South African distillery to unveil 80% ABV ‘drought’ gin

Inspired by the upcoming ‘Day Zero’ when the city’s water supply will be mostly cut off, Cape Town distiller Pienaar and Son is to launch an 80% ABV ‘Drought Edition’ gin to reduce its use of water.

Pienaar and Son’s range including Empire Gin, Orient Gin and Waskis Vodka.

The South African distiller intends to bottle its gin as it comes off the still at a strength of 80% ABV. This will dramatically reduce the amount of water used in the production process; it currently uses an estimated 200 litres of water per batch to dilute the spirit down to 43% ABV.

Andre Pienaar, master distiller at Pienaar and Son, explained that as most people pour double G&Ts and dilute the gin with tonic, so a single shot of the Drought Edition gin will be the same strength.

“It started to seem quite silly when we were trying everything we could to save water in the distillery, that we were diluting gin only to see most of our customers pour double G&Ts.

“It seemed so pointless. Over half a bottle spirit at 43% alcohol is water. It’s not adding any flavour, it’s just diluting the alcohol to a sipping strength, and I imagine only a tiny portion of gin drinkers are enjoying it neat,” said master distiller, Andre Pienaar.

The Drought Edition gin will be available to buy online from 26 February.

Cape Town’s Day Zero, which is set for 11 May, will see taps to all homes and most businesses cut off, leaving most of the city’s four million inhabitants without running water. Residents will have to queue up at around 200 collection points dotted around Cape Town and will be rationed to 25 litres of water a day for drinking, washing and flushing toilets.

Pienaar added: “I am well aware of the fact that our industry uses a lot of water, and maybe the water saved through this initiative will hardly make a dent, but that’s not the point.

“The point is that no-one, and no business is exempt from trying to make a difference in this difficult time. No matter how big or how small”.

The Drought Edition gin strips Scotland’s Twin River Distillery Uncut Gin of its crown as the world’s strongest gin. 

One Response to “South African distillery to unveil 80% ABV ‘drought’ gin”

  1. Vittorio says:

    A new trend started from a mistake? Anyway, it’s a clever idea

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Account Manager - Manchester

Black Fire Tequila
Manchester, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

General Manager

3Cs Cider


BrandAlley UK LTD
London EC2A

Liquid Production Assistant

Atom Group
Tonbridge, UK

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Brand Manager

Kilchoman Distillery Co Ltd
Edinburgh, UK

Wine Bar Supervisor

London, UK

Partner Manager - On-trade - North West

Maverick Drinks
Manchester, UK

Pays d'Oc Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Jun 2018

CHILE: From The Very Top To The Downright Hot

Manchester,United Kingdom
2nd Jul 2018

CHILE: From The Very Top To The Downright Hot

Edinburgh,United Kingdom
3rd Jul 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more