They are then crushed and left to ferment naturally in wooden vats, and are later distilled in copper and clay stills, before landing up in the small brown medicine bottle before me.
Although there is precedent to sipping this beverage slowly, in this 40˚C weather I doubt I would have been sober enough to make it through the rest of Convivium, the much-lorded — yet still somewhat underground — food festival from the minds and hands of butcher Andy Fenner and Short Market Club chef Wesley Randal, let alone make it to the rumoured lunch highlight of the festival, Luke Dale- Roberts’ fire-pit goat taco table.
But everything changed when Badenhorst casually added a dash of his home-grown tonic to the mix, a combo he learnt in “a bar somewhere”. In that instant, I was forever sold. The sweetness of the tonic created a whole new flavour profile that was far more interesting than any gin I had ever tried.
It transported me to bar in Guadalajara, all the while keeping my feet grounded in the Sandveld. I, of course, had to have another, or three — tacos be damned. Badenhorst’s 4th Rabbit mezcal will be landing on a liquor-store shelf near you towards the middle of the year, but take our word for it: it will be worth the wait. Until then, we suggest getting your hands on some Caperitif or a non-patriotic mezcal, such as Gusano Rojo — and splash that tonic liberally. aabadenhorst.com