How mead became gin in Darling

How mead became gin in Darling

Situated just outside the Western Cape town of Darling, lies a small distillery with a difference.

With six quite unique and exciting small batch honey-based gins and liqueurs in the fold, DarlingHoney owner and founder, Karl Otto, explains:  “at the start of this venture only a few brands worldwide had been using honey in their products and even less distilled it from mead. Considering our history in beekeeping and that we own multiple hives, we saw a unique opportunity.

“Our distillery is completely off the grid,“ says Karl: “from the water to the electricity which we use to distil our spirits. We personally harvest the honey, which is used to produce our meads and sweeten our liqueurs, on our fynbos farm.  We are so proud of the spirits we create – they bring out the delicate nuances and complexities of honey, contributing to a flavour that is unlike any other.

Our current range of six products will be growing soon (watch this space)! Think honey shine, oaked gin and traditional undistilled mead…

DarlingHoney currently produces two small batch honey liqueurs:

DarlingHoney Spiced Liqueur – it tastes like Christmas!

This liqueur was our first-born – a variation of a Polish drink called Krupnik. The first thing that most people say is, “It tastes like Christmas!”, and we can’t think of a better way to describe this delicious liqueur with its notes of Christmas spices: nutmeg, cinnamon and clove.

Served either on the rocks, at room temperature or even slightly warmed, it makes for an excellent after dinner digestif. Mixed, it pairs extremely well with apple juice/Appletizer – think liquid apple pie…

This spiced liqueur is also a winner as desert when poured over vanilla ice cream.

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In producing our Honey Liqueur we chose some of the more exotic honeys to infuse our liqueur. People list various herbs and spices which they believe we added to the liqueur, but the truth is that they simply come from the fynbos honey’s flavours. Each batch of our honey liqueur is therefore unique, depending on the top notes of the honey. 

Served with ice or at room temperature, it makes for an excellent after dinner digestif. For the adventurous folk, try it with your favourite mixer – it goes surprisingly well with tonic, dry lemon or even flavoured tonics such as blueberry. Our Honey Liqueur also makes a delicious dessert when served over vanilla ice cream.

We produce two variations of our HoneyGin liqueurs, our original HoneyGin and Spiced HoneyGin.


 Original HoneyGin is a refreshing variation with vibrant notes of juniper followed by a unique earthy, fudge honey flavour with a distinctive mouth enveloping warmth.

Served ice-cold or on ice for an excellent after dinner digestif and of course makes a fantastic gin and tonic.




Spiced HoneyGin is a unique gin with aromas of honey, juniper and delicate spices.  The palate offers notes of honey and juniper upfront, followed by distinctive liquorice notes as the flavour peters out. 

Like the Original HoneyGin it can be served ice-cold or as an excellent after dinner digestif but also makes for an excellent gin and tonic or gin and dry/bitter lemon.

Cape Dry Gin is a seasonal gin made with traditional spices, African sage and citrus, all of which are harvested on our farm.

The result is an unusual gin with crisp citrus aromas of peppery candied orange peel. 

A remarkably smooth gin which can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. 

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Our Coffee Liqueur is made from cold brewed medium roast organic Honduras coffee beans. You are met with smoky dark chocolate, almost fruity aromas and complex notes of maple syrup. 

Served ice-cold or with ice for an excellent after dinner digestif, or as a mix pairs extremely well with ginger beer. It also makes a delicious dessert mixed with ice cream.

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