This summer's cocktail trend: Sustainability, fresh produce and lots of creative flair

By Sponsored Time of article published Oct 31, 2019

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This summer’s top cocktails are sustainably made, fresh and creative, and best of all, easy to make, says Cape Town cocktail expert Cassandra Eichhoff.

Eichhoff, winner of the Bar Awards Mentor of the Year title, and director of the European Bartender School in Cape Town, says South Africa is catching up with international cocktail trends, which favour drinks made with sustainability in mind.

At an American themed cocktail-making session held at the European Bartending School recently, Eichhoff explained that adult spirits consumers don’t need a fully equipped bar to mix show-stopping drinks.  “For home cocktails, it’s not really necessary to have a variety of tools. You could shake up a cocktail in a Consol jar, or muddle limes with a kitchen spoon,” she says.

She recommends experimenting with spirits, paying attention to their heritage and flavour profile, before deciding what ingredients to mix with them. “Be creative. There are no limits – as long as the drink tastes good and looks good. But it’s important to use quality ingredients and fresh produce wherever possible,” she says. 

Fine American distilled spirits, many of them still relatively unknown to South Africans, are ideal for summer cocktails, she says. American Whiskeys, for example, have some unique flavour profiles that work really well in cocktails. 

Eichhoff demonstrated fresh summer cocktails blended with Wild Turkey Bourbon and Whistling Andy gin, and guests sampled a range of U.S. distilled spirits from brands well-established in the SA market, such as Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniel’s and Bulleit Bourbon, as well as several new products including Dad’s Hat Rye whiskey, Golden Moon Kümmel, Jim Beam Straight Bourbon whiskey, Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Sagamore Spirit Cask Strength Rye whiskey,  Koval Dry Gin and Vodquila.

Try one of Cassandra’s American summer cocktail recipes at home:

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Floral Delight

Method: Build

Glass: Highball

Ice: Cubed

35ml Gin

25ml Summer Cordial

Top with Fever Tree Indian Tonic

Garnish: Mint Sprig & Strawberry Slice


Summer Cordial:

250ml Mango Juice

100g Strawberries

100g Sugar

1/2 tsp Citric Acid

Combine Mango Juice and Strawberries in a pot and simmer at medium heat. Add sugar until dissolved and allow to reduce to syrup viscosity. Take off heat and pulse blend three times, strain off solids and allow to cool. Stir in citric acid, bottle and refrigerate. 


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Whistling Summer

Method: Rolled

Glass: Coupe/Martini

Ice: None

35ml Gin

25ml Martini Bianco Vermouth

20ml Watermelon & Ginger Syrup

15ml Fresh Lime Juice

Top with splash of MCC Brut

Garnish: Orange Coral Tuile & Basil leaf


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Hunters Ice Tea

Method: Shake & Strain

Glass: Highball

Ice: Cubed

35ml American Bourbon

15ml Orange Liqueur/Cointreau

25ml Fresh Lemon Juice

20ml Milk Stout Maple Syrup

Top with Soda Water

Garnish: Citrus Dust & Lemon Zest

For more information about American distilled spirits in SA, go to www.distilledspiritsusa.co.za/ or follow https://www.facebook.com/USwhiskeyZA/ and @USwhiskeyZA.

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