In order to bear the official Kosher-certified symbol, a distilled spirit must be made from grain or sugar – not produced from grapes. It may also not be aged in a non-kosher wine barrel (separate rules exist for the production of grape-based brandy).
Musgrave 11 Botanicals Gin is one of only a handful distilled spirits which are certified Kosher, explains Musgrave Spirits proprietor, Simone Musgrave: all ingredients in the distillate also need to be certified Kosher.
Furthermore, the blending and distilling of spirits needs to be done in containers, stills or tanks where grape or grain has not touched. This explains why bourbon, which is aged in used wine casks, is not kosher: despite the fact that the wine contained in the final product would be absolutely minimal, the ratio of the barrel’s thickness is taken into account when making that calculation.
“Finally, a rabbi does an inspection and signs off the final product,” she explains. Other Kosher-certified gins available in South Africa include Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Angos and Tanqueray, as well as Smirnoff unflavored vodkas.