Summertime … and the cocktails are chilling

Where would you find a grasshopper, rusty nail and a polar bear under one roof? In a cocktail bar, of course!

Sultry summer evenings lend themselves to designer cocktails (or mocktails) and al fresco dining. Whether you’re in the mood for an after-work mojito or a Long Island iced tea on a lazy Saturday afternoon, mixologists produce myriad creative thirst quenchers at these Gauteng venues.


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Cocktails come in an array of colours and flavours – and you can even create your own signature drink! (Image: Ozzy Delaney)

In Rosebank’s shopping and dining hub, and a hop and a skip from the Gautrain station, LiquidChefs is a great spot to enjoy drinks after work with colleagues. Swop office gossip over one of many exotic cocktails and enjoy the good background vibes. If you’ve never tried one before, why not wrap your lips around Visionary, a concoction of mint, honey and whiskey?

Six Cocktail Bar

Chilled sounds and the funkiest bartenders in town are on hand at Six Cocktail Bar, one of the oldest watering holes on Melville’s trendy 7th Street. Get in the mood for an all-nighter with one of their signature cocktails: Excitabull is a heady mix of vodka, berries and Red Bull with a splash of Stroh rum and lots of ice. There are more than 60 cocktails to choose from.

“We also do a popular cocktail called Six in the City, which includes Cointreau, cherry liqueur, Remy Martin and sparkling wine. It’s quite strong, but women and men enjoy it equally,” says Six Cocktail Bar manager Gugu Xakaza.

Billy the Bum’s

The over-30 crowd will feel at home at Billy the Bum’s (Pineslopes Shopping Centre, Fourways), where a choice of 60 cocktails keeps the conversation flowing. On Wednesdays and Fridays there’s a two-for-one cocktail special from 8pm to 10pm. Themed parties and guest DJs add to the appeal of this venue.

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Lemon adds an acidic bite to many cocktail mixes. (Image: Tegg)

Metro Restaurant

Billed as one of Jozi’s sexiest bars, Metro Restaurant’s upstairs bar area (Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre, corner of Grayston Drive and Benmore Road, Sandton) is ideal for a night out with the guys or girls. The usual cocktail culprits – mojitos, martinis and daiquiris – are available, but it’s Metro’s whiskey-based creations that are proving more of a sought-after option.

Barman “AJ” prepares a speciality he calls Almond and Apple, which he describes as “a mix of blended whiskey, Amaretto liqueur, apple sour and lime, served in a chilled martini glass and garnished with slices of apple”.

Circle Bar

Set in the stylishly refurbished Rosebank Hotel, the Circle Bar has become a popular gathering place to enjoy colourful sundowners or pre-dinner drinks. Sink into a plush leather seat and allow the mood lighting to soothe the day’s stresses away. The yuppie set from nearby offices join loyal hotel patrons in this welcoming, central venue.