O u r S t o r y

Free from sugar, alcohol, colourants  and artificial flavours. Mahala is also gluten and vegan friendly. It offers health-conscious and mindful consumers a great tasting premium drink.

The all-natural botanicals undergo a triple-distillation process in her custom-built vacuum stills.  This ensures abundant flavour and results in a complex, layered finish.  The end product is a beautiful premium drink that delivers a sophisticated alternative to alcoholic beverages. 

Our Story

H o w I t A l l B e g a n

In 2020, Danielle Schoeman, a renowned South African Master Distiller, began trialing various alcohol-free distilled spirits in her Dona craft distillery.  Foraging botanicals from her family farm in the Cape she experimented with various blends until eventually discovering 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.


I n i t s y e a r o f c r e a t i o n , M a h a l a B o t a n i c a l w a s a w a r d e d t h e T r o p h y f o r B e s t L o w / N o A l c o h o l S p i r i t a t t h e p r e s t i g i o u s M i c h e l a n g e l o I n t e r n a t i o n a l S p i r i t A w a r d s . R e c e n t l y w e h a v e w o n a n a w a r d f o r t h e T e a C o c k t a i l C h a m p i o n 2 0 2 2 ( N o n A l c o h o l ) a t t h e T h i s i s T e a F e s t i v a l a n d a C o m m e n d e d A w a r d a t t h e W o r l d A l c o h o l F r e e A w a r d s 2 0 2 3 . M a h a l a B o t a n i c a l A m b e r w a s a w a r d e d a n a m a z i n g o n e s t a r G r e a t T a s t e A w a r d . T h e G r e a t T a s t e A w a r d s a r e h u g e l y r e s p e c t e d a n d c o v e t e d f o o d a n d d r i n k a w a r d s . T h e y a r e r u n e v e r y y e a r b y t h e G u i l d o f F i n e F o o d i n t h e U K .

The Distillery employs previously disadvantaged employees and supports local workers (such as The Sparrow Society who work with Mahala to create beautiful product display bags).

Our Founders

Danielle Schoeman


Cape Town born and bred, Danielle established Dona Distillery in 2019 with the dream to disrupt the industry with custom built vacuum stills (the only ones in Africa at the time) and ambitious goal to bring new and exciting spirits to the local and international markets.

By 2020 Doña had won multiple awards including the trophy for the Best Low/No-alcohol Drink, Best Ready to Drink and numerous medals for her spirits at local and international competitions.

Danielle sees herself as an ambitious distiller with her vision to produce the highest quality products by continuously innovating and pushing the envelope. In her free time, Danielle enjoys hiking the mountain ranges of the Western Cape and spending time with her friends and family. 

Paul Scanlon

Co-founder & Director

Born in France of Irish parents, Paul has lived in many countries including France, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, South Africa and now, the UK.

He joined the Alcohol Industry in 1996 as a Commercial Manager for Jameson Irish Whiskey, part of Pernod Ricard, where he held various senior commercial roles. Paul subsequently moved to the UK to become International Commercial Director of Chivas Brothers, working extensively across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

In 2014, Paul became the Managing Director of Pernod Ricard South Africa.  Following over 20 successful years at Pernod Ricard, Paul set up his own Beverage Consultancy and since then has worked with both Start Ups as well some leading premium Gin, Rum, Hard Seltzer and Alcohol Free spirit brands. 

Combining his passion for impeccable quality, the No/Low beverage category and South Africa, he partnered with Danielle to launch the Mahala Botanical brand. He is an avid rugby fan, a cyclist and a strong believer in healthy and mindful living.