Gatsby, one of my favourite literary heroes, outlined a good rule to avoid being lonely: ‘keep your life always full of interesting people, night and day. People who do interesting things. Celebrated people.’ We caught up with one of the most interesting and celebrated people we know Caitlin Hill, niche brands ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, who certainly would have been Jay Gatsby’s first call when planning his legendary Long Island parties as part of our series on celebrating Women’s Month.
Life as a national brand ambassador is pretty much ‘on the go’. What time do you wake up and what’s your morning ritual?
Well, depending on if I’m flying or not (then it’s like 04:30 AM) normally I wake up at about 7. I’ll go through some emails, make sure nothing is urgent and check my social feeds, shower, and head out for coffee or whatever the day may hold.
You’ve spent most of the past decade in the Western Cape, do you still feel like a native Atlantian or Capetonian?
I moved to Cape Town at the end of 2000 and have lived here ever since I definitely feel more Capetonian than Atlantian/American but I am thankful for my American passport and the ease it has been to travel.
Where is the one place that you like to escape (that no one knows about) so you can unwind, unplug and just ‘be’?
Well, it wouldn’t be a secret if I told you! Ideally I love outdoor exercise to shut off, it really clears my mind, alternatively a weekend away at my best friend’s family guesthouse in Arniston on my day-bed reading a book (Blue Sky Arniston Guest House) and if it were overseas it would be Tel Aviv, I have never felt calmer in my adult life than when I was on holiday there last year, incredible and beautiful place!
What is the one word that you wish everyone in the industry would stop using? Mixologist.
Living or dead, who are your top five people you’d invite for sundowners and veggie empanada?
My Mom’s Dad (I never got to meet him), Aretha Franklin (I am obsessed with her and I think she would be fun to drink with), Audrey Hepburn (I would want to be transported to the time when she was alive to have drinks with her though), Jackie Kennedy and Stevie Nicks (it’s no secret that I’m a massive Fleetwood Mac fan) … music is one of my biggest inspirations.
From Orphanage to Mother’s Ruin, your journey as a Gin Queen has been a roller coaster. What is the one thing you would impart to someone trying to break into the industry that you wish you had been taught up front?
Everyone has their own journey and their own path, but being a woman in a predominantly male dominated industry I would definitely advise in staying true to who you are. Authenticity is one of the rarest things to come across during our day and time. Now combine authenticity with a massive slice of humility and taking care of yourself (physically, mentally and emotionally) you are on the path for great reward.
If you weren’t a brand ambassador, forager and World Class mixologist, what would you be doing instead?
Living in the middle of nowhere on a self-sustaining property making cheeses and studying natural medicine and the use of plants … haha.
You’re missioning on Saturday morning (after Granger Bay eats with your #Tribe) and you run into … skateboarder Rob Walsh or Steve Olsen?
Rob Welsh for definite, he’s from Maine which is where I would holiday occasionally when younger as my dad and his family are from Massachusetts (also where my parents met and started their family) … so everyone would love him! I grew up watching my brother skate, playing Tony Hawk skate video games and recently took on longboarding (how Capetonian).
In your opinion which is the most progressive bar in South Africa pushing boundaries, perceptions and understanding in terms of technique, ingredients and servings right now?
That’s a tough one to answer! Currently, I think it’s Sin+Tax in Johannesburg.
What’s your secret to taking a good selfie?
a) ALWAYS wipe your selfie camera off before shooting (vice versa if you’re not using the selfie camera), b) Good lighting and c) the smiling pout! I studied photography so it has made me quite OCD with photos in our current instant era.