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Meet the Maker: Nicole Warden from CopperFox G&T

Ready-to-drink gin and tonic.
My first thoughts on this type of product were not very optimistic to be honest. I am passionate about gin, good gin at that, and I feel a premix would be aiming more for convenience than taste and quality. That was of course until I tasted CopperFox Gin and Tonic. The second it hit my lips, I could taste that it was a superior product and, for sure, one that I will be drinking again and again.

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But let’s start off with Nicole Warden. She is the co-owner of a premium premix that is already such a heavyweight in the market after such a short time. CopperFox is owned and run by Nicole and Jonathan who are both business partners and real-life partners. “Jonathan has been in the liquor industry for many years. He is my partner and my partner.”

In the beginning

What began as a distribution company called Copper & Malt, soon became the creators of a premium G&T as their first brand.

Together they put every cent that they had into research and development. The label and design are immaculate - from the floral detail in the fox’s tail to the botanicals that are drawn onto the inside of the label. There is also an in-depth description of the botanicals on the bottle.

The difference is in the taste, just one sip is enough to convince anyone. This type quality can only come from passion.

Purity and harmony

“We are purists at heart when it comes to gin. We know exactly what it should taste like so we are a little bit more critical of RTD gins.”

So critical, in fact, that when you taste a CopperFox, you can pick up all the subtle flavours that make it a harmonious drink.

Conceptualised in March last year, much research went into the creation of this stellar product along with the pivotal search for the right gin and alchemist, for this reason, they only bottled in October, which indicates the level of effort put into crafting the best product possible. “We saw an obvious gap in the market for a ready-to-drink that is firstly natural and not made with essence, convenient, and still sticks to the integrity of the perfect pour,” says Warden.

She describes the alcohol content as a “decent serve but not heavy, just short of a double. So you can have four and it’s not going to be too strong.”

A local gin

I think my personal favourite part of this drink is that their gin is distilled at Time Anchor Distillery. The gin is specifically for CopperFox, making it as local as you can get.

Warden herself specialises in the branding, marketing and the drinking of it.

With consumers becoming more health conscious, CopperFox has kept those values in mind. It is preservative, colourant and flavouring free, making it 100% natural.

The botanicals

For any interested in the more technical aspects, CopperFox uses 13 African botanicals. Some of the unique botanicals include Rose geranium, Sour Sea figs, Citrus, Fynbos and Honeybush (which also gives it the copper colour). Finally, they use natural quinine imported from the Congo, who it turns out, has the best Cinchona trees in the world.

As I mentioned, I feel like premixes struggle to meet up quality with convenience, but CopperFox has put proper thought and energy into procuring quality ingredients. For this reason, their cost of manufacturing is much higher than some of the other options available, but you can taste it from the very first sip.

“Our goal was to convert people who never drank gin before, to change gin naysayer’s perception about gin itself,” in reference to those who had a bad gin experience with a cheap bottle of gin. According to Warden, CopperFox “tastes like summer in a glass.” a description which left me no choice but to sample the drink in a coffee shop at 10am on a Friday morning. “I’ve done this before” she cheekily smirks as she popped the lid off a gin and tonic using nothing but her car keys.

The future

What is in store for CopperFox this year you may be wondering?

“We are looking at launching some exciting things closer to the end of the year. We are aiming to grow the CopperFox brand, alternatives and the range itself.”

“It’s been an incredible journey so far,” proclaims Warden and I have to agree that with all they have achieved in such a short span on time, they are well on their way to being the leaders in the market.

Read the original Meet the Maker on SamSamButDifferent.
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About Samantha Snedorf

Snedorf is a qualified journalist and full-time blogger. She is obsessed with gin and is trying to bring light to the enormous number of gins and talented crafters that we have in South Africa. She films weekly videos where she samples different gins and focuses on their different botanicals. In the near future, she would love to host gin tastings and sell the handcrafted botanical bags she creates. She adores travel and wants to explore the world whilst drinking gin and taking beautiful photos.