If you aren’t quite ready to head out to the bar just yet, worry not – you can still enjoy a delicious, fruity cocktail this spring. Here are a few places around South Africa that are offering innovative cocktail solutions for you to enjoy at home.

If you aren’t quite ready to head out to the bar just yet, worry not – you can still imbibe delicious, fruity cocktail this spring. Here are a few places around South Africa that are offering innovative DIY cocktails for you to enjoy at home.

Cause | Effect Cocktail Kitchen, Cape Town

Voted South Africa’s Best Cocktail Bar and Best Bar Team at the 2019 SA BAR Awards, it’s no surprise that Cause | Effect has come up with some incredible bottled cocktail offerings. Each comes with a little Cause | Effect magic, such as fynbos, flowers, dehydrated fruits and powders to garnish the drinks with. Don’t miss the Richie the Rainbow Sparkle Unicorn cocktail, which includes a private 15-minute Zoom session with owner and creative genius Kurt Schlechter. ‘It’s one of our best-selling cocktails in the bar. This is fun for two friends – you get the unicorn mug, candyfloss and cocktail included,’ says Kurt.

Cost: R200 for a serving for 4

Available from: https://cause-effect-cocktail-kitchen.myshopify.com

Richie the Rainbow Sparkle Unicorn with Wixworth Gin, strawberry, orgeat, citrus, roasted pineapple and wild dagga bitters.

Ideas Cartel, Cape Town

Get a window into this stylish member’s club with their bottled cocktails, the focus being on making the busy person’s life more streamlined. ‘All our drinks are made using traditional English punch techniques (clarification, fresh cordials, homemade infusions, oleo-saccharum shrubs and hydrosols), so there’s no need to worry about spoilage or any maintenance – simply pour these drinks over ice and enjoy,’ says food and beverage director Andrew Copsey. ‘We’re expanding into a variety of different sizes (330ml, 660ml, 1L+) and some pre-carbonated options for a variety of party sizes.’

Cost: R295 for 375ml (build your own six-pack for R1,700) and R395 for 500ml (build your own six-pack for R2,300).

Available from: guestcocktails.shopstar.co.za 

Clarified Melk Tert Punch with London Dry gin, clotted cream, shredded lemon peel, autumnal spices, Madagascan vanilla, Earl Grey and a little bit of magic.

Lucky Shaker, Durban

In addition to doing fantastic premade cocktails, Lucky Shaker is also offering whisky-tasting packs, each containing a variety of 50ml samples. Each dram comes with a Two Minute Tastings video link, where someone on the team guides you through the flavour profile.

‘Since we launched the concept, we’ve added over 70 #TwoMinuteTasting videos to our YouTube channel, varying from some of the more well-known options available all the way to special edition and limited release whiskies that aren’t in production anymore,’ says owner Michael Stephenson. ‘This gives guests a great opportunity to enjoy some delicious drams and learn a little something along the way while still connecting with us.’

Cost: R65 to R300 for cocktails; R440 to R1250 for tastings.

Available from: https://luckyshaker.com/shop/ or via info@luckyshaker.com

Two Minute Tastings, which come with guided videos by the team.

Molecular Bars, Joburg

Dino Batista and the clever team at Molecular Bars have created the carbonated, alcohol-free JUST SHORT series as their bottled cocktail offering, ‘just short’ of the alcohol. You simply add ice and your booze of choice, if preferred, and voila! This keeps the costs down and gives you the option of enjoying the drinks as flavourful mocktails. Each comes with a serving suggestion of compatible spirits.

‘The six individual cocktails in the range are each compatible with a range of spirits (indicated on the label),’ says Dino. ‘Your entire experience is guided by the flavours you love paired with the spirit you prefer.’

Cost: R55 to R60 for 330ml (serves two)

Available fromwww.molecularbars.co.za/justshort (delivery within 20km R50 or free collection) or UberEATS in Sandton.

Paloma Glam: a classic with a zesty bite of grapefruit and the addition of pink peppercorn gives off a warm, dusty feel when sipped. Iconically served with tequila.

Sip Exclusive, Cape Town

Owen O’Reilly and the guys at Sip also decided to go the teaching route with their offerings by creating DIY cocktail boxes containing an assortment of booze, mixes, syrups, bitters, garnishes and cocktail equipment. They come with informational leaflets with scannable QR codes directing you to video tutorials, teaching you how to make your own cocktails. Think a hot rum punch box, a mulled wine package and more! ‘We feel that consumers want to be more hands on and they want to be challenged, so it’s not just a simple box where you get some stuff that you just throw together,’ says Owen.

Cost: R275 to R1 100

Available from: www.sipexclusive.com/liquorstore

Gordon’s What’s The Fuss box, which comes with video tutorials showing you how to make cocktails.

Mix Bar at Mesh Club, Joburg

Ideas Cartel’s sister club in Jozi has designed their bottled cocktails around versatility, where you have the option to enjoy the drinks as stronger stirred cocktails over ice or as lower ABV highballs, which are topped off with tonic or soda. They have three serves, each based on a classic cocktail: The Clover Club, The Ole’ Switch-a-Roo, Net Nie Nou Nie Negroni and Gimme Gimme a Mojito.

‘We’re hoping to take home-drinking to new heights with our bottled range so we’ve batched recipes we think you’ll enjoy,’ said Kgomotso Ndaba.

Prices: R90 for 200–200ml and R300 for 500ml 

Available from: Mix Bar at Mesh Club

The Ole’ Switch-a-Roo with Inverroche Classic Gin, Caperitif, Amaretto and orange blossom.

This post first appeared in Eat Out on 2 September 2020.