Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Bees play a crucial role in our ecosystem. The Cape Floral Kingdom, and particularly indigenous fynbos, rely on these creatures for long-term survival. This month is World Bee Day. The purpose of the international day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.

What is the Cape Floral Kingdom?

Although the Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest on earth, it’s the most diverse and most under threat. It is home to 3% of the world’s plant species and makes up one of only six flora kingdoms on earth. This region was declared by the Unesco World Heritage Committee as being ‘one of the richest areas for plants in the world’ and described it as having ‘outstanding universal significance to humanity’.

Fynbos – which is indigenous to the Western and Eastern Cape regions – makes up 20% of Africa’s plant life. It’s incredibly diverse, containing around 9 600 different varieties, 70% of which are endemic. ABSTINENCE sources its hero botanicals like rose geranium, buchu and honeybush from the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Sadly, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 1 700 of these species are heading towards extinction. This is due to several factors. These range from urban encroachment to climate change to pesticides and the invasion of alien vegetation. Another reason for this is the ailing Cape honeybee population, which is responsible for the pollination of 85% of fynbos.

The power of pollination

For us at ABSTINENCE, this issue is a personal crusade. Our non-alcoholic drinks celebrate the fynbos kingdom and showcase the hero botanicals derived from it.

But it is also an environmental one. Declining bee numbers are having a negative impact on plant life the world over. The reasons for this are mainly the exposure to exotic diseases and pests. Without these buzzing critters, many plant species – essential food crops included – wouldn’t be pollinated. Over time, they could even become extinct. This is because many plant species have evolved to react and drop pollen in their presence.

The plight of the bees doesn’t just affect the natural kingdom itself, but humans, too. We rely on plant life to provide us with the food and the oxygen we need to survive. In other words, our lives and the wellbeing and balance of the natural world hinges on the healthy, safety and numbers of these black and yellow bugs.

It is for these reasons that we are so committed to the conservation of this species, and the Cape Floral Kingdom that many of them call home.

Bees and Trees Policy

At ABSTINENCE, we care about the Cape honeybee and know the importance of protecting this home-grown insect. This is why we started our Bees & Trees initiative. We are also proud patrons of Ujubee – a local project on a mission to educate the public about the important role that bees play not just in the fynbos biome, but the natural ecosystem at large.

Because we love and have enormous respect for the Cape Floral Kingdom and its buzzing inhabitants, we’re donating 1% of all of our sales to support this initiative and fund necessary research. In this way, we hope to spread much-needed awareness around this delicate, local ecosystem and the life-sustaining creatures who inhabit them.

Want to play your part in protecting the Cape Floral Kingdom and the Cape honeybees? Shop our range of non-alcoholic spirits, or visit ujubee.com to see how you can assist in their conservation efforts. Because, as the great David Attenborough said: ‘The natural world is the most precious thing we have. And we need to defend it.’

#worldbeeday #capehoneybee #savethebees #bees #bee #capefloralkingdom #fynbos #nonalcoholicspirits #nonalcoholicgin #alcoholfreegin #mindfuldrinking #abstinencespirits #sobercurious

457 views0 comments

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

To help preserve the natural beauty & biodiversity of the region, Abstinence pursues a “Bees and Trees” social responsibility project, assisting in removing intrusive alien vegetation from our world-renowned Fynbos Biome and assisting the Cape Honeybee to flourish as pollinator of flowering plants, including many Fynbos species.

Doing our part to live our ethos of “restoring balance”, in both our social occasions and natural surroundings, Abstinence donates 1% of its sales to supporting "bees & trees" in the Cape Floral Kingdom

Abstinence Spirits commits itself to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding indigenous Cape Honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis) living in the wild. South Africa is in an incredibly unique situation as roughly 80% of our honeybees still live in the wild, unlike Europe where most of the bees are hived. Germany, for example, has 99.9% of all their bees living in hives and all the bees are managed and medicated.

Bees are a keystone species and are vital for biodiversity.

In the Cape we have the smallest and most diverse floral kingdom in the world as the fynbos region covers less than 6% of SA. This floral kingdom is primarily pollinated by bees, and honeybees and other species of bees pollinate 85% of the fynbos. It is vital that we protect bees in pristine areas so that biodiversity can survive. And to further assist with that, remove as much alien vegetation as we possibly can!

To do our part, we are active members of the Botanical Society of South Africa Kirstenbosch (https://botanicalsociety.org.za/branches/kirstenbosch/), donate monthly to The Table Mountain Fund (http://www.thetablemountainfund.org.za/) and are Patrons of Ujubee (http://ujubee.com/).

Stay tuned for the exciting projects to come for 2021!

17 views0 comments

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

The Low and No Alcohol sector is one of the drinks industry’s biggest success stories in recent years, with lockdown measures, on‐trade closures and a booming e-commerce industry vastly accelerating the category’s growth both in the local and global market. Coupled with a universal health and wellness trend across the globe, mindful drinking has taken off and is here to stay.

On home soil, we are proud to be awarded The Pick n Pay Small Supplier of the Year in recognition of the passion, dedication, and achievements in building out the category in 2020. Globally, we have just received the wonderful news that we were one of the top performing producers at the inaugural Low-and No Alcohol Masters Competition of 2021, clinching medals for all 4 products that were entered.

Hosted by the internationally renowned drinks authority, The Spirits Businesses, the tastings took place in the UK, completely blind, first neat and then with the suggested tonic water, cola or mixer pairing.

Competing with just over 50 entries in the White ‘Spirit’ Category (0.5% ABV and Under) as well as 27 entrants in the Non‐Alcoholic Apéritifs Category (0.5% ABV and Under).

We are delighted to receive our 3 Gold Medals and 1 Silver, making us one of the most awarded brands of the tasting. The biggest flight of entrants on the day was the Non‐Alcoholic White ‘Spirit’ Category (0.5% ABV and Under). The Abstinence Cape Citrus and Abstinence Cape Spice both took home Gold medals. The judges were particularly taken by the latter, remarking:

Dried floral notes and woody, bark, slight sweet spice. The palate neat is quite nice, there is a touch of bitterness and a little hit of spice on the back of the mouth. Tonic brings out a lovely sweetness that compliments the woody notes of the sample. Quite refreshing, could be used for more grown-up complex zero abv cocktails.

The newly launched Abstinence Cape Fynbos proved that it was a force to be reckoned with straight off the bat, clinching a Silver medal in the first year of its release.

All three Abstinence Non-Alc Spirits contain no sugar, no alcohol and no colourants and are made through a process of Hydro Distillation: a steam distillation utilized in extracting essential oils from our beloved local flora and botanicals. Each variant features a local hero in the form of Citrus, Honeybush, Rose Geranium and Buchu, complimented by an array of spices including Coriander, Juniper, Angelica Root, Cardamom and Cassia to name a few.

In the flight of Non‐Alcoholic Apéritifs (0.5% ABV and Under), the Abstinence Blood Orange Aperitif proved to be one of the top performing products in the category, taking home a Gold medal and impressing the judges with “light aromas of blood orange on the nose, and the introduction of bitterness on the palate”. Taking the guilt out of a sundowner Spritz!

Personally, we love to mix this product with soda and slice of orange.

If you have a sweet tooth, adding a premium Light or Indian tonic water goes down a treat, or if you a celebrating like we are right now, a non-alcoholic bubbly!

Look out for Abstinence Non-Alcoholic products at leading Pick n Pay stores, or online at Cybercellar, Takealot and Yuppiechef.

88 views0 comments