The ‘Qualito Craft Distillery’ was founded in 2005 in Phalaborwa, South Africa, amidst the unspoilt South African nature of Lowveld, near Kruger Park. That unspoiltness is a real source of inspiration for the people at Qualito. They make their Gin, Vodka and Whisky in a traditional way and with a lot of love for craft and products. Often with local products from the valley where they are located, and where the Sa Gelati and the Olifants River come together. The ‘virginity’ of the region gave the people of Qualito the idea of marketing an extremely clean product. A distillate without artificial colours, artificial flavours, swesteners and calories, and last but not least, without alcohol. The result is the Saint G&T, the first ‘Virgin Gin’ from Qualito.
Like most non-alcoholic distillates, the Saint G&T is also made from herbs, botanicals and essential oils. At the back of the bottle we find essential oils of juniper, coriander, geranium and roses among the ingredients. Ultimately, however, it is the rosemary branch that is depicted at the front of the bottle that largely determines the taste of the Saint G&T. When you open the bottle you will initially be slapped by the smell of juniper. When smelling the rosemary remains somewhat in the background, but when we taste a glass of undiluted Saint G&T, we immediately notice that the rosemary plays an important role in the taste palette of the distillate. Undiluted, the Saint G&T is really powerful stuff. The juniper and rosemary really bite into your tongue, and the taste of rosemary, in particular, remains in your mouth for quite a long time. Obviously, it is not the intention to drink the Saint G&T pure, but the distinct, powerful stimuli that we get from the pure stuff, already suggest that the Saint G&T will effortlessly stand his ground when you mix it with tonic or use it in a cocktail .
In The Mix
W have to admit that we waited an hour before we tried a Saint & Tonic after tasting the undiluted Saint, to make sure that the aftertaste had completely disappeared. We made our Saint & Tonic with 25 cl. neutral tonic and 4 cl. Saint G&T. That 4 cl. turned out to be more than enough to completely pimp our tonic. The taste of the rosemary, together with the tonic, becomes a lot softer and more pleasant, the juniper berry comes to the fore a bit more and you even notice the other herbs that are used. Saint G&T certainly gives enough taste in combination with your tonic. So it is best to choose a slightly softer tonic to fully enjoy the taste of the Saint. One of the following days we will definitely try another recipe with this Saint G&T.
More information can be found on the website of Qualito.