Colour-changing gin & more: 5 foodie highlights not to miss at the HmC Fair

11 October 2017 - 11:53 By Andrea Nagel
Time Anchor Distillery's Shanna-Rae Wilby.
Time Anchor Distillery's Shanna-Rae Wilby.
Image: Supplied

Come hungry and thirsty to the Handmade Contemporary Fair, which is taking place in Joburg this weekend.

There will be so many great food and drink purveyors on site, you'll want to try as many as your stomach will allow.

Don't miss these great tastes:

1. TIME ANCHOR DISTILLERY'S GIN

Shanna-Rae Wilby tells us more 

How did you get into the alcohol business?

I got into the alcohol business completely by chance.

As a child, my gran took me into her rose garden and showed me how to make a basic rose perfume. This led to a fascination for infusing products (at varsity I infused Skittles into Vodka).

In 2013, a friend asked me to make her some strawberry schnapps. I had no idea how, so I downloaded a book and was hooked. I couldn't stop talking about how incredible making alcohol was, and how it was such a mix of science and art, that my fiancé, Warrick, bought me a small 5l-pot still. I loved it, and needed to share my passion for creating craft spirits with the world.

Amazing new products?

Mirari Pink Damask Rose Gin and Mirari Blue Orient Spiced Gin. 

Each batch of 500 bottles of the Mirari Pink Gin uses over 1,000 damask roses.

The Mirari Blue Gin is infused with blue pea flowers, which gives the gin its blue colour; when you add tonic it changes to pink.

2. CHE ARGENTINE GRILL'S MEAT

Oscar Faraldo and Bernardo Corti were brought together by their love of authentic Argentinian cuisine and the happy-go-lucky spirit that comes with enjoying a hearty meal.

Che Argentine Grill.
Che Argentine Grill.

Corti tells us more about what to expect from their stand at the fair:

Which dishes will you be serving?

Rump, sirloin, pork belly sandwiches and empanadas (Argentinian home-made pies).

What's special about the meat?

The parrilla - the charcoal/firewood fire over which the meat is grilled.

3. 1701'S NOUGAT

Nicholas Scher tells us more

Why 1701?

1701 is the year that nougat is believed to have been created in the small town of Montelimar, France - the inspiration for our name.

1701 was launched in 2015 when my mother, Lianne Scher, a cordon bleu chef, gave her recipe to me to develop my own business.

1701 Nougat.
1701 Nougat.
Image: Supplied

What makes your product stand out?

Our nougat is hand-crafted using only natural ingredients and no preservatives. Each piece of nougat is hand-cut and wrapped.

The taste of 1701 nougat is not as sweet as other nougats - our recipe focuses on using more honey than sugar. People fall in love with the beautiful packaging, the hand-written cards, the elegantly tied bows.

What are you looking forward to tasting at the fair?

The gin and tonic collections are always exciting.

4. BLOEDLEMOEN GIN'S GIN

Stefan Coetzee tells us more

What makes your gin different and desirable?

It was developed with one goal in mind - to be delicious. Our recipe was developed to be both appealing to non-gin drinkers, but also offer a great product to gin aficionados. It was all about combining the refreshing traits of citrus with the mouth-feel of spice. We developed a recipe from 10 contributing botanicals.

Bloedlemoen gin.
Bloedlemoen gin.
Image: Supplied

It tastes delicious in a classic G&T, garnished with a slice of fresh orange and a sprig of cinnamon, and is incredibly versatile as mixing partner to a whole range of cocktails.

We also entered our first competition this year and we won a Gran D'Or (double gold) medal for a score of 96/100 at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards.

Best gin cocktail recipe?

An old classic - the negroni. Made with one part Bloedlemoen gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part Campari, stirred over ice and garnished with orange peel.

We love it so much that we've started ageing negroni in barrels and have given barrel-aged Bloedlemoen Negroni to some of the restaurants and bars we supply, to serve straight from the barrel.

5. URBANOLOGI'S FUSION FOOD

Chef Jack Coetzee tells us more

What is Urbanologi's style of food?

Our menu is set up in a tapas fashion. We focus on flavour - all our components need to be an explosion of different textures, tastes and temperatures.

Urbanologi's tuna surprise.
Urbanologi's tuna surprise.
Image: Supplied

Plates are quite small; we focus on keeping the food simple. Being in the same building as Mad Giant brewery, all our food is designed to pair with their beers.

What will you be serving at HmC?

Steamed brioche with kimchi catalan and purple shisho salt; Yakitori chicken with Urbanologi chimichurri; tuna tartare; pork crackling with sesame emulsion.

• The Handmade Contemporary Fair takes place from Friday to Sunday at Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg. For more info, visit sanlamhmc.co.za

• This article was originally published in The Times.

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