Mahala Botanical: A Healthy, Distinctive Alcohol-free Spirit
Founded in 2021, Mahala Botanical was inspired by Danielle Schoeman and Paul Scanlon’s desire to create a premium, healthy, and distinctive alcohol-free spirit.
“Mahala was born out of a desire to create a premium, healthy and distinctive alcohol-free spirit in a booming category that offers little choice for consumers looking for quality sugar-free and alcohol-free alternatives,” said Danielle.
“Mahala,” meaning “free” in Zulu, is a premium craft spirit, that is free from alcohol, sugar, colourants, and artificial flavours. The product is triple-distilled in custom-made vacuum stills, with hand-sourced botanicals from the brand’s native South Africa (the business supports local workers, and CSR initiatives in the region).
Danielle Schoeman is a respected Master Distiller, and Paul Scanlon is a former Pernod Ricard Director.
Born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, Danielle graduated from Stellenbosch University with a business degree, before entering the corporate world. However, she became increasingly fascinated with the process of making tequila.
Her passion grew, and eventually, she left office life for a farm in the Karoo, where she started to make her own tequila. In 2019, she established the Doña Distillery, with the dream of disrupting the global industry with custom-built vacuum stills (which were the only ones in Africa at the time).
Foraging botanicals from her family farm in the Cape, she experimented with various blends, until eventually, she discovered the perfect recipe. Using nine different botanicals (some of which are uniquely indigenous to the Western Cape), she created Mahala Botanical, – a flavoursome, premium, non-alcoholic spirit.
Intended to be mixed with a premium tonic, soda water or ginger beer/ale, upon opening a bottle of Mahala, the fragrant clove and cardamom becomes apparent, with subtle floral notes of the Buchu coming through from the indigenous fynbos of South Africa.