South African wine and spirits producer KWV has launched a grape-based London dry gin distilled with rare Kalahari truffles.

Cruxland gin is described as a “boutique” brand and also contains juniper berries, honey bush tea, coriander, rooibos, aniseed, cardamom, almonds, and lemon among its botanicals list.

“We wanted to create a special gin with botanicals typical to South Africa and knew we needed a special ingredient to complement the flavours of the other botanicals,” said master distiller Pieter de Bod.

“Kalahari truffles only grow in the Kalahari after the first rains so we had to wait for that to happen and then we got the volumes we needed,” he explains.”

“The Kalahari truffle forms a distinctive crack in the earth in the form of a cross when the truffle swells after the rain. Having said this, only the very experienced truffle hunter can spot where to start digging.”

Described as having a “bold” and “earthy” character, Cruxland will initially be available through South African online retailer Yuppiechef before rolling out internationally.

Anneke Mackenzie, KWV’s global portfolio manager for spirits, said that since KWV specialises in premium brandy and wine, it was a “natural progression to produce a 100% grape-based gin.

Earlier this month, spirits producer Thompson’s launched its Bordelais Grape Gin made with 15 botanicals including caviar and peaches.

Source: The Spirits Business -Amy Hopkins