Fancy your rooibos with a kick?

Fans of rooibos and honeybush tea can anticipate more bite with their antioxidants as the local fynbos plants are now being used to make alcoholic beverages.

Stellenbosch-based Red Dawn IP Holdings, which is owned by winemakers Audacia and Koöperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid-Afrika Bpkt, announced on Monday that it had patented “a game changing way” of producing alcoholic beverages using the fynbos plants.

“Our patent covers the making of all wine, beer and cider products by adding rooibos and honeybush plant material during manufacturing,” Red Dawn director Trevor Strydom said in a statement.

“We have also trademarked the terms Rooibos Wine, Rooibos Beer and Rooibos Cider, amongst other marks.”

He said the patent was set for an imminent grant. This would mean that no other South African entity could use the indigenous plants, or their derivatives, for alcoholic beverage production according to the patented process, unless it was done under licence from Red Dawn.

“We have gotten wind of others attempting something similar, but the fact is that we are the patent proprietor.”

Strydom said the innovation was subject to a further 83 pending patent applications worldwide.

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