7 Classic Cocktails and What’s in Them



Say the word cocktail and you envision a distinguished gentleman with coiffed hair and a suit, leaning on a dark wood bar counter with a martini in his hand. Not what you see in your mind’s eye? How about a luminous coloured drink bedecked with mini parasols and chunks of fruit?

Both of these versions could be representative of the cocktail, and serve to show the journey that this drink has undergone. From a select blend of spirits, sugar, water and bitters to mind-boggling combinations of ingredients including chilli and apple sours. Today the choice of cocktails is endless but like many things, the classic cocktails remain solid favourites.

Here are 7 classic cocktails you should try:



Main ingredients: White Rum, Sugar, Lime juice

Main ingredients: Tequila, Orange liqueur, lime juice, salt to garnish

Main Ingredients: Vermouth, Gin, green olive to garnish

Main ingredients: Bourbon whiskey, vermouth, aromatic bitters, to garnish – maraschino cherry and orange rind

Main ingredients: mint leaves, white rum, lime juice, sugar syrup, crushed ice, soda water

Mint Julep
Main ingredients: Bourbon whiskey, mint leaves, crushed ice, aromatic bitters, sugar syrup

classic cocktails caipirinha


Main ingredients: lime juice, sugar, cachaça, crushed ice

Now to try out the classic cocktails! Friday is the perfect evening to head to a city bar and try out some classy cocktails. As you do so, feel the stress of the week melt away as you admire the presentation and flavour of these drinks.

Here are some great places to get a good cocktail:

Cape Town
Oyo Cocktail Bar at the V&A Hotel – great views of the V&A Waterfront and the mountain. What more could you ask for?

Banana Jam – a Cuban themed venue with a geat outdoorsy vibe. There’s a brazier outside and the trees are lit up with fairy lights. Happy Hour is 5-6pm.

The Office – a trendy Greenside bar and restaurant

classic cocktail mint julep

Mint Julep

modelled on a New York lounge. Expect white leather couches, customised bar stools, wooden tables and delicious cocktails.

Salvatore – a Portuguese restaurant with a funky, vibrant cocktail lounge and drinks designed by Just Shakin’ Mixology Consultants. Wednesday is ladies’ night.

Café Vacca Matta – based at the Suncoast Casino & Entertainment World, the terrace bar is a great place to sample some cocktails and take in the sea views.

Fusion Café – This vibey spot on the Berea is a fun place to hang out, especially outside on the patio. Half-price cocktails on Tuesdays.

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