Made for centuries in the Mediterranean countries that share a wine production history, the tinctures that we today know as vermouth, were largely a collection of local vegetation – herbs, flowers and other botanicals all infused into a wine and grape spirit concoction.  Recipes were prized local secrets, but some of these received notoriety beyond the confines of the village and became the commercial Vermouths we know today.
By the early 21st century, Caperitif had become a ghost ingredient in classic cocktail recipes. What was this mysterious ‘Cape Aperitif’ that was referenced in that classic cocktail bible from the late 1800’s, the Savoy Cocktail Book?
This question asked by an adventurous Danish mixologist lead to a meeting with a maverick South African winemaker and the rebirth of South Africa’s once-famous vermouth.

The ‘ghost ingredient’ is a handcrafted, natural product made with love and care and all-natural ingredients on the Kalmoesfontein farm in the Swartland wine growing region of the Western Cape, South Africa. This is home not only to Caperitif, but also to Swaan Cape Tonic and the AA Badenhorst wines.

Website || Extended Portfolio [PDF]



+810695 · 6x750ml

100% Chenin Blanc. A high-quality white wine base (made on Kalmoesfontein) is the starting point. Then, a neutral grape-derived alcohol spirit is added to increase the alcohol to at least 18% ABV. Once this level of alcohol is achieved, 46 different ingredients are added. These ingredients include a variety of fruits, garden herbs, spices, a bouquet of various flowers, some roots and barks for bitterness as well as the distinctive and unique Fynbos. Fynbos is the collective name for the 8,500 different species of plants that grow in the Cape Floral Region. Many of these plants have been harvested and utilized for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and are intensely aromatic, imparting a unique aroma to the CAPERITIF. A portion of each batch is matured in old oak casks and blended back into the 'fresh' CAPERITIF to add even more complexity to the final product. CAPERITIF can be enjoyed like most aperitifs or vermouths simply with ice, or in many different cocktails.

STATUS: open




AG || Anthony Gismondi, CAN
BC || Bob Campbell, NZ
CG || Connoisseaurs' GCW
DC || Decanter Magazine
GP || Guia Penin, Spain
HH || Huon Hooke, AUS
JH || James Halliday, AUS
JS || James Suckling
JR || Jancis Robinson
JO || Jeremy Oliver, AUS
JP || John Platter, S. Africa
JSc || John Schreiner, CAN
MC || Michael Cooper, NZ
NMc || Natalie MacLean
NM || Neal Martin
RP || Parker/Wine Advocate
PP || Prince of Pinot
RJ || Ray Jordan, AUS
RR || Rhone Report
ST || Stephen Tanzer
TP || Tasting Panel
TI || Testing Institute
TA || Tim Atkin MW
VI || Vinous
W&S || Wine & Spirits
WA || Wine Access
AN || Wine Anorak
WE || Wine Enthusiast
WF || Wine Front, AUS
WR || Wine Review Online
WS || Wine Spectator
WT || Winestate Mag, AUS