These will fluff out your cocktail feathers
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.