As I walk off the beach, sand between my toes, towel over my shoulder and step into the cool, vibey bar with Adonis-like bartenders, I realize that summer still has her slip-slops planted firmly on the ground.
And how do I celebrate the later curtain call for our fabulous South African sun? With a half price cocktail, sweating ice and full of fresh mint and rum.
Whether you are a sunburnt tourist or jaded worker, a cocktail, slipped into your hands by a shirtless (let's hope) bartender pushes away all thoughts of the new year’s full schedules.
Everyone has their favourite sundowner spots, each with its own special qualities that keep us coming back. With the beautiful beaches of Cape Town right on my doorstep (and my cocktail sipping habit) I have a couple of faves.
Caprice (Camps Bay) – a step away from Camps Bay beach, the vibey music, shmodels and of course the opportunity to celebspot while sipping on a granadilla lollipop makes it a top spot.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Caprice – recently launched Sapphire has all the qualities of a premium cocktail haunt in the making.
La Med (Clifton) – shirtless surfers (ya-haa), Goldfish Sundays, hang-gliders and creamy Pina Coladas while watching the sunset is pure bliss.
The Blue Peter (Blouberg) – drinking ice cold draughts and eating pizza amongst funky bikers, families and their dogs, whilst watching the sun set behind an awesome backdrop of Table Mountain makes the drive worthwhile.
Dunes (Houtbay) – kids and pets run free whilst you chow down on fish and chips smothered in vinegar and listen to laid back tunes. Then down to the harbour for a sunset booze cruise with friends. (Hint - take motion sickness tablets (Dramamine); no one wants to spend the entire cruise with the captain’s throne as your companion.)
Brass Bell (Kalk Bay) – One of Cape Town’s historical drinking sites is the home of humanities students, emo’s, great music, awesome cocktails, comedy nights and a very organised parking attendant who keeps your car keys for you (don’t worry, he’s cool).
If you drank away your Christmas bonus on New Year or are saving up for the Soccer World Cup, why not stay at home and mix up your own snazzy cocktails. Our guides on Mixing cocktails and Classic cocktails will kick-start your mixology education.
We even have a couple of mocktail recipes for those trying to cut down – try your hand at a pawpaw mocktail, Cairns cooler, Cinderella or the classic Shirley Temple.
Have I missed any important spots? Where is your favourite sundowners and cocktail joint? Let us know and you could WIN a R250 Kalahari voucher.
- Kerry Gibbs