Heritage Day: 3 easy South African cocktails to stir up

Local spirits are a great way to showcase South Africa’s rich and diverse landscape.

What better way to celebrate Heritage Day than to have a cocktail or two? Well, we have some cocktail recipes to get your party started using local spirits.

Local spirits are a great way to showcase South Africa’s rich and diverse landscape.

So, make the first offering at this year’s Heritage Day braai with these easy do-it-yourself SA cocktails by the owner of Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen in Cape Town, Kurt Schlechter. Schlechter has recently been named among the drinks industry’s most influential figures in Bar World 100, an annual list that celebrates the best in the business, globally. He was ranked number 46, up 36 places from 2019, when he ranked 82.

Schlechter says it’s an “absolute honour to be nominated among such talented and passionate hospitality folks”, and that he is grateful to be in an industry that has evolved so much in the last 20 years.

Below are Schlechter’s SA cocktail picks that you can shake up this Heritage Day.


A riff on the Manhattan cocktail made with tasty Cape brandy and local vermouth.


37.5ml Joseph Barry VS

25ml Caperitif

2 dashes Angostura bitters

2 dashes naartjie spice bitters – use orange if you don’t have naartjie


Stir well over ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with orange zest and frozen orange.

Table Mountain

A beautiful drink infused with fynbos, mint, rooibos, citrus, bitters, and Cape brandy. We have adapted this drink for making at home.


2ml Oude Molen Vs

25ml rooibos syrup

10 torn mint leaves

3 dashes aromatic bitters

10ml lemon juice

75ml soda

Rooibos syrup recipe

500g white sugar

500ml strong rooibos tea


Shake well with ice and serve in a Collins glass.

Garnish with fynbos and flowers.

Dissolve rooibos syrup ingredients in a pan and overheat.

Cool and bottle.

Floral Summer

A well-balanced sweet-and-sour recipe with vegan chickpea syrup instead of egg white.


25ml Blind Tiger gin

25ml elderflower syrup

25ml lemon juice

25ml aqua-faba (chickpea syrup)

3 dashes bitters


Shake hard with ice, strain and serve in a chilled, stemmed cocktail glass.

Garnish with rose petal and pea shoots.