19 May, 2017 – Having spent the last six months carving out a niche in the premium gin market, Pienaar and Son are diversifying their offering with Waskis – their take on typical vodka – and invited friends and the media to try it first hand at their distillery in the heart of Cape Town on Thursday, 18 May.
Waskis will be on sale at Norman Goodfellow stores, independent retailers and selected Spar outlets going forward, and the distillery promises a beautifully crafted drink that channels the legacy of traditional vodka – but with a modern twist.
Says co-founder Andre Pienaar, 29. “Vodka is in essence a lesson in subtely and demands respect. There is nowhere to hide when you are making it – you cannot add anything. All you can do is try and select what you like and eliminate what you don’t. The yeast does all the hard work, but to create a smooth and slightly bready/sweet spirit is at the heart of what I’m trying to do.”
Last night’s event saw 50 guests sample the first batch and the reception was excellent.
Juanita Pienaar, editorial assistant of Marketing and Media at Bizcommunity, says: “What I tasted last night was really something special. Very unpretentious, with well-balanced flavours and quite delightful when it hits the tongue the first time.”
The distillery, situated off Roeland Street in Cape Town, has already invigorated the gin market and helped spark a boom in interest in the juniper berry. Pineaar and Son’s range of Orient Gin is a favourite at the Cape Town gin bar, and Pienaar believes he can similarly reinvigorate the age-old combination of ethanol and water, despite it being more rigid.
“Gin allows for experimentation because you are flavouring spirit. The rules of what you are allowed to add flavour-wise are pretty endless. Whereas with vodka, you are only taking away. You work with what the yeast creates in fermentation and try and create a spirirt that tastes great without really being able to describe why.”
Championing the mantra “start a tradition”, Andre is intent on breaking the monopoly on flavour major distillers have on the market.
The distillery is a joint venture between Andre, the former frontman of Ashtray Electric, and his father, Schalk Pienaar, a veteran of the industry.
Pienaar and Son is accessible at www.pienaarandson.com and on Instagram at pienaarandson.