CAUSE|EFFECT 2.0 turns drinks into a three-course meal of posh cocktails
The much-hyped Cape Town cocktail bar has moved into a new, bigger space at the V&A Waterfront , writes Richard Holmes
“This is CAUSE|EFFECT version 2.0,” smiles award-winning mixologist Kurt Schlechter as he gazes down the long oak bar counter at CAUSE|EFFECT in the V&A Waterfront.
There’s artificial greenery hugging the ceiling, and boxes of dried fynbos being snipped at by bartenders, clever clogs spinning under glass lids below the bar counter, and barrels of Old Fashioneds and Boulevardiers maturing behind it.
It’s a mad kitchen of cocktail creation, and that’s just how Kurt likes it.
Cocktail fans were quick to sit up and take notice when Kurt opened his first outpost in late 2017, but “our previous space was always just a stepping-stone to something bigger”, he says.
This new, bigger space is in the old Rocket Shed of the V&A Waterfront. The shed was used to store a rocket-mounted harpoon that would be fired out to sea if a ship ran aground on the nearby rocks.
Celebrating the flavours and culinary heritage of the Cape is key to the menu at CAUSE|EFFECT, where Kurt and his team of bartenders create both classic cocktails, Cape-infused creations, and some seriously wacky drinks. If you’ve ever sipped the sprinkles and candyfloss of a Richie the Rainbow Sparkle Unicorn you’ll know what I mean.
Kurt dubs his bar a “cocktail kitchen”, and this is certainly no place to pop in for a quick drink. Rather, Kurt wants patrons to settle in for a three-course experience.
“You should start with an aperitif spritz drink, which is made with local and Italian vermouth. The main course is the experiential cocktails, and to finish you look to a vintage, classic or dessert cocktail,” Kurt explains.
And there’s no shortage of innovation to keep you entertained through the courses.
For the Nitro Martini an assortment of indigenous botanicals – “we’re obsessed with fynbos and what it can bring to the world of cocktails”, says Kurt – is freeze-dried, crushed and shaken with ice and gin.
The Rocket, served in a beaded wire rocket, comes smoking before lift-off, and the King Protea is served in a crown of wooden petals.
Along with fynbos, Kurt is also obsessed with Cape potstill brandy. Aside from blending it into many of the cocktails, there’s a brandy list extending to more than 60 premium labels.
To help you make it through the evening there’s a selection of platters, small plates and light bites. If you love cocktails, or creativity behind the bar, the improved CAUSE|EFFECT is for you.
• Visit CAUSE|EFFECT at The Rocket Shed, 280 Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town. See facebook.com/CauseEffectBar
This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za