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25 of the best cocktail spots

It’s the ultimate summer scene – the perfect sunset, a breath-taking view and a delectable cocktail in hand. Whether it is the classic mojito or a daring take on the martini complete with watermelon liqueur and basil, a well-made cocktail is just the thing to remind you that summer is here and holidays are on their way. To help you find your way to cocktail nirvana, here’s our list of 25 great cocktail bars. From sweeping sea views to rooftop bars and achingly hip downtown spots, there’s a cocktail venue for every occasion.

Johannesburg

The Island Bar at the Southern Sun Hotel Hyde Park
Signature cocktails: try the Sandton Sling (tequila, passion liqueur, Napoleon and peach purée and ginger ale) for R65, the pink mojito (pink premium rum, fresh lime, mint and vanilla syrup and cranberry juice) for R75, the watermelon and basil martini (vodka, watermelon liqueur, basil and cranberry juice with sweet and sour mix) for R48 or the shooting star (Bombay Sapphire Gin, orange juice and Crème Mure liqueur) for R48.
Food: Italian, light meals.

Bistro at the Peech
Signature cocktail: Mzanzi Chocotini (chocolate martini)
Price: R42
Food: Bistro, contemporary.

Buddha Ta
Signature cocktail: Candy floss mojito.
Price: R50.
Food: Asian-inspired tapas.

Central One Bar at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel
Popular cocktail: Mother’s Courage, a vodka cocktail.
Price: R50.
Food: Contemporary.

Fresh Restaurant and Circle Bar
Popular cocktail: Pink mojito.
Price: R45.
Food: Contemporary, sushi.

Polo Bar at the Westcliff
Signature cocktail: Pink raspberry margarita.
Price: R60
Food: tapas, light lunches.

Rodizio Fourways
Signature: Caipirinha jug.
Price: R64 for a 1.3 litre jug.
Food: Brazilian, Portuguese.

San Bar
Signature cocktail: Santonista (light rum, mint leaves, fresh lime juice and marula juice).
Price: R45.
Food: Light meals.

Pretoria

Afro Lounge Kitchen Bar
Popular cocktail: Long island ice tea.
Price: R45.
Food: African fusion.

The Blue Crane
Popular cocktail: The nutty chocolate martini.
Price: R35.
Food: Contemporary, light meals.

Durban

Element Café Bar
Signature cocktail: The signature mojito (chilli and strawberry or cinnamon and cloves).
Price: R55.
Food: Contemporary, tapas.

The Grill Room
Signature cocktail: Umhlanga Shling (local cane muddled with fresh pine apple and mint topped with crushed ice and mango juice).
Price: R60.
Food: Continental.

Moyo Pier Bar
Popular cocktails: daiquiri and mojito.
Price: R58 and R49 respectively.
Food: African, tapas.

Riverside Café
Signature cocktail: African sunset (Campari, dark rum, orange juice, cranberry juice,Monis red and lemon juice).
Price: R38.
Food: Contemporary.

Cape Town

Alexander Bar
Popular cocktail: their cocktail menu changes weekly. Visit their website and sign up for their newsletter to find out what will be on offer.
Price: Range between R40 and R50.
Food: Contemporary.

The Bungalow Restaurant
Popular cocktail: Pomegranate mojito.
Price: R45.
Food: Contemporary, sushi, seafood.

The Grand (Granger Bay)
Signature cocktail: Grand pink gin (Archers Peach Schnapps, Hendricks Gin, Coconut syrup, 28 Black energy drink, granadilla).
Price: R55.
Food: Continental, light meals.

Orphanage
Signature cocktail: More Tea Vicar (Finlandia vanilla, rooibos syrup, cranberry and lemon).
Price: R60.
Food: Tapas, contemporary.

Polana
Signarure cocktail: Mojito.
Price: R35.
Food: Portuguese, tapas.

Tjing Tjing
Popular cocktail: Old Fashioned or Cotton Candy (candy floss-infused vodka, limes, litchi juice and crushed ice).
Price: R52 and R45 respectively.
Food: Tapas.

Vista Bar
Popular cocktail: The blushing rose mojito (mojito made with rose syrup and grapefruit juice).
Price: R45.
Food: Light meals.

Wafu
Popular cocktail: Pink wafu (Malibu rum, Bicardi rum, pineapple juice and Granadine).
Price: R45.
Food: Asian, tapas.

Garden Route

East Head Café
Signature cocktail: Mojito.
Price: R58 (R98 for 1 litre carafe).
Food: Contemporary, light meals.

Cafe Z
Signature cocktail: Noah’s Eclipse (vodka, watermelon liqueur, raspberry puree, sweet and sour mix and fresh cranberry juice).
Price: R55.
Food: Bistro.

Sand Bar at the Plettenberg
Popular cocktail: Mojito (classic or fruit).
Price: R55.
Food: Contemporary.

By Kelly Pluke

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