Brunch cocktails are back – 6 spots to sip and savour


The fusion of breakfast and lunch, once perceived as the humble mid-morning meal, has gracefully transformed into a social day out, often stretching into the afternoon. This evolution gave rise to the refined yet indulgent brunch cocktail, with timeless classics such as Bloody Marys and mimosas taking centre stage. However, more recently we have seen an expansion of this quintessential mid-morning refreshment, now taking on an exciting and experimental new persona.

With this, we have seen South Africa’s dining scene welcome the renaissance of the brunch cocktail, marked by a heightened enthusiasm for their revival on restaurant brunch menus. Gone are the days of modest mixology; with its basic ingredients and conventional flavours, we find ourselves in a new invigorating realm, where tradition meets innovation, yielding a distinctive blend of flavour, flair, sophistication and delight.

Ready to dive into a delicious boozy brunch beverage? Here are some spots to check out.

Sonny and Irene

Nestled in Sea Point, Cape Town, Sonny and Irene is an elegant and aesthetic spot to satisfy all your brunch cravings. From everyday eggs to more contemporary dishes, their menu offers a wide variety of charming brunch options and their brunch cocktail offering being no exception. While we can all appreciate the classic pairing of the eggs Benedict with an orange juice mimosa, Sonny and Irene have elevated this combination by offering a choice of either pineapple, apple, orange or grapefruit juice for guests to add to their glass of Prosecco. This makes for a stylish twist on an ageless favourite, promising a delightful brunch experience.


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At Butter, an all-day breakfast and bistro bar in Cape Town, your brunch experience soars with a dynamic cocktail menu. Whether you’re in the mood for an Aperol spritz or a zestier grapefruit gin spritz, Butter ensures that their cocktails complement their rich and hearty offerings. A glimpse of their innovation is found in their Butter White Russian, a unique take on the espresso martini where oat milk, Kahlua, vodka and espresso unite. This restaurant is a vibrant setting for a festive and fun day out.


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The Whippet

Johannesburg foodies are invited to enjoy brunch at The Whippet, a popular café that offers an all-day brunch selection, featuring treats like their buttery brioche French toast and  Parmesan-kissed chicken strips. The Whippet has nailed the art of mixology – offering an array of diverse brunch cocktails. Try their Collins the Twist, a refreshing dance of elderflower, peach syrup with a gin and soda, or their Passion Fruit Berry Sunrise, consisting of gin, passion fruit, mixed berries and imported tonic. Not in the mood for alcohol? The Whippet has you covered with their Innocent Cocktails – their non-alcoholic renditions of the classics. Indulge in the rejuvenating nodes of their homemade lemon cordial cocktail or the gooseberry mimosa for a taste of sweet and sour Cape gooseberries blended with the perfume of elderflower. The brunch cocktail appeal goes beyond the alcohol quantity, with many other restaurants offering alcohol-free alternatives.


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Moving to the heart of Sandton, you will find Alto234. On the 57th floor of the Leonardo in Sandton, the tallest building in Africa, this restaurant claims its title as the highest bar in Africa. With brunch fast becoming the trendiest weekend ritual this side of town, Alto234 offers an elevated and unparalleled experience. The spotlight falls on their cocktails, which can be seamlessly paired with their array of sweet or savoury tapas. Enjoy the tropical symphony of whisky-infused watermelon, coconut and citrus sours for sun-soaked days, or their fruity tequila-based cocktail with orange, thyme and dry lemon to captivate your palate. This is a unique dining experience set against the breathtaking Sandton skyline.

Beverly Hills Hotel

The Lounge and Vista Terrace restaurant at the Beverly Hills Hotel, situated within walking distance of Umhlanga beach in Durban, offers an extensive selection of brunch cocktails to suit every taste. By using local liqueurs, sweet syrups and robust herbs, they are a great example of a restaurant pushing boundaries beyond the ordinary. They also offer an excellent selection of mezze to complement your chic brunch cocktail.


Finally, in the small corner of St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape, the laidback Eat Out 2-star restaurant Nevermind adopts an authentic farm-to-table approach to dining, and boasts a scrumptious brunch menu focusing on locally sourced ingredients. Their brunch cocktail menu may be small, but the quality and beautiful representation of each creation has you savouring every sip. The paloma filled with tequila, grapefruit juice, pink tonic and salt is perfect for a cheerful day out with friends and family.


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Take this as your sign to try a new brunch spot this year and relish an outing of extended sipping and breaking classical barriers of cocktails to enhance your daytime dining experience. Brunch is back as South African diners’ newest trendy activity and coupled with a delicious cocktail, your day will be shaken or stirred to perfection!

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