Size: 750ml

As a classic gin, the juniper is by far the dominant botanical with Coriander and Angelica and Liquorice root added for a few more subtle flavours. The base spirit is distilled from molasses.

On the nose the molasses is noticeable as is the juniper and on the palate the liquorice is delicious and subtle. 

We created the Classic to be the staple drink at Customary Practices.



Size: 500ml

This version of the Kwande Craft Gin has a grain based spirit as its base with botanicals of Juniper and Amarula.

The grain gives this gin more of a crisp taste than the Classic.  The nose and palette are fresh with juniper and the palate has a bit of aniseed.

Makes a great Gin and Tonic!

Named after Lunga’s late uncle, Bathembu “Witty” Tukani, who was a real character – this spirit embodies his subtle character rather well.



Size: 500ml

As with the Witty, the Rooibos has a grain based spirit.  Juniper and, of course, Rooibos, are its botanicals.

The Rooibos is immediately noticeable on the nose and palate.  As one would expect, the palat has the rich, dark, earthy taste of the Rooibos too.

If you enjoy Rooibos Tea, then you will love this gin. It is very smooth and is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

Our economical spirit.  Just add ice and enjoy! No mixers necessary.

The Kwande Craft Gin Story

In 2019, Lunga undertook a trip to Mexico as part of his studies. On arrival at Mexico City Airport, he was perplexed to see bull skulls at the airport. To him, the skull reminded him of, ixhanti. Ixhanti is a shrine in most xhosa households, which is the physical place where communication with the ancestors take place. In Mexico, they represent mythical portal between the Gods and humanity, which symbolizes the beginning of life and balance of the world.

On day 2 of the Summer School Programme at IPADE Business School, the lecturer, Mr Ricardo Murcio Rodriguez asked the group of international students what came to mind when one mentions Mexico. Lunga’s response was “hangover”, because of Tequila which the Mexicans disputed. The follow up question was, what brand of Tequila I preferred and for some time the brand name did not come to mind. 10 minutes later, while the lecture had proceeded, Lunga stopped the class and mentioned it and to his surprise, Mexicans did not know of the brand at all. After the class, the lecturer presented Lunga with a bottle of Don Julio Tequila. Two things came to mind to Lunga. To bring a bottle of Tequila in class, showed just how proud Mexicans can be about their culture and products. The second thought was that, the thought of “hangover”, although it was a silly thought, the presentation of the bottle was something “magical”, which resulted in a picture being taken by the lecturer with Lunga, Tebogo who was with Lunga and the lecturer’s son.

Few days later, Lunga wanted to know from his new friends from IPADE Business School, what the horns represented. What came out was similar to his Xhosa custom in that, when someone passes on, a ceremony will be held in honor of that person by slaughtering a bull. The skull with the horns intact, is a symbol of that ceremony being performed. In xhosa, the skull with the horns are then affixed to a vertical pole which is referred to as iXhanti.

In 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing and many people were out of work and anxious about the future, Lunga wanted to inspire people to have a dream, work hard towards their objective and, when you realize your dream, share it with others. In essence, his prayer was that there may be increase, Kwande!

Kwande is an isiXhosa verb which, directly translated, means “to expand” or “to grow” or “to be great”.  However it can also mean “to replenish or to stay full” and it is this context that the gin derives its name. Kwande was taken from the Xhosa phrase, “Kwande apho uthatha khona”, which means, “may your well be replenished”. In Xhosa culture, if someone has been helped or assisted by another, the person thanks their helper by saying ‘may your well be replenished’ or, in isiXhosa, ‘Kwande apho uthatha khona’. 

He believes that for our community to expand and grow, to be successful, the community also needs to support each other and, of course, buy local. It’s a battle we need to take up together, consciously and persevere as it is not founded in convenience.   

Every weekend there are various customary ceremonies in black households, and in our African tradition, they are open to all.  It can be Gogogo le khaya (intimate ceremony honoring the ancestors), um’gidi (celebration of homecoming of the boys from initiation school), where households spend roughly a minimum of R3 000 on alcohol up to R120 000 in some households. The freighting reality is that none of the brands we spend on speak to us as Africans or have any meaning synonymous with our heritage / culture. Out of this scary realization, and the inspiration drawn from Hiuchol (indigenous people of Mexico) whose culture has transcended to the modern age lavishly and overtly, Kwande Craft Gin was born.

As corona virus can be likened to times of femine in biblical terms, the “kwande” prayer in Lunga’s beliefs is not enough as he subscribe to another notion in xhosa which says, “uThixo unceda abazincedayo”, which means God helps those who helps themselves. Out of this, at the back of the bottle of Kwande you find these guiding steps:

Maak a plan, kwande! Rapela, Kwande! Tirha swinene, Kwande! Vumilia, Kwande! Lufuno, Kwande!

As a South African you will probably realize that there are atleast six different languages in this sentence starting with Afrikaans  derived from “n boer maak n plan” (make a great plan); Rapela – Sesotho (pray); Tirha swinene –  Tsonga (work hard); Vumilia – Swahili (persevere / never give up); Lufuno – Tshivenda (love – in the context of Kwande, once you have attained what you aspire, share your abundance with others).

From the above you can see that “Kwande” is a wonderful word that can give emphasis to any sentence.

We started with Gin, as in Xhosa Gin is classified as a spirit offering for the motherly ancestors. Mothers are also the first home of humans. Watch as the story grows and so are our product offering in the future. 

We hope to see our product eXhantini. He hope when you visit Gqeberha, you will take a bit of Gqeberha with you back home. We hope when you collect your new car from the dealer, you will be presented with a bottle that has meaning to you mntase. We hope your estate agent will give you a bottle that you will keep until for the day “yozazisi kwabamelwane” (ceremony of introduction to new neighbors). We hope to see our products as something you offer your out of town visitors with pride, as a product born in Gqeberha. We created the brand for these reasons.

Thanks to Oo Dikela for exposing me to customary practices in my upbringing. Thanks to Oo Chisana; Oo Shumba; Ama-Mfene; Oo Mpinga; Amantlane. Kunje nini.

Events Booking

Kwande Craft Gin will gladly attend a tasting at any social event. Complete the below Booking Form to book us for your event.