There is nothing better than a vibrant, refreshing and tasty cocktail in spring. We visited the top gin spots on the West Rand to bring you the best places to drink your fave beverage.

1. The Charge Office
Brand new on the block, The Charge Office opened their bar in August, specialising in gin and whisky. They offer a variety of gin cocktails but what makes their gin unique is that you can also buy pre-mixed infused gin in a bottle. Details: Contact them on 072 948 2226 or visit them on the corner of Shannon Road and Bell Street, Noordheuwel.

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2. Black Eagle Boutique Hotel
Relax and refresh with one of Black Eagle’s tantalizing gin cocktails or mocktails. They offer a wide variety of drinks, all made from scratch. Their ‘Steps of an Eagle’ infused lavender gin cocktail is an absolute must. With just a handful of ingredients it creates a refreshing drink that evokes summer. Details: Contact them on 011 958 5225 or visit them at 88 Doreen Road, Poortview.

3. Leafy Greens Café
This Café gives a healthy twist to this popular drink. Using their delicious, homemade kombucha, they give their gin a unique flavour like dragon fruit. The flavours depend on what kombucha they have in stock, but you are always in for a treat when you order their refreshing gin drinks. Details: Contact them on 010 595 4563 or visit them on Rocky Ridge Road, Muldersdrift.

4. For Goodness Sake Local Bistro and Bar Venue
This trendy restaurant has all the rarest gins in the country. They recently got a pitch-black gin, Graphite, as well as the I AM Khanyi Millennial Shimmer Gin that is fit for a mermaid. If you have never tried gin, these drinks will make you fall in love. Details: Contact them on 066 270 6827 or visit them at 72 Drift Boulevard, Muldersdrift.

5. Black Horse Brewery
This distillery is known for its home-brewed ginsky. The brewers make their own gin using a whisky-making process and have a special tasting room for gin lovers. They like to keep it simple and never add too much garnish to a drink as they believe it interferes with the unique taste of their gin. Details: Contact them on 082 453 5295 or visit them at 32 Zeekoeihoek Road, Magaliesburg.

15 G&T garnishes to try:
Lavender; Rosemary; Cinnamon sticks; Peppercorns; Star Anise; Tomatoes; Lemon Thyme; Vanilla Pods; Apple; Lemongrass; Pink grapefruit; Strawberry; Juniper berries; Rhubarb; Frozen peaches

Don’t miss!
From 24 August until 21 September, Tops at Spar Valley View has a fabulous, not-to-be-missed offer … You can taste some of the best craft gins right there and then … free of charge! You can also buy your tickets for the Cradle Gin Festival while you do the tasting. Bonus! See you there. Details: 010 597 7712 or visit them at Valley View Retail Centre, corner Van Oordt Street and Robert Broom Drive, Noordheuwel.

WIN! We’re giving away two sets of VIP tickets valued at R1 400 to two readers to attend the Cradle Gin Festival. Read all about the festival and the competition here.

Text and images: JACO-MARI FUTCHER.

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