If you love your cocktails then colder weather is not going to dampen your spirits or make you reconsider your drinks order.

Although a cocktail is a trademark of sunshine and pool parties, it's still a feature in bars across the country during winter.

Another thing to keep in mind is the varying climate in SA, whilst Durban experiences mild winters, Cape Town is cool and wet, and Johannesburg is largely cold and dry.

Overall the Old Fashioned is a trusted and well loved winter cocktail, but there are a few other region specific drinks worth a sip.


Orphanage in Cape Town - pic supplied

Cape Town

Raymond Endean, owner of Cape Towns famed Orphanage Cocktail Emporium says they offer the usual classics such as the Negroni or Old Fashioned, but they also make cocktails with a bit more creative flair such as their signature cocktail, “More Tea Vicar”.

It's served in a tea cup, comprised of vanilla-infused vodka, rooibos syrup, lemon juice, cranberry juice and cellulose solution, and comes with a block of lemon rooibos jelly on the side.
  • Most popular cocktail: The Crematorium.
  • What's in the cocktail: It's in a half jack bottle wrapped in brown paper and is a hot cocktail. It comprises of tequila, lime juice, vanilla rooibos syrup, orange peel and ginger. It is set on fire before serving hot in the half jack bottle. It is a play on the original “Blue Blazer” cocktail invented by professor Jerry Thomas. Our guests love the heat as well as the theatre around the drink.
The Lucky Shaker in Durban - pic supplied

Durban

Owner of the popular Lucky Shaker bar in Umhlanga, Michael Stephenson, says: "“Our winters in Durban are pretty mild so guests still order the usual refreshing drinks but there is a definite increase in stirred drinks like our “Fireside”, which is made with brandy, toasted marshmallows, a hint of sherry and smoky Scotch.”
  • Most popular cocktail: The Winter Punch
  • What's in the cocktail: It's a clarified milk punch that is a combination of dark rum, bourbon, apple, grapefruit, demerara sugar, Angostura Bitters and chai tea with a host of winter spices like cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. Milk is added to the punch – which curdles due to the acidity of the citrus juices – but once they filter it they are able to separate the curd from the whey.
Sin + Tax in Johannesburg - pic supplied

Johannesburg

Julian Short, owner of Sin + Tax says their best seller overall is an original called The Main Squeeze, but they also offer unusual cocktails like a bubbly take on the famous Bloody Mary cocktail.

He adds: "Our bestseller every winter is the classic Old Fashioned. It's an unquestionably tasty cocktail and perfect for the cold weather."

Courtesy of Angostura bitters for more info on their range visit www.angosturabitters.com.