When it comes to the finer things in life, whisky always makes the list. No longer only the favoured drink of old men, whisky represents good taste and superior knowledge. Here are our favourite places to enjoy this well-loved beverage.
Shop 52 upper level, Galleria Piazza, Melrose Arch
You know there’s more to whisky, and whiskey, than meets the glass, and you have a deep appreciation for subtlety and finesse. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get down to Churchills Bar in Melrose Arch and settle into one of the brown leather Chesterfields, or perch on a navy velvet ottoman with a world-class tipple in hand.
Churchills’ whisky menu is extensive, from long-in-the-cask Laphroaigs, Glenfiddichs and Auchentoshans to the best blends, Irish whiskeys and bourbons. There’s even South Africa’s own Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky on offer, and if whisky is not your thing, premium gins, champagnes, MCCs, cognacs and others await you.
Created to cater for an upmarket, established clientele, Churchills combines the best of British heritage with modern flair. Along with the exhaustive drinks menu comes a food and even a cigar menu aimed at people who no longer have anything to prove. It’s time.
Morningside Shopping Centre, lower level
Visit the intimate WhiskyBrother Bar and you will be spoiled for choice – there are more than 920 different versions of one of the world’s premier alcoholic drinks available for tasting. The bar has capacity for 28, or, if you are after an exclusive event, there’s a 10-person tasting room available.
The WhiskyBrother Bar was born from love, starting with a blog more than 10 years ago and leading on to the WhiskyBrother shop, which opened at Hyde Park Corner in 2012.
Kyalami Downs Shopping Centre, corner Kyalami Boulevard and Kyalami Main Road, Midrand
Lean against the handmade copper bar at Café Hemingway’s and emulate the famous author with your favourite whisky at your wrist. There are more than 140 whiskies, from the usual suspects to examples from Japan, India and South Africa on offer. Enjoy old world ambience infused with a modern eye for the surprising.
Whiskey & Cigar Lounge
Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel, Pretoria
Settle into a leather chair, your feet towards a roaring fire (in winter) and enjoy whisky and a cigar, or take part in one of the regular whisky- and cigar-tasting evenings.
Davinci Hotel and Suites, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City
Maximillien’s, known as Maxim to its friends, allows members to store their bottles of unfinished whisky in a locker, to be returned to. The whisky bar is a collaboration with Johnnie Walker, so expect branding along with the comprehensive whisky and wine lists. The menu is described as “urbanised French”.
55 7th Ave, Parktown North
If it’s quirky you’re after then Workshop 55 – and the adjacent 55, a quieter, more exclusive version – is what you need. This tapas-style venue was designed with 1930s Miami in mind. Jazz and Cuban tunes fill the air, a languid backdrop to enjoying whisky, and also champagnes, wines and select cocktails.