Kitsch cocktails are fast becoming the coolest thing on trendy bar menus

Cringe-worthy cocktails from the 70s and 80s are being reinvented by great mixologists. Here's where to enjoy the kitsch-cocktail revolution in Joburg

28 September 2018 - 00:00 By Lucy Sarah O’Connell
Margaritas and daiquiris are being reinvented with fresh ingredients that subtly enhance their handcrafted base spirits.
Margaritas and daiquiris are being reinvented with fresh ingredients that subtly enhance their handcrafted base spirits.
Image: 123RF / Anaumenko

While cocktails have definitely established themselves as the height of cool in Joburg thanks to the arrival of some truly chic cocktail spots – we’re looking at you, Sin + Tax – ordering a fruit and alcohol concoction wasn’t always the classic choice it is today.

Think back 10 years, and cocktails mainly consisted of syrupy, overly-sweet, alcho-juices ordered on all-inclusive beach holidays, but today every restaurant and bar is expected to have a selection of freshly-made delicious cocktails on their menu.

As the brand ambassador for Truman and Orange and an award-winning mixologist, AJ Snetler says this cocktail revolution has been driven by the bar industry reinventing itself.

“Nowadays, visiting a bar is an experience, and people order cocktails because there is so much choice. Handmade syrups, fresh juices, foam, spices – nothing is off limits and who wouldn’t want to taste a drink that has been made by a professional from the freshest ingredients and using premium spirits as the base?”

And he’s not wrong – even cringe-worthy cocktails from the 70s and 80s are finding a home in a great mixologist’s repertoire, creating an undeniable kitsch-cocktail revolution.

Think old-school margaritas and daiquiris are a thing of the past? Think again, as these kitsch classics are being reinvented with fresh ingredients that subtly enhance their handcrafted base spirits, making ordering them feel just as classy as selecting a nice bottle of wine from the menu.

With such a definitive movement from kitsch to cool, it’s refreshing – in more ways than one – to see these favourites appearing on menus throughout the country.

Don’t be surprised to find a Long Island Iced Tea on the menu at The Royale, or a pina colada on the pages of Mootee Bar’s menu – albeit, with their own special twists – or even an Old Fashioned in the cocktail section at Marble.

Just know that when you order these, you won’t be receiving the same syrup-heavy Sex on The Beach that you treated yourself to on your last trip to Thailand – instead, you’ll be getting a sophisticated creation that’s in a whole different category.

TASTE FOR YOURSELF

Here are six of our favourite spots for picking up a kitsch-cool cocktail:

  1. Sin + Tax Bar

  2. Mootee Bar

  3. The Royale

  4. Marble

  5. Blind Tiger Cafe

  6. La Boqueria


This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za


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