Local entrepreneur and independent distiller Andrew Rall opened Distillery 031 late last year to offer a new range of independent, Durban-distilled, limited-edition artisanal spirits, including vodka, spiced rum, gin and absinthe, as well as cordials and all-natural tonic water. Durban’s first craft distillery has now spread its wings with the addition of an inventive street-food menu to complement its cocktail selection, plus monthly music sessions.
Surrounded by the gleaming works of Distillery 031, spirit enthusiasts are invited to sample a meal or light snacks to pair with their drinks. Husband-and-wife team and UK-trained chefs Jordan and Nat Semple are the masterminds in the new kitchen: they’ve set out to use locally sourced ingredients to create a thoughtful and accessible menu with a street-food edge.
Offerings include the likes of truffled biltong mac ’n cheese balls (we’ll take five, please) and pickled onion bhaji as light meals. For mains, diners can look forward to a pineapple-and-bacon-jam burger in a kitke bun; lamb jalfrezi burger; veg burger with tomato, aubergine and mozzarella; and Asian wors rolls with deep-fried ginger. The dessert menu includes temptations such as a banana split with white miso ice cream and Oreo crumbs, and a daily selection of ice cream and sorbet flavours inspired by the distillery.
As for drinks, Durban’s home-grown mixologist Jason Andrew has imagined some fresh and unusual combinations using the artisanal spirit range from Distillery 031. Think along the lines of the 031 Cosmo with their small-batch naartjie and rooibos apertif, 031 vodka and cranberry juice, or the Bohemian Caipirinha made with 031 cachaça and 031 absinthe.
To add to the festivities, the first Thursday of every month will see the space host a variety of musicians in The Still Sessions @ Distillery 031 evenings.