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Introducing Tastelab And Secco Drink Infusion

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At The Farmers Table, we’re always on the hunt for some of the latest and greatest local treats (made by local entrepreneurs and craftsmen & -women). On one of our recent searches, we came across Tastelab – the creative brainchild of Cape Town based food scientist and entrepreneur, Wessel Pieters, and his latest product Secco Drink Infusion. We caught up with Wessel to chat about all things Tastelab and Secco!

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My dad owned a food manufacturing company while I was growing up, so I think this is where my passion for food was born and I always knew I would want to go into the same kind of business. The idea of Secco came about while traveling in Paris. Basically, I saw the trend of drink-infusions and drink-garnishes and wondered how I could make it accessible to the home user. Secco allows you to infuse and garnish your drink in the comfort of your own home – all-year-round with seasonal ingredients.

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Research trends help us to create the best flavour profiles and involves a reassessment feedback-process: Taste, adjust, ask people to taste, get opinions, adjust, taste again, adjust, and then you might be close to what you are wanting to launch.  It can be a very long process, because what you might like is not necessary what the market likes.

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It compliments a wide range of gins very well, and allows you to add some flavour and finesse to your glass while not overpowering the flavour of the gin. Obviously it could also be used in other applications, but I would say the best and most used application is with a good old G&T.

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We would like to know a few ‘secrets’ from you as a food scientist, and also get to know you a little bit:


Q: What’s your favourite drink?  

A: Dark and Stormy.  This is a blend of rum, ginger beer and lime juice.


Q: Your favourite bars in Cape Town?

A: The Secret Gin bar, but Publik wine bar comes in a close second.


Q: Your favourite restaurants in Cape Town?

A: There are so many, but I think Shio’s in De Waterkant takes it.  Four and Twenty Café in Chelsea Village for brunch, Hail Pizza for their Peperoni pizza and Lilly’s for their Southern Fried Chicken.


Q: Your favourite market?

A: Boqueria Market in Barcelona has the best memories, but I think the Oranjezicht Farmers Market is world class and offers everything you could want.


Q: Your favourite smoothie spot in Cape Town?

A: Nourish’d in Tamboerskloof.  In summer they do a watermelon, mint and blueberry smoothie which is next level.


Q: Your favourite Wine estate in the Cape Town-area?

A: Buitenverwachting.  That lawn, their bubbles and a slice of carrot cake!


Q: A must-have in your kitchen?

A: Ingredient: coriander. Utensil: Nutribullet.


Q: Your favourite Secco product?

A: The new Ginger and Lime.


Q: Your favourite pairing-drink for Secco?

A: I have two:  Raspberry Rose Hibiscus with pink tonic and Musgrave Pink Gin, or Spiced Pomegranate with Triple Three’s Juniper Gin. Try this little party trick: add a sachet of Spiced Pomegranate Secco to a 500ml bottle of average gin (not an expensive craft one), leave it for four hours to infuse and watch it change colour to blue.  Mix with a good quality tonic and watch it change pink.

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Order Secco Drink Infusions from our online store!

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