Food & Drink

Crafting crazy concoctions is said to be one of the trends in the whiskey world for 2017, from cocktails fusing seemingly bizarre ingredients to bringing back familiar favourites.

While gin has been the drink of choice for many, whisky still remains a firm favourite. Whisky Live Celebrations spokesperson, Emily Stockden says there is space for both these beautifully crafted spirits.

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Tullamore D.E.W. is the second largest Irish whiskey in the world in the fastest growing category.Brass Monkey whisky cocktail

There’s space for both gin and whisky," she says. "They are both beautifully crafted spirits and most people drink across a repertoire of spirits, beers, wines, etc. depending on the occasion, time of day or weather. Whisky is versatile and there is a different flavour to suit every palate. It mixes beautifully into cocktails and it is still by far SA’s favourite spirit."

Owen O’Reilly, owner of Cape Town-based SIP Exclusive premium mobile bar company picks up on global trends not only by choosing whisky as the base for some of his most popular cocktails, but also by getting innovative with fresh, homemade ingredients normally associated with fusion food.

His latest innovation, The Smoking Gun, includes such nuanced flavours as South African Pinotage fortified with bourbon, wild berry sugar syrup and Lapsang Souchong tea.

While there is a place for cocktails that fuse seemingly bizarre ingredients, the opposite trend is also emerging.

“There is a nostalgia for cocktails of yesteryear re-imagined with fresh ingredients,” O'Reilly says.

Jeremy Thompson, Marketing Manager for Distell’s International Whiskies portfolio, says the Black Bottle Old Fashioned continues to be a huge hit in 2017.

“Stir 2 parts of Black Bottle Whisky, 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters and 20ml of sugar syrup over ice. Add a twist of orange zest over the glass to release the orange oils and there you have it! It’s so appealing in its simplicity,” he explains.

Expect more of the same sophisticated simplicity in 2017 as the mixology industry heads back to basics and delights increasingly fussy palates with the best possible quality ingredients.

Based on bourbon’s comeback in 2016 both in South Africa and abroad, expect to see more bourbon-based cocktails on menus in 2017 and more brands available at bars across the country.

Brass Monkey whisky cocktail

Monkey Shoulder is the world’s first 100% malt whisky made for mixing.

What you'll need:

  • 50ml Monkey shoulder

  • Loads of Ice

Making it:

  • Add ice to your best glass
  • Pick up Monkey Shoulder bottle
  • Grin with excitement
  • Pour delicious Monkey Shoulder over ice
  • Sip responsibly


Fill a baking tray with water and freeze it. Then, take it out and impress your friends with a swift Karate chop ice crack!

Brass Monkey whisky cocktail

The Dewlep Cocktail

Tullamore D.E.W. is the second largest Irish whiskey in the world in the fastest growing category.

  • Ingredients 50ML Tullamore D.E.W Original Irish Whiskey
  • 12.5ml white vanilla sugar syrup
  • 1 dash peach bitters
  • 12 mint leaves


  • Pour 50ml Tullamore D.E.W. Original, 12.5ml white vanilla sugar syrup, dash of peach bitters and twelve mint leaves into a cup.
  • Gently muddle the mint, fill with crushed ice and then stir gently to combine.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint and straw.

Tullamore D.E.W. is the second largest Irish whiskey in the world in the fastest growing category.

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