to save even more colonies”, says Seaton-Smith, co-founder of Bee Smiths. “This is the first time our honey has been used in a craft spirit and we’re delighted to partner with this exciting brand.”
Six Dogs Honey Lime is best enjoyed with ice and a good Indian tonic on a hot summer’s day. Purchase Six Dogs Honey Lime online at R450 a bottle via sixdogs.co.za.
Established in 2013 and situated on Boschkloof Farm, near Worcester, Six Dogs Distillery passionately provides both local and international craft spirit fanatics with Six Dogs Karoo, Six Dogs Blue, Six Dogs Pinotage Stained and Six Dogs Honey Lime gins.