A Short Story Of Passion - Business Media MAGS

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A Short Story Of Passion

South African gin drinkers can now enjoy their favourite tipple while also doing their bit to educate and grow the hospitality sector.

A share of the profits from every bottle of SMITHS™ South African Dry Craft Gin sold will now go towards up skilling deserving individuals by providing hospitality related bursaries on a biannual basis. This is an excellent social project opening many doors for talented individuals who would otherwise not have the means to further their knowledge, affording them the chance to become true ‘Smiths’ of their trade. South Africa is home to great talent in the hospitality industry and SMITHS™ Gin is proud to be a part of nurturing that skill. Recipients, over the age of 18, will be selected from the pool of applications received and selected based on their requirements, motivation and history of involvement in the industry.

The innovative idea is the brainchild of Rachel Smith, the 31-year-old founder of Bursary Spirits and owner of SMITHS™ Gin. Rachel has been working in the hospitality and alcohol industry for the last nine years – managing some of the biggest global high-end luxury spirits brands – and so the next natural step was for her to create her own spirits portfolio, of which SMITHS™ Gin is the first.

This initiative is ideal for purpose-conscious consumers who are now able to support a local brand with a socially inclusive footprint through Bursary Spirits and SMITHS™ Gin. The inclusive bursary programme gives everyone the chance to benefit from new and exciting career opportunities and at the same time affect the employment rate within South Africa. With gin experiencing the biggest growth within South Africa due to innovation and consumer experimentation SMITHS™ gins offer consumers the opportunity to experiment as well as give back to the hospitality industry within their existing purchasing habits.

There are three variants under the label so far. This includes a Spice South African Dry Craft Gin, which has an exciting masala-like flavour from nose to finish and an Elderflower South African Dry Craft Gin, which distils a combination of elderflower and other floral notes to create another South African first. The London Dry method is used for both in order to establish the distinct juniper-forward gin flavour. The final offering is a Citrus South African Dry Craft Gin, which uses fresh sprigs of orange, grapefruit and lemon and a strong juniper flavour to add an amazing burst of freshness.

Bursary Spirits – the company

Bursary Spirits is a registered company in South Africa and owns the trademark of the SMITH™ brand and it’s products. The aim of the company is to develop high-quality, great tasting liquids and products within the different alcohol categories and constantly give out bursaries to grow the hospitality industry.

5% of annual profits will be allocated to fund these bursaries for talented individuals and made available for application through existing hospitality institutions. As the company grows, the number of bursaries available will also increase.

The company is solely run by Rachel who manages each department in conjunction with the network of people and companies she has built up over her years in the industry. Rachel believes that each person and company she partners with are Smith’s of what they do and is the best way to create a high-value chain. This also allows for norms to be challenged and with her creative, adventurous and fun-loving personality, be able to create something truly amazing.

SMITH™ South African dry craft gin – the award-winning brand

The SMITHS™ range of gins were created and developed by leveraging Rachel’s network of experts and suppliers. After a brief stint in consulting, Rachel decided to drive her vision of a bursary-funding and economy growing spirit company. The trend of gin and the Fevertree tonic pairing wheel were used to decide which flavours to develop for the range – Floral, Citrus and Spiced – ensuring all types of gin drinkers were catered for.

Vital for the SMITHS™ brand to be successful is that they are developed with quality and taste and confirmed objectively by experts. To prove this and be open to improvement feedback, they were entered into the South African Craft Gin competition where each variant won an award. Out of the 110 gins that were entered the Elderflower and Spice variants received Double Gold and Citrus received Gold. Production of the gins takes place in Johannesburg where all feedback from the competitions and panels was considered for the improvement of the gins in subsequent batches.

Limited edition gin-filled summer flasks

In line with Smith’s passion for creativity, SMITHS™ will be releasing a limited edition, never been done before (locally or globally), reusable and bright range of metal flasks filled with the award-winning gins. Ideal as a gift, bottle serve at a club or shisanyama or to use at any outdoor social events such as braai’s, picnics and festivals where taking your own drinks is allowed or glass isn’t permitted. The flask aims to tap into the “cooler box culture” whereby South Africans visit each other with their pre-planned set of drinks for their socialising occasions (excluding all public areas where drinking is not permitted). The handy lid doubles as a cup into which one would simply pour the SMITHS™ gin, add ice, garnish, mixer and enjoy.

The beautiful, bright designs of each variant have been spray printed directly onto the flasks. They also have an easy-to-pour click-spout to ensure not a drop of gin is wasted when poured. These flasks have enabled the brand to reduce their packaging and impact on the environment through being 100% reusable.

The flasks are made from food-grade materials and will be available as a full 750ml with a recommended retail price of R350 incl. VAT (same as the glass bottle). Flasks will be available from August 2020 at Norman Goodfellows, Take A Lot and other select retailers. Full list will be available from the SMITHS™ gin website www.smithsginza.co.za and pre-orders can be placed with Norman Goodfellows from March.


The full range of 750ml glass bottles is currently available online at Take A Lot, Norman Goodfellows, Checkers, Makro Online, Craft Cartel, Eastleigh Liquors, Liquorcity Stoneridge and Bootleggers in Fourways. Other online platforms and store listings will be announced as and when confirmed via social media and the SMITHs™ gin website – www.smithsginza.co.za.

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