May 2017 – Founders of A Mari Ocean Gin, Jess Henrich and Niel du Toit have returned to Cape Town after globetrotting for 14 years. Both enthusiasts of new ventures, these two entrepreneurs met up over a languid dinner and started discussing the gin trend and its potential in South Africa.
Fast forward to the early hours and the initial concept for A Mari Ocean Gin was born – the only gin in the world distilled with Atlantic Ocean seawater. From concept to A Mari Ocean Gin being on shelf took just 4 months.
A Mari – originating from Latin, means ‘from the sea’. There is a reason behind using the ocean water, the minerals in the water aid in the oil extraction from the unique Cape coastal botanicals giving a rich smoothness and complexity to the gin. The nose exhibits a citrus-forward freshness, echoed on the palate with hints of naartjie and lemon, merging into a mid-palate of rich florals and peppery spices.
This premium gin is made in small batches and Niel and Jess do everything from harvesting the botanicals, to distilling, to hand numbering each bottle that goes onto the market. They are currently working on a second gin.
Comments Jess: “A Mari, was created because we wanted something that was different, a bit disruptive. We wanted to create a great gin that pushed the boundaries a little.”
States Niel: “A Mari is true to its location. The immense variety of wild fynbos botanicals here are exciting, pair that with the unique production method, and the Atlantic Ocean, and you have a gin that tastes like Cape Town.”
This is a great tasting gin, with a beautiful nose. You can enjoy it straight on ice or with a good tonic, but the real beauty of this gin is when shaken with just a splash of vermouth – you’ll get a martini that would make 007 come back for more.
A Mari Ocean Gin is available at leading stockists, bars and 5-star hotels in and around Cape Town with distributors coming on line to service the rest of the country in the coming months.