Words: Lucy Sarah O’Connell | Images: Supplied

The shelves of our local bottle stores are packed with a seemingly endless variety of gins, both local and international. Even tonics have had a facelift in recent years, now available in varieties from pink to punchy and everything in between…

And just when you thought gin couldn’t get any cooler, a new addition comes along to take your favourite tipple up yet another level: Secco Drink Infusion.

A classic G&T topped with a lemon is no longer good enough: adventurous gin and tonic drinkers are looking for more flavour, more colour, and more wow-factor. Knowing this, Cape Town-born food innovator Wessel Pieterse was inspired by his travels through Europe to bring drink personalisation to South Africans. “Trendy bars in Paris mix and infuse their gins with botanicals, and this approach to mixology offered establishments the opportunity to create signature drink experiences that weren’t likely to be duplicated anywhere else. They also gave their clientele the chance to enjoy something equally satisfying to both the palate and eye.”

The result of this inspiration, created in his own home kitchen in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs, is a blended sachet of specially selected freeze-dried fruit and spices that can be added to your G&T to transform it in minutes.

The name Secco is derived from the Italian word meaning dry and refers to this process of freeze-drying the botanicals. “This process preserves the taste and structure of the fruit, allowing the cells to remain open for maximum flavour and colour infusion. As no additives are used during the drying and preserving phase, Secco is an all-natural food product,” says Wessel.

Perfect for spring, Secco comes in flavours including Raspberry Rose Hibiscus, Pepper Berry, and Citrus Cinnamon. And for something really special, you can always pick up Spiced Pomegranate, which contains butterfly pea flowers that will turn your gin bright blue. Add a splash of your favourite tonic, and watch the whole drink transform from blue to pink – a perfect party trick to truly up your G&T game!

Experience it for yourself:

Available at various liquor stores, select Tops and Spar stores, Liquor City and online at yuppiechef.com, takealot.com, and loot.co.za.

Secco Drink Infusion
tastelab.co.za/secco