Six sizzling summer-ready cocktail recipes
If you also head over to our DECORATE section you’ll find our pick of six cocktail cabinets we think will quench your thirst for style.
Joburg-based restaurateur and barkeep Eloise Windebank has shared a few of her winning cocktail recipes with us. We thought it might be a clever move to match each of these recipes with a corresponding cocktail cabinet. You be the judge, but we quite like the results (despite sampling Eloise’s cocktails rather frequently ‘just to check the taste’).
Eloise spent years running a clutch of London’s best restaurants and bars, and has made over 30 000 Old Fashioneds whilst obsessively studying Bourbon, prohibition era cocktails and Italian bitters. This alone impressed us. But she also returned to South Africa in 2016 and is the other half of leading Johannesburg dining brand Farro (together with chef-husband Alex Windebank).
Their Illovo-based restaurant went underground during lockdown, but has since reinvented itself to offer a weekly ready-meal box scheme (including cocktails!). Rebranded ‘Farro Family Style’ (FFS, obvz), the new offering is proving to be a hit in the Northern Suburbs. We’re also thrilled about their pop-up dinners and lunches hosted in beautiful spaces in and around Joburg.
Here are Eloise’s six Summery cocktail recipes destined to impress your taste buds (and your party guests).
Follow Farro on Insta at @farro_foodandwine to catch up on their next pop-up and/or for details on how to place your ready-meal box orders.
Secret Garden Fizz
This tastes like spring in a glass. The cucumber gin requires a little forward planning, but it’s worth it.
50ml cucumber gin
25ml Belvoir Elderflower cordial
12.5ml fresh lemon juice
A generous pour of MCC (Saltare Brut Nature is my MCC of choice)
To make a bottle of cucumber gin, take a good bottle of gin (I use Hope on Hopkins London Dry Gin) and pour away (into a couple of G&Ts) 100mls of gin. Take half a large cucumber and peel it so no skin remains, slice in half and scoop out all the seeds. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks and put into the gin. Leave somewhere cool to infuse for 24hrs, and then decant the gin, throwing the cucumber away. Gin will keep well for up to a month and is very versatile!
Add gin, cordial and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake hard for 10 seconds. Strain through a cocktail strainer into a highball filled with ice and top with MCC. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
We’ve partnered this cocktail with the ‘Twelve Apostles’ Cabinet from Villa Africa.
More commonly known by The Bicicletta, this wine and Campari mix was thrown back for breakfast in one of my old restaurants in Soho by legendary chef & restaurateur of the original nose-to-tail eatery, until it became affectionately known behind the bar as ‘a Henderson’. Remember, the better the wine, the better the drink.
75ml good white wine (I used Usana Pinot Gris)
Splash of soda water
Into a large glass, put a few large ice cubes. Pour the Campari & white wine over the ice and add a small splash of soda, just so you can see the bubbles. Give a quick stir and garnish with something herbaceous or an orange slice.
We’ve partnered this cocktail with the ‘Ag Shame’ Cabinet by Dokter and Misses for Southern Guild.
In place of proper Applejack, which you can’t get in SA, I infuse bourbon with red apples. This takes a bit of time, but ultimately worth it.
50ml apple bourbon
12.5ml dry vermouth (I use Cinzano Extra Dry)
12.5ml sugar syrup
A teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
Dash of Angostura Bitters
To make the Apple Bourbon, wash, core and slice 2 red apples with the skin on. Add to 600ml or bourbon and let sit in a cool dark place for 2 weeks. Strain when ready and use. Also makes a great Old Fashioned. Don’t eat the apples afterwards – they are lethal!
Add all ingredients to a cocktail tin and add ice. Shake very hard for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.
We’ve partnered this cocktail with the ‘Jazz’ Cabinet by Block & Chisel.
This play on the classic, Sidecar, mixes orange and thyme, 2 quite contrasting ingredients made from the same building blocks. The thyme brings out the orangey-ness of the Grand Marnier.
40ml Cognac or good quality brandy (Oude Meester Demant is a great local choice)
20ml Grand Marnier
20ml fresh lemon juice
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
To release the oils of the thyme, hold the sprigs in your palm and clap your hands a few times. Add to a cocktail tin with cognac, lemon juice and Grand Marnier. Add ice and shake hard for 10 seconds. Double strain into a cocktail coupe.
We’ve partnered this cocktail with the ‘Bow’ Cabinet by Jacobs Collection.
This is one of those “be careful, it tastes like juice” drinks.
50ml good quality vodka (I use Hope on Hopkins Vodka)
25ml fresh lime juice
12.5ml sugar syrup
6 mint leaves
A generous pour of MCC (again, Saltare MCC)
Release the oils from the mint by holding the mint in your palm and clapping your hands a few times. Add vodka, lime juice, sugar syrup and mint leaves to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake hard for 10 seconds. Strain through a cocktail strainer into a highball filled with ice and top with MCC. Garnish with a few extra mint leaves.
We’ve partnered this cocktail with the ‘West Coast’ Cabinet by KARE.
The cure-all for colds to hangovers. I use homemade ginger syrup, but you can use a bought one. The ginger syrup also makes a great mocktail, or a good addition to a cup of black rooibos tea.
50ml blended Scotch
50ml ginger syrup
25ml fresh lemon juice
Soda to top
A teaspoon to Laphroaig or similar peaty whisky
To make the ginger syrup, add 100g fresh grated ginger, 200g caster sugar and 400ml water to a pot. Bring to the boil and reduce down until sticky and thick. It should have a gingery burn to it. Allow to cool and pass through a muslin. Store in the fridge for up to a month.
To make the cocktail, add whiskey, lemon and ginger syrup to a cocktail tin with ice. Shake hard and double strain into a large tumbler filled with ice. Top with soda. Very gently, pour a teaspoon’s worth of Laphroaig of top of the ice, so that there is a strong peaty aroma as you lift the drink to your mouth. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon slice or slice of candied ginger.
We’ve partnered this cocktail with the ‘Luna’ Cabinet by Weylandts.