Bar: Le Quartier Français Common Room
Address: 16 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
021 876 2151
Cocktail: The green grape and baobab martini
Ingredients: Fresh pressed green grape juice, Graham Beck verjuice, Absolut Vodka, baobab powder and lecithin powder
Synonymous with wine and grapes, Le Quartier Français has developed a seasonal, vodka-based cocktail that goes down well with people wanting to sample Franschhoek grapes without going the wine route.
The drink is made by shaking two shots of fresh grape juice, a shot of vodka, a shot of verjuice and a scoop of ice into a shaker. This is then strained into a martini glass. The foam is made by blending 200ml of grape juice, one-and-a-half teaspoons of baobab powder and 2ml of lecithin powder (a soy protein). This is spooned on top of the drink.
The foam bubbles slowly and seems like the greeting of a warm cloud. Unexpectedly, it did not taste like white wine at all. There is a different grape experience to be had here.
Eleanor Kerwan, the establishment’s food and beverage manager, describes it as a seasonal summer cocktail that will be around for as long as the grapes are in season. She says it is a good option for someone wanting a drink low on alcohol.
Although in a very green valley, the Common Room bar stands out with the bold, vibey colours in their red, orange and blue stools.
A framed phrase hangs in the bar that describes their clientele: “Local Grazing Ground”. Wi-fi is free.
They are open seven days a week, from 7.30am to 10.30am for breakfast, noon to 3.30pm for lunch and 6pm to 10pm for dinner. – Weekend Argus