Where to drink one of the world’s oldest cocktails + a recipe
Book out this distillery for your next big event
Make your own at Distillers Union + get beer and pizza at Sweet River Brewery
Last updated: 12 September 2022
A gin lover’s dream, a CEO’s saving grace and a bridesmaids lightbulb idea – this venue is an epic spot for your next big function. Distiller’s Union is an edgy distillery located in Woodstock that offers a great experience for any event, whether you're planning your next birthday bash, a year-end party, a friend’s bachelor/ette or a cool team-building activity. Taste and make your own gin in the heart of a working distillery, plus get beer and pizza at Sweet River Brewery.
Sweet River Brewery is located in the same space as Distiller's. Image: Distiller’s Union
CHOOSE YOUR GROUP EXPERIENCE
There are two gin-making experiences your group can choose from: The Standard includes a guided gin-making experience, two drinks (including a personalised gin cocktail) and a snack plate with olives, corn nibs and biltong, along with your own custom-made 500ml bottle of gin and hand-designed (by you) label. Or you can try the Deluxe experience which includes a gin tasting afterwards.
Both experiences include designing and making your own bottle that you can take home or give as a gift to someone else. Image: Lara van Zyl
MAKE GIN WITH YOUR CREW
At Distiller’s Union you can get your Albert Einstein on and work with antique-looking copper pot stills and syringes while calculating your perfect concoction of gin. There are three simple steps to make your own gin. First you must choose your base flavours, which will set the tone of your gin. There are various spices, citrus, herbs and floral botanicals to choose from, including Rooibos, pineapple, jasmine, naartjie, grapefruit and more.
After selecting your base flavours, choose the rest of your ingredients. You will extract each ingredient with a syringe and mix it all together. Distiller’s will guide you through the experience, giving tips on which flavours work well together.
Some mathematics is involved when mixing your ingredients as it must all add up to 100 ml in the end. Image: Lara van Zyl
Lastly, the ingredients are poured into the still along with the alcoholised ingredients that make up gin, and then you wait patiently, sip your drink and watch the magic happen.
Juniper berries are the main ingredient used to make gin. Your ingredients will be mixed with this, along with other alcoholised properties. Image: Distiller’s Union
DESIGN YOUR OWN BRAND
While you're waiting for your gin to distil, you get to design your own brand and label. Whether you want to play it safe with black and white or use every colour in the Koki box, there are no limitations. Go from sleek and professional to arts-and-crafts-gone-wild. One team member even used Rooibos to stain her label instead of having to draw. Once your gin is ready, you can change the colour to suit whatever look you want.
The stickers and pens are provided by Distiller’s Union. Image: Lara van Zyl
TASTE HOUSE SPIRITS + GINGER BEER
During or after your gin-making experience, you can taste Distiller’s very own gin. There are 6 tasting options to choose from, including pure gin tastings, as well as rum, vodka and their Dragon Gingerbeer.
The tastings are done without mixers. Image: Distiller’s Union
STAY FOR PIZZA AND BEER
All this gin can make you famished, so we recommend ordering some pizza for you and your crew. Pizza from Sweet River Brewery can be ordered with your booking and brought to you during your making and tasting.
The beer tasting includes a guided beer tasting experience. Image: Distiller’s Union
Or you can pop down to the brewery and do a beer tasting. The guided and informative tasting experience consists of four 200ml Sweet River Brewery beers, one 500ml beer of your choice and one wood-fired pizza.
Ranjit Gaind established Sweet River Brewery in 2017. Image: Distiller’s Union
WHEN + WHERE TO GO
Distiller’s Union is open: Wednesday + Thursday, 8am - 6pm; Friday + Saturday, 10am - 9pm
Find it: 156 Victoria Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Book: via Distiller’s Union’s website
Contact on: 021 447 2517, Instagram: @distillersunion + @sweetriverbrewery
By Lara van Zyl
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