To go with the Cape’s fabulous wines, the craft beer and gin industries have become well established here over the last few years. Now, the new drink on the block is specially crafted and unique rum.

South Africa is among the top 15 sugar cane producers in the world, so it’s not surprising that the ‘craft rum culture’ is growing. Sugar cane is grown mostly in the eastern, sub-tropical parts of South Africa, but there are a number of craft distillers in Cape Town (and another six or seven in other parts of the country). Many have been making fantastic gins, and are now adding rum to their stable of products. Some are experimenting with adding fynbos botanicals.

Craft rum is a very versatile drink. It’s interesting enough to drink on its own, or you can enjoy it with a number of different mixers. And, of course, it’s great in cocktails! Here are a few of our favourite craft rum distillers in Cape Town.

Copeland Rum

The call to make rum came to James Copeland (a veteran electronic musician and life-long rum fan) while touring the plantations of a tropical island with a question repeating in his mind: “Why does South Africa – with a history of over 200 years of sugarcane production  – have no unique rum culture of its own?”

The question became a passion to create a legacy in rum and to help elevate this glorious spirit to the noble status it deserves. Copeland Rum’s award-winning pure single rum by is bold and full-flavoured with no additives. It’s fermented and small-batch distilled in the Cape of Storms.

Deep South Distillery

James Copeland also had a strong influence on Steve Erlank, the founder of Deep South Distillery. The most southerly craft distillery on the Cape Peninsula specialises in small batch, hand-crafted spirits made with love, care and pride. Tastings and tours of the distillery in beautiful Kommetjie can be arranged.

(In case you were wondering, the penguin logo was conceptualised by a young woman in the Ukraine. Her reasoning was, that if you live in the Deep South in the southern hemisphere, then your penguins are going to be standing, upside down, on the bottom of the world!)


The pioneers of South African craft gin, Inverroche Distillery also produces some world class craft rum. A visit to this distillery in Still Bay is a must stop on any Garden Route trip.


Durbanville Distillery

Father-son duo, Robert and Eugene Kleyn, embarked on a venture which brought together their two greatest passions – engineering and fine liquor – to create Durbanville Distillery.

What sets these craftsmen apart is their expert technical background, which is evident in both their method and equipment: cold distillation and their hand-built vacuum still, Eve. Furthermore, Eve the still is big. It is, to the best of their knowledge, the largest liquor-producing vacuum-still in the world!