Th­ese will fluff out your cock­tail feath­ers

Tabletop

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODDRINKING - MYRNA ROBINS

THE GLOBAL cock­tail re­nais­sance shows no signs of tail­ing off: in fact in­ter­est in blends of liquor, fruit, herbs and mix­ers is equalled only by the the in­ge­nu­ity of the mixol­o­gists who are cre­at­ing them.

While some need to be sipped with cau­tion, oth­ers present lay­ers of flavour and fresh in­gre­di­ents rather than knock­out al­co­hol lev­els.

As the old year gives way to the new, many a rain­bow cock­tail will be lifted to greet 2014 and visi­tors to one of the top 10 Cape cock­tail ven- ues – as cho­sen by Di­a­geo World Class “am­bas­sadors” – will be able to sam­ple the craft of the 10 lo­cal fi­nal­ists in the Bar­tender of the Year 2014 world fi­nals.

The Cape cock­tail es­tab­lish­ments are Asoka, Bas­cule, Buena Vista, Café Caprice, Casa del Sol, DearMe, HQ, One&Only, Or­phan­age and Pi­ano Bar. A fur­ther 17 have been se­lected from across the coun­try.

More cock­tail news comes from our brandy in­dus­try, which launched the Ur­ban Brandy Cock­tail Route in Cape Town ear­lier this year, mean­ing visi­tors can sam­ple brandy-based cock­tails at five city venues.

The route has ex­panded to take in venues in Hout Bay and Blou­berg, while routes have also opened in Joburg and Dur­ban.

Brandy cock­tails are also on the menu at Van Ryn’s dis­tillery out­side Stel­len­bosch, where a varied se­lec­tion is of­fered, the menu chang­ing ev­ery month. Prices range from R20 to R35 for a cock­tail and visi­tors can re­lax un­der gar­den um­brel­las or plump for couches in­side.

With the word “sherry” now join­ing other for­bid­den terms (like port and grappa) to keep Euro­pean producers happy, Sedg­wick’s Orig­i­nal Old Brown has just dropped the word from its la­bel, with no ill ef­fect.

This com­pan­ion­able for­ti­fied wine (it’s not re­ally sherry) has been pro­vid­ing in­ner warmth to sports­men and oth­ers for more than 160 years.

At R28 for 750ml, a cock­tail based on Old Brown is not go­ing to dent the bud­get. The Bri­tish savoured a cre­ation dubbed Sedg­wick’s Lane, based on the vin­tage sherry cob­bler, in the 19th cen­tury.

To concoct one, mix 50ml of Old Brown with 30ml orange juice and 50ml cran­berry juice.

Add two dashes bit­ters, shake and strain over ice. Add a lit­tle grena­dine syrup and serve with straw­ber­ries and orange slices at your next braai. Cheers.

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