Rhino Beetle Gin

Hosting the Gin lounge

With a smooth, delicate finish and 43% proof, Rhino Beetle Gin packs a punch well above its weight and is best enjoyed with classic tonic water. Their hope is that we taste the love and time that is invested in each bottle – this is their story

Where they started. . .

Bonnita Becker & Yana Mockford are Rhino farmers in the Limpopo Province and the makers of Rhino Beetle Gin.

Taking care of these wonderful animals are quite expensive since they have their own security guards 24/7 and never seem to stop eating. They had to start a new business to financially support their goal to protect and care for the rhinos.

They started a company called B&Y Crime Scene Cleaning – cleaning up crime scenes like farm attacks, suicides, murders and rhino poachings.

Coming home very late at night and still pumped with adrenaline they would sit down and have a gin and tonic, discussing what we have just experience – working through the trauma.

But unfortunately, most small town pubs could only serve mainstream, high volume gin and tonic.

So started distilling as a hobby, taking their gin with them when we had to travel or had to face another gin again.

Their “hobby” became a full-time job. But the saying goes: “If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.”

And that was the start of Rhino Beetle Gin.

Where does the name come from. . .

The name and brand pay tribute to both the rhino – one of the Big 5 – and the Rhino Beetle – one of the little 5. Both of them being magnificent creatures in their own right. We are all too familiar with the legend (and plight) of our rhinos, but the little beetle is as formidable.

The Rhino Beetle is a fearless insect that can pick up 850 times its own body mass.

Starting with a small 3-litre copper distil they quickly turned two bottles into six and six into a case, and now they host festivals and fly-ins.

The gin. . .

They experimented with many different flavours and still do – continuously trying and make sure that they give their customers a unique gin experience. Each flavour has its own special story of how it came about.

Discover six distinct flavours and the stories behind them:

  1. Turkish Delight – Delicately perfumed with rose water made of the most beautiful roses.
    • They received a bouquet of beautiful roses and instead of throwing them out they decided to hold on to the memory as long as possible by creating rose water to add to the gin. The taste of this gin is best described as those little-sweet-fragrant-soft candies from the movie Narnia.
  2. Cotton Candy – Now this was a fun gin to make.   
    • When they see a cotton candy machine their heart skips a beat, almost immediately tasting the sugar melting in one’s mouth. The sweet smell and little wisps of happiness fill your senses as you drink the gin. They used the amazing cotton candy grapes as inspiration for this gin.
  3. Honey – They met with a very interesting bee farmer and was intrigued by the millions of bees working tirelessly to create sweet, golden honey.
    • It was a bit tricky getting honey into gin without it burning or turning the gin black. But their persistence paid off. The taste is fruity, floral, herbaceous, woody, spicy, nutty and earthy.
  4. Strawberry & Mango – They continuously support their local farmers and had the opportunity to visit a mango producing farm.
    • The wonderful smell of ripe fruit led to the creation of this delicious combination including tastes of hibiscus, orange leaves, orange peel, strawberry, rosehip and mango. it is sweet but still botanical and fruity.
  5. Raspberry & Indigenous flowers – When they started distilling the gin they would follow the rhinos around and pick the flowers that they preferred to eat.
    • Now they source the flowers from local flower markets and choose indigenous flowers that are in season, leaving the flowers in the veld for the rhinos to enjoy. The raspberries, that grows on a farm in the heart of the Wolkberg, adds a sour yet sweet taste to the gin.
  6. Naartjie – This gin tastes like summer and is a personal favourite. with a .   
    • It Orange-red, smooth and has rich, citrus and spicy flavours of thin rind and has a delicious sweet-tart taste – made with locally sourced naartjie peel, orange leaves and zest.

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