Local craft gin liqueur serves a decadent twist

DOUBLE SHOT: Jonathan Roche, co-owner of Da Rocca in Walmer, with their new Ginginger Liqueurs and chocolate shot glasses
DOUBLE SHOT: Jonathan Roche, co-owner of Da Rocca in Walmer, with their new Ginginger Liqueurs and chocolate shot glasses

Would you like some gin in that chocolate?

That is the popular question intriguing lovers of recently-released Ginginger Liqueur — a craft gin liqueur that one can drink without an actual glass.

Port Elizabeth couple and owners of Da Rocca, Jonathan and Lynn Roche, have introduced the Ginginger Liqueur range of flavoured craft gins that come with shot ‘cups’ made from imported Belgium chocolate.

Boasting five flavours of pineapple and honey, cherry plum and cinnamon, rhubarb and ginger and zesty citrus lemon and macadamia nuts, the new gin-liqueur is crafted by the Roches with a mix of their own secret ingredients.

Their rhubarb and ginger product was their first creation, before they introduced the other flavours.  

The unique chocolate shooter mugs had been a hit with the public, Jonathan said.

He said there were two ways to enjoy a ‘shot’ of Ginginger — either to down the liqueur and then to top it off by eating the cup, or to indulge in a mouthful of chocolate and liqueur at the same time.

While the drinks are available at bottle stores, the chocolate cups usually aren’t, and Jonathan advises consumers to look out for them at food markets.

“Initially, we thought we would make enclosed chocolate liqueur balls or shape them to resemble our  Ginginger logo, but then we stumbled upon the chocolate cups and liked them,” Jonathan said.

He said they initially had the cups made as gift ideas for Ginginger lovers, but the product soon became popular with some restaurant and pub owners as well.

“What we’ve found is that whenever people are in a drinking environment, shots pop up, and while most men opt for things like tequila, most ladies will want the sweeter element to their drinks and that’s where the chocolate shooters come in.

“So in places like the St Francis Brewery, they’ll offer them with our gin as shooters for ladies,” Jonathan said, adding that the chocolate was imported and the cups were made in Cape Town.

Ginginger shooters are also on the menu at Christy’s Seafood & Grill in St Francis Bay and at Barney's Tavern in Summerstrand.

The Roches introduced Ginginger late in 2019 after about three years of trading their pink craft gin and tonic.

“As we were going along with our gin and tonic, people kept wanting to taste the gin, so we then produced gin, and while we were playing around in the gin market, we found that there were many different craft gin brands here but no gin liqueur that we could find.

“We also found there was a gin-liqueur trend starting overseas, so we thought we’d get into that and see if we could become one of the few to have a gin liqueur on the market,” Jonathan said.

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