Inspiration can be found in unexpected places. For oenologist Hanneli vd Merwe, it came on a business trip to Europe in November 2015 where corporate entertaining led to a personal discovery of the tasty world of craft gin and designer tonics. Since becoming the first woman to obtain a PhD in Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, she had been thirsting for a new adventure – who would have thought the answer would lie in the cocktail she was enjoying.

Back in South Africa, she observed the craft gin industry was already establishing itself and winning the hearts & palates of discerning consumers with the level of local craftsmanship. Yet amidst this growing excellence and diversity there was a sorely felt void. South Africa needed a natural, high-quality tonic water to complement its emerging gin industry – she decided to change this. Today Barker & Quin is a partnership between herself and long time colleague and friend, Chris Wium.

Barker & Quin, let the journey begin.


In our bid to create a superior tonic for the discerning South African gin drinker, we went to great lengths to source only the highest quality, natural products from Africa. Our citrus flavours and spices are created from distilled essences, and our quinine harvested from the bark of Chinchona trees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Combining these ingredients with spring water from the Breede River in the Slanghoek Valley, we have created a delectable tonic, free of artificial sweeteners, colourants and flavourants. Barker & Quin tonic water is delicious enough to be drunk on its own, but add it to a craft gin, and you create a unique gourmet drinking experience.­­