Clifton Gin is a new addition to the luxury spirits sector. The ocean-inspired signature set of gins – one for sipping, the other for mixing – was founded by South African born Silvana Bottega. She was inspired by the refreshing burst of the Atlantic Ocean and the soft golden sand of the Cape’s most exclusive beach, Clifton.
Bottega’s passion is sensory mixology: ranging from wine to gin, to perfumes and floral-infused chocolates. “Understanding the accords that one can find in a scent and the nuances of flavour is something that has always been of interest to me: it runs through anyone who has a true passion for wine and spirits. I took a course in Paris to learn the art of perfume and how one can pick up various top, heart and base notes in alcohol. From there, I started experimenting with botanicals. When it came to creating my own gin from scratch, I first explored the botanicals in their pure form and then carefully worked out the key components I wanted in each gin composition. We did various experiments with kelp, fynbos and tea. I trusted in a master distiller, Kobus Gelderblom, to steer the final blending, and we laboured over the final composition until we felt we had found something which could stand the test of time and would offer a smoothness and yet have a refreshing character that stood out.”
There are two gins in the newly launched portfolio: Clifton 1 and Clifton 2, both of which received Gold Medals at the South African Craft Gin Awards prior to release.
“I am a real thalassophile. If I think of my happiest times, they are always linked to the ocean,” says Silvana. “Clifton for me is the epitome of the spirit of the Cape: the spectacular beaches, the ocean I love and the ocean that links us together. It’s about memories of sun-kissed days in bikinis and warm summer nights wearing silk dresses. The gin we have created is liquid sunshine in a sip.”
Clifton 1 has been designed as a sipping gin, to be drunk neat or on the rocks. It’s composed of orange peel, coriander seed, lemon peel and cardamom, and is warm in colour with floral notes as well as that of tea.
Clifton 2 is made for mixing and is infused with marine and fynbos botanicals, cucumber and buchu – all capturing the spirit of the ocean. The classic juniper-dominant gin is exceptionally refreshing and the ultimate mixologists’ gin.