When it’s chilly outside, we tend to want to hibernate, but Cape Town offers a wealth of hotspots that are as cosy in winter as they are fun in summer! And not all cocktails are thirst quenchers meant for warm weather either. We spoke to Truman & Orange Brand Ambassador, Lauren Penny, on her top spots to relax with a winter warmer and since she’s a born and bred bourbon lover, many of these beloved CT venues make a mean bourbon-based cocktail.
1. House of Machines
The vibe: Brick-lined hot spot for espresso, small-batch spirits, clever light bites, live music and a relaxed, urban vibe.
The crowd: those who appreciate solid coffee, crafted apparel, small distillery spirits and craft beers, hand-built motorcycles, live music and an authentic vibe.
Must-order cocktail: Smoked Bourbon Old Fashioned
Address: 84 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
2. Orphanage Cocktail Emporium
The vibe: a speakeasy-style bar known to make delicious elixirs, great music and a friendly atmosphere.
The crowd: an eclectic mix of people – locals, foreigners and adventurous out-of-towners – all there to enjoy the vibey music while sipping on delicious cocktails.
Must-order cocktail: Try the Barrel-aged Aviation Negroni or a delicious Blanton’s Old Fashioned.
Address: 227 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
3. Kloof Street House
The vibe: Old Victorian house turned into a cosy dining room-style restaurant with a fire place in the library area, a big bar and a beautiful leafy garden outside.
The crowd: Popular with tourists visiting Cape Town and date nights or birthday celebrations for Cape Town locals.
Must-order cocktail: Winter Spice Old Fashioned or a Don Papa 10 Year Old on the rocks.
Address: 30 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town
4. Gigi bar at the Gorgeous George hotel
The vibe: New to the Cape Town scene, this is fast becoming a local favourite. The large rooftop makes it the perfect location to wrap up and sip on warming cocktails while admiring the beautiful view and listening to the melodies playing in the background.
The crowd: The perfect mix between locals, foreigners, business travellers, and adventurous out-of-towners all there to have a good time and appreciate a quality drink.
Must-order cocktail: The Pennywise cocktail made with Buffalo Trace or ask for a delicious Drumshanbo and tonic on a slightly warmer Winter’s day.
Address: 118 St Georges Mall, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
5. Ricks Café
The vibe: Casablanca movie-themed restaurant with Moroccan/ Mediterranean/ American menu, roof terrace and mountain views.
The crowd: From chilled and casual locals to tourists, vegetarians to meat-lovers, there’s something about Rick’s that appeals to everyone.
Must-order cocktail: Don Papa on the rocks sipped next to the fireplace.
Address: 2 Park Rd, Gardens, Cape Town