Sandton bar appears on list of 35 great cocktails around the world

Cocktail aficionados, listen up: a drink on offer at Sir James van der Merwe in Desmond St, Joburg, has garnered international attention, appearing on Bloomberg’s list of 35 cocktails to try around the world.

The Dawa Cocktail (R40) features vodka, fresh lime and honey, and is inspired by a Kenyan drink favoured by game hunters. “Sometimes the atmosphere of a place can turn a good drink into a great one – and sometimes the quality of drink transcends its environment,” explain writers Maura Walters and Christopher Ross. For inclusion in the list, the authors required both a great drink and a great bar. Sir James they describe as an “antique-stuffed, warehouse-like space”.

Owners Elize Van Der Merwe, Mark Valentine and Christine Valentine also recommend the strawberry mojito and the gin cocktails.

The bar, which opened in 2013, is only open on Wednesday nights only from 4pm, but is available for private functions.

Other iconic cocktails to make the list included the Peach Bellini at Harry’s Bar in Venice and the Caipirinha at Bar dos Descasados in Rio.

Need some more local suggestions? Try the out-of-this-world cocktails at Sin + Tax and MESH, both in Rosebank. Not in Joburg? We can also highly recommend the drinks at Outrage of Modesty in Cape Town and Lucky Shaker in Durban.

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