Kwande Gin

Kwande Craft Gin – a great gin with a better story

Kwande Craft Gin is the brainchild of Lunga Tukani who was inspired to become a gin purveyor because he believes in making his aspirations real.

This London Style Gin was very well received at the 2021 Thirsty Traveler Annual Spirit Tasting.  Lunga was on hand to tell his story and he had his audience enthralled.

The Kwande Craft Gin story

In 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing and many people out of work and anxious about the future, Lunga wanted to inspire people to have a dream, work hard towards their objective and, when you realize your dream, share it with others.

Kwande is an isiXhosa verb which, directly translated, means “to expand” or “to grow” or “to be great”.  However it can also mean “to replenish or to stay full” and it is this context that the gin derives its name.

When I asked Lunga to explain the origins of the name he replied, “Kwande apho uthatha khona”, which means, “may your well be replenished”.

He elaborated, “In Xhosa culture, if someone has been helped or assisted by another, the person thanks their helper by saying ‘may your well be replenished’ or, in isiXhosa, ‘Kwande apho uthatha khona’.”

He believes that for our community to expand and grow, to be successful, the community also needs to support each other and, of course, buy local.

“Every weekend there is a big ceremony in my suburb, New Brighton, and in African tradition, it is open to all.  The families of the boys coming home from the bush throw a huge ceremony and alcohol is a big part of the festivities.  I want my local, home grown, African inspired gin, to be a staple of these parties,” says Lunga.

Lunga has a formula for success and it is;

Maak a plan, kwande! Rapela, Kwande! Tirha swinene, Kwande!  Vumilia, Kwande! Lufuno, Kwande!

As a South African you will probably realize that there are six different languages in this sentence starting with Afrikaans (make a great plan); Sesotho (pray with meaning); Tsonga (work hard towards your plan); Swahili (persevere and never give up); Lufuno (love your work and share your abundance with others).

From the above you can see that “Kwande” is a wonderful word that can give emphasis to any sentence.

Dale Carnegie would no doubt relate to Lunga’s formula for success as would every successful entrepreneur.

More about the gin

Kwande Craft Gin is distilled at the Brickmakers Distilling Company in Gqeberha – Port Elizabeth in case you’ve been left behind by this every changing world.

The recipe is that of Master Distiller, Eugene Coetzee who says, “I wanted Kwande Craft Gin to be a classic gin.  The juniper is by far the dominant botanical and so this gin will be familiar as such to everybody from a connoisseur to the person who enjoys a good gin and tonic on a hot afternoon.”

Eugene adds, “The base spirit is distilled from molasses as this is my specialty and, in addition to the juniper, I have added Coriander and Angelica  and Liquorice root to add a few more subtle flavours.”

On the nose the molasses is noticeable as is the juniper and on the palate the liquorice is delicious and subtle.

Comments at the Spirit tasting included; “I wasn’t sure that a molasses based spirit would be good in a gin but the selection of botanicals have given this gin a classic feel.  It is fragrant and smooth.”

“I have really enjoyed this gin.  I particularly enjoyed it neat and less so on the rocks.  The flavours are so subtle and enjoyable that I found I lost the essence of the gin when mixed with a tonic.”

“This gin can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or as a classic gin and tonic with a slice of lemon. I know some of my fellow tasters preferred it neat but as it has that classic gin taste it really does make a great G&T.”

How to get your hands on Kwande Craft Gin

To order a bottle or two of Kwande Gin, WhatsApp 071 689 1875 or email kwandecraftgin@gmail.com.  If you are in the area, you can also collect directly from Brickmakers Distilling Company off Alabaster Road, Baakens Valley, Gqeberha.

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