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The Americans call it 'moonshine', to the warm-blooded Irish it is 'Poteen' and the Swiss call it 'Kirsch'. In South Africa, it is 'Witblits' in the Cape and to Transvalers it is just 'Mampoer'. Mampoer and the variety of names given to it are the names of strong, homemade distilled brandy made from fruit.

Mampoer is uniquely South African. Its legend is so entangled in the South African folklore legends that it is difficult to distinguish between facts and fables.

What makes Mampoer so unique is the fact that it is distilled on the farm according to handpicked recipes and very special processes. The secrets of distilling this potent 'brandy' are carried over from generation to generation and this adds to the mystery that surrounds it.

It is not certain where the name 'mampoer' originated. Many stories and anecdotes which are being told and which are still in circulation as well as the closely guarded secret of the refined recipes, contribute to the fascination of the mampoer legend.

It is alleged that mampoer was named after Mampuru, a Pedi Chief who instigated the murder of his half-brother Sekoekoenie. It is alleged that, General Joubert's men probably obtained liquor from Mampuru and Mapog. It is believed that this liquor was distilled from Maroelas, which was plentiful in the area.

The test to determine quality of mampoer is very simple. Pour a small quantity on a flat surface and light it. If it all burns off with a clear blue flame, it is unadulterated and full strength. This is why Mampoer is sometimes also called 'fire water' - it causes the first-time drinker to catch his breath with his first sip.

A simple recipe for making mampoer: Take your drums of ripe yellow peaches (don't worry about any worms), mash them up and leave them for 14 days. The fruit ferments and gives off a lot of gas. When the bubbles subside, the mash is ready to distil. Don't leave the mash too long or it will go sour and you'll end up with peach vinegar.

Heat the mash in the still to just under boiling point. The alcohol boils off before the water and is trapped by a condensation pipe. The condensate is collected in a bucket and, for really top quality mampoer, it may be redistilled. The residue of the distillation process (known to whisky distillers as the feints) makes an excellent liniment and mosquito repellent.

The farmers in the Marico district (North West Province) where mampoer distilling is part of everyday life, have to sell their mampoer discreetly - mampoer distilling for retail sale is still illegal. This goes back to 1924 when the government passed a law giving KWV a monopoly on brandy production.

All stills had to be marked and registered with Customs and Excise, and detailed records kept as to the amount and strength of any liquor produced. Farmers were allowed to produce liquor only from fruit grown on their land. Portable stills were outlawed: they had to have a minimum capacity of 680 litres and had to be built on a cement or brick foundation.

Recently exemption was however given to agricultural museums and colleges to distil brandy, and two institutions have taken up the offer. In the Cape, the Kleinplasie farm museum in Worcester makes Witblits and in the Transvaal, the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum, near Pretoria, distils mampoer.

A Mampoer tour from the town of Zeerust also takes tourists from farm to farm, where they can sample the home distilled, clear spirit or spend a night to enjoy the Groot Marico hospitality.

Mampoer has long ago become part of South Africa's cultural heritage. To the people who distil and drink 'mampoer', it has become a way of life.



Hi Fanie,
Pynapple skille het effens suiker en geur in maar die harde gedeeltes van die skil gee aanleidig tot baie metanol. DIeselfde met die stronke. dit het baie min suiker en geur in en word gewoontlik nie gefermenteer om te stook nie. As jy beide items wil fermeteer en stook sal baie suiker bygevoeg moet word - ander gaan jy BAIE enrgie moet gebruik om baie min alkohol te kry.
Jammer...dit was nou nie goeie nuus gewees nie...

Posted by: Gert

Hi daar wat kan ek stook met pynappel skille en stronke, ek kan tonne vannie goed kry weekliks by 'n besigheid wat vrugte poeding maak as ek dit nie vat nie kry die varke dit. My email is ... fanie70@ymail.com. Dankie van New Zealand.

Posted by: Fanie

Dawie se my is die skille van die lemoene en suurlemoene ook in of nie?

Posted by: Frikkie Rademeyer

Baie resepte, toerusting en opleiding van mampoer tot brandstof vervaardigig op Distillique se webwerf.

Posted by: Gert

Ons maak n Lemoen en suurlemoen mampoer. Baie lekker, en n wenner. Jy vat so 6 sakkies lemoene,en so 5 sakkies (checker ssakkies) suurlemoene, saam so 3 kg suiker (bruin) en so twee pakkies yeast (opgelos met lou water) ,en laat dit dan staan vir so twee weke, totdat dit ophou borrel. Jy kan maar n dag of twee oorgaan, indien dit nie baie warm is, om die gistingproses aan te help nie. Hoe meer suiker jy ingooi, hoe hoer is die alkoholvlak. Indien jy wil, kan jy by Shoprite klein JABA koeldrankies koop. Hulle kos so R2 , en gooi dit dan by ,voordat jy dit begin distilleer.

Posted by: Dawie

Kyk bietjie na die volgende skakel om die hele proses van mampoerstook te sien. Stap vir stap met fotos.

Posted by: Gert

Ek is opsoek na 'n lekker resep om suurlemoene mampoer te maak, asb? My sel no is 073 817 6558

Posted by: jj

Still no takers in where can we find Mampoer distillers in the Leydenberg/Graskop areas, Thanks.

Posted by: Johan

Hi, I am in the vicinity of Leydenburg, Graskop during mid August with tourists who would love to do some Mampoer tasting. Could you recommend such a facility.

Posted by: Johan

Enige iemand wat belangstel om mampoer te koop kan ons skakel. Wettige stokers van Marico. 0763656209

Posted by: M & M MAMPOER

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