Meet the gin ladies
Three inspiring women who are neighbours and find themselves slap bang in the middle of the fossil-rich Cradle of Humankind, happened to stumble upon something incredible and now their craft gin is slowly taking the world by storm.
Glyn Fench, Morag Gunn and Nicky Stetka live in the Kalkheuwel bushveld. The area hosts fossil-rich caves and sinkholes regularly visited by palaeontologists whom the hospitable Glyn always welcomes into her home for the duration of their stay. One American palaeontologist who resides in Australia visited the area in the Cradle of Humankind and his drink of choice was gin with a bit of cucumber.
“One night my cucumber had run out and I had to make a plan, so I went out and picked a beautiful wild-cucumber from my garden which I added to his gin and he just loved the taste,” Glyn says. This was the birth of Flowstone Gin, infused, enriched, and perfected with wild African botanicals.
Glyn, who has a background in advertising and entrepreneurship, had read a couple of articles about craft gin and experimented a little. Slowly her neighbours, Morag and Nicky started getting involved as well. Morag had worked as an application specialist in the medical industry before, Nicky is an attorney and both were looking for something more to do.
Approximately 60 experiments and a whole lot of tasting later, Flowstone gin took flight in July last year. The ladies had added all sorts of berries, seeds and plants from their surroundings, some as close as their gardens where many of the botanicals grow freely. Several craft gin formulas were the result. Using everything from wild cucumber and marula to “Wag-‘n- bietjie” (Ziziphusmucronata) berries, bushwillow, Buddleja which is known as Africa’s sweet scented Butterfly Bush and so much more, the ladies agree that making craft gin really is alchemy.
Flowstone, in short, is the process of water flowing over stone to create caves, and this was the motivation for the name of the gin, due to the cave-filled area and the lengthy process.“ Craft is small, private people or companies doing things as perfectly as far as possible with absolute commitment to the authenticity of their product,” says Glyn. This is true of the Flowstone Gin ladies as well. Their bottles are sealed and their beautiful labels stuck on by hand. “Quality control is crucial all the way down the line,” they say.
During their interview with Get It a sounder of warthogs runs through Glyn’s garden and into the tall grass, tails in the air, and this, the essence of Africa, is what these women have strived to encapsulate in their gin. Their’s is the first gin to capture the unique bouquet of the wild African botanicals of the bushveld. “We live in an amazing place and we love the idea of sharing this with the world.”
When presenting a perfect serve, the ladies only use a Fitch and Leedes craft tonic to complement their craft gin. They explain that miniscule amounts of whichever botanical they are using is utilised to flavour their gin, so there is no threat to the
environment at all.
Glyn, Morag and Nicky have created three amazing gins. Flowstone Wild Cucumber is described as a smooth, easy drinking gin with clear notes of cucumber, a slight kiwi lift and gentle hints of spice, whilst Flowstone Marula gin is infused with Africa’s iconic marula fruit and has a clear tangy edge.
The most striking gin in their range is definitely the Flowstone Bushwillow gin which draws its distinctive signature note from the large-winged seed pods of the Combre-tumzeyheri (bushwillow) tree. Its distinctive mouth-enveloping warmth is unlike any other gin. The taste lingers on the side of the tongue begging another and another sip.
The gin trio have had interest in their incredible product from restaurants in the UK, USA, Australia and even India.
To enquire or order your bottle of Flowstone gin, visit www.flowstone.co.za or call Nicky at 082 587 3561.