SUGARBIRD CAPE FYNBOS SPIRITS
In November 2017, after months of crafting and a wildly successful crowd funding initiative, Sugarbird launched our OG! (as we now call it) Sugarbird Original Fynbos hit the Craft Gin scene, and as the name suggests this flavour is where our humble journey first began!
Being based in Cape Town, with the Cape Floral Kingdom on our doorstep offering a wealth of flavour profiles, our initial distillation goal was to marry the traditional gin ingredients, such as Juniper, Grains of Paradise and Coriander with this flavourful and diverse fynbos plant species to create a truly special range of South African gins.
Indeed a great deal of this RnD and tinkering - and most specifically for the flavour we launched next - Sugarbird Juniper unfiltered took place in one of the founder's very own Fynbos Garden on the slopes of the Groot Constantia Vineyards.
Original Fynbos is truly versatile gin. The botanical diversity of Cape fynbos giving SA gin true expression, but apart from the lovely floral flavour you'd expect from a quality gin, there's also a rare, uniquely Sugarbird citrus twang for which Sugarbird is now famous.
With Juniper Unfiltered, we've taken gin back to its roots. Africa's first unfiltered gin celebrates the vibrant purple of ripe female Juniper cones, with signature fynbos botanicals to augment the Juniper - Cape Chamomile and Cape May, adding not only balance but subtle complexity and also enhancing the deep colour hues. It’s a showstopper this one.
Making up Sugarbird’s 3 signature Gin varietals, for which we are perhaps best known, is Sugarbird Pino and Pelargonium – our Pink which celebrates three of South Africa’s top 10 plant exports in using skins from a South African grape cultivar, Pinotage, along with three different types of Pelargonium (P. graveolens for intense floral notes; P. crispum for an essence of citrus; and the root tuber of P. sidoides – long used in traditional medicine). Once again we use honeybush (the third top 10 export) to round off the rosy floral notes that one might expect from a pink gin with a wild-flower edge and unique sweetness.
2021 saw us launch both a 14 year aged pot still fynbos brandy, Sugarbird Cape Fynbos XO Brandy giving an entirely new dimension to traditional South African brandy and heritage, and Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Rum, a 5 year aged Jamaican style dark Rum with hints of Protea nectar.
Our gins alone have racked up north of 20 awards with the most notable being the accolade of "Best premium gin in South Africa" awarded to us by International Luxury Lifestyle Awards in 2021. We are firmly rooted in 'local is lekker', choosing local fynbos ingredients as the heroes of our flavour profile wherever possible. From Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Gin in 2017 to Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Spirits today, the sky is the limit and innovation is key! Our Kindred Spirits range, a more affordable range of South African Craft Spirits that was born out of lockdown in 2020 has already won us many awards and a die-hard following. More on this can be found on the Kindred Spirits range website - www.kindredspirits.co.za