Cape Town's best cocktail spots

2014-03-05 17:10
We may be creeping closer to Autumn, but that doesn’t mean cocktail season is over just yet!

In fact, it probably means the opposite – make the most of the remaining sunny days by squeezing the last bit of juicy goodness out of them… while drinking cocktails on balconies with gorgeous views, of course.  

And where would the best places in the Mother City be to do just that?

According to Diageo World Class, organisers of the prestigious Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2014 World Finals, there are nine spots that really stand out.  

A selection of barmen from each of these venues were put through their paces with a ‘Whisky Sensorium’ themed Workshop at the Pepper Club Hotel on Wednesday and we got to check it out and sample some of their wares.



So, not to leave you hanging any longer, these are Diageo World Class’ top 9 cocktail spots in Cape Town:

Asoka, Kloof Street  

Victorian charm, mingled with Oriental magic and just a smidgen of modern pleasure, Asoka manages to exude the perfect blend of comfort and style.  

It is also renowned for its extensive list of legendary cocktails, created by their top in-house mixologists.

An occasion to go: It’s a great spot to start off a dressy girl’s night out.

Must-try cocktail: Jade Garden -Tanqueray gin shaken with fresh lemon, mint, jasmine infused syrup and elder¬ower cordial, topped up with pressed apple juice served tall over crushed ice.  

More info: Asoka Bar's website 



Bascule Bar, Cape Grace Hotel  

Looking out over the international yacht marina at Cape Town's Waterfront, Bascule is the perfect setting to wind down while watching the bustle of one of the world’s most-visited tourist attractions.

It is home to over 500 whiskies from around the world and an impressive selection of the finest Cape wines on offer.

An occasion to go: Treat your classy man friend, brother, dad or grandpa to an afternoon of fancy whisky tasting.  

Must-try cocktail: Cable Car - spiced rum shaken with orange liqueur and freshly squeezed lemons, servedin a cinnamon sugar frosted glass

More info: Bascule Bar's website

Buena Vista, Green Point

Without having to travel half way around the world, Buena Vista gives guests a little glimpse into classic Cuba.  

Sit back, relax, order a plate of delicious chilli poppers, sip a cocktail… and, of course, light up a nice fat cigar!  

An occasion to go: It’s the perfect spot to start off (read: line your stomach with their delicious food) a fun night out with a group of friends.  

Must-try cocktail: Watermelon Eclipse – Watermelon, Jose Cuervo Tequila Gold & Passoa, tall built over crushed ice with fresh lime and cranberry  

More info: Buena Vista website

Café Caprice, Camps Bay  

Probably one of Cape Town’s most famous and well-established beach bars, Café Caprice is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.  

Looking out over Camps Bay beach, it’s the perfect spot for a sundowner.  

An occasion to go: When you want to show the city off to your overseas friend.  

Must-try cocktail: Botanical Gardener - Juniper, rosemary and lemon rind-infused  Tanqueray No. 10 with hibiscus tea soda on crushed ice.

More info: Cafe Caprice website



Casa del Sol, Strand

If you’ve tried every cocktail Cape Town has to offer, it’s time to explore new pastures.  

If you think Strand is nothing more than a sleepy seaside village, this suave cocktail spot looking out over the beach is certainly going to blow you away.

An occasion to go: Found someone you really like? First date went well, so did the second? Well, this is a great option for a fun, yet intimate third get together – away from the madding crowd, yet not isolated enough to seem creepy.  

Must-try cocktail: Ciroc Coconut Sundowner – Ciroc Vodka shaken cold with Madagascan vanilla sugar, fresh lime and bitters. Served short and splashed with ginger ale.  

More info: Casa del Sol website  

HQ, Shortmarket Street

Loosely based on the famous Parisian restaurant, Le Relais de L’Entrecote, in its homage to meat, Headquarters offers a single, straightforward menu: salad, sirloin and chips.

Simple, yet satisfying! However, while their food may be simple, their cocktail menu is a delight to the senses. Located on the skirt of the CBD, bordering on the Bo-Kaap, HQ has a sexy, urban vibe to it.  

An occasion to go: To catch up with your partner or a long-lost friend over a decent meal and delicious drinks.  

Must-try cocktail: Partridge in a Pear Tree - Pink Pigeon Rum, goji pear pulp, fresh lemon; served with a caramel & lemon foam

More info: HQ Restaurant website  



One&Only, Waterfront

The pinnacle of plush, modern luxury, the One&Only Hotel is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD, while looking out over a peaceful and picturesque network of canals.  

The hotel is home to two superb restaurants – Nobu and Reuben’s - as well as the Vista Bar & Lounge where you will be enjoying your cocktails.  

An occasion to go: When your parents are in town and you want to impress them with how dang classy you’ve become.  

Must-try cocktail: Sixteen72 - this brandy-based cocktail commemorates over four centuries of brandy history in South Africa AND  made it to the national finals of the Diageo Reserve World Class competition last year.  

More info: The One&Only Vista Bar & Lounge website  

Orphanage, Bree Street

The name may sound rather dismal, but don’t get the wrong idea! It’s actually quaint and whimsical, with just the slightest edge of delightful gloominess a-la Oliver Twist.  

An occasion to go: For after work drinks when you and your colleagues have something special to celebrate.  

Must-try cocktail: Brimstone & Fire – Rum, citrus, cloves, caramel syrup and fire

More info: The Orphanage website



Tjing Tjing, Longmarket Street

Tjing Tjing is a super sexy rooftop bar located in a restored two centuries old heritage building in the very heart of the CBD.

They are known for their excellent music, extensive wine list… and of course cocktails.  

An occasion to go: casual first date – the one where you suss each other out. (But maybe not if you’re afraid of bumping into your friends)

Must-try cocktail: Jelly Baby – Stolichnaya Vanilla Vodka, Contreau, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and jelly babies.  

More info: Tjing Tjing website  

Where is your favourite cocktail spot in the Mother City and why? Tell us in the comment section below, chat to us on Facebook or tweet us at @News24Travel

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Read more on:    cape town  |  travel  |  travel south africa  |  cocktails
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