The complex subtle flavours of Deep South Spice Island Gin are inspired by the spice markets of Zanzibar, that magical , romantic island off the East Coast of Africa. Steve, our distiller, visited the island several times while sailing in the Indian Ocean searching for inspiration for a new gin with a sweet spice profile. A visit to the spice markets and a spice tour captivated and inspired.
A stroll through the spice market in Stone Town is intoxicating. Rich colours appeal to the eye, while the nose is bombarded with the heady aromas of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns of different types, lemon grass, cloves.
The history of spice in Zanzibar maps the fascinating history of its various sea-faring visitors. Early Sumerians, Assyrians, and Egyptians used it as a waypoint before the Chinese, Indians, and Persians came to the island. Later, the Arabs, British and Portuguese also visited, colonised and settled on the island, each imprinting their own culture and cuisine on the island.
The use of spices in food became a symbol of wealth around the world, affordable only by the prosperous. And the spices of tIndian ocean flowed through the markets of Zanzibar, and out into the western world., becoming an integral part of the romance and economic growth of Zanzibar over the centuries.
The complexity of ingredients, carefully balanced in the making of the gin, allows different flavours and aromas to present on the palate as the gin warms in mouth. And the interaction with mixers and garnishes used makes every cocktail as heady as an aromatic walk through the spice markets where the spices were sourced.