There followed a period of two years during which Charles learnt everything he could about gin, while also roping in to the fledgling business his brother Glenn and great friend Luigi Marucchi. Following something in the region of 187 iterations, the first gin – aptly named Six Dogs Karoo Gin – was created.
A delicate and balanced gin in the London Dry tradition, Karoo Gin incorporates the likes of wild lavender – foraged from the surrounding area – and the delicate blossom of the harsh Karoo Thorn tree along with a range of other botanicals that include lime, mandarin and home-grown lemon buchu, also native to the area.
“Despite, or perhaps because of, our humble origins in a shed where the dogs sleep, we wanted to create a gin that would be able to compete with the very best in the world”, says Charles. “What sets our gin apart is the range of botanicals that we have access to in this special part of the world, including those that are foraged or grown by ourselves or by our neighbours, and the purest mountain water that we are the first to draw”.
While Charles was hard at work doing his research, developing his product, and testing it against the best gins that the world had to offer, a new Distillery was built on the farm and a gleaming copper still installed, all under the watchful eye of Luigi. At the same time the necessary liquor distribution license applications were duly processed by the relevant authorities.