Cocktails make the world go around … or they make it better, anyway. Whatever your mood, we’ve got the place for you.
1. Lucky Shaker
Start off your evening at this cool neighbourhood bar, where the focus is on good, old-fashioned conversation – combined with spectacular cocktails, of course.
TRY: Winter Punch, a warming combination of bourbon, rum, apple, grapefruit, chai, milk and winter spices, with a silky mouthfeel. R65
2. Beach Bums
TRY: Babalas Buster, with Bacardi, tequila, Red Bull, Potency, orange juice and grenadine. R89
3. Bertoua Café Lounge
With its chic terrace bar, this is the perfect place to unwind and grab an early dinner after a long day at the office … or come for a more upbeat vibe on the weekends, when DJs spin the decks.
TRY: High Roller Club Soda, with Cîroc Vodka, freshly pressed citrus, Amaretto and Red Grapetiser. R90
4. Harry’s Cocktail Bar
Set in Umhlanga Rocks, this bar is casually sophisticated. They won’t bat an eyelid if you put your feet on the couch, so order a cocktail and take a load off.
TRY: Time to Tanqueray, a mix of Tanqueray No.10, elderflower syrup, orange juice, lemon juice, bitters, a slice of orange and orange peel. R94
5. The Chairman
In the mood for live music? Throw on some stylish threads and head down to this hip bar, known for its cocktails. Don’t come too early though, it only gets going around 11pm.
TRY: Kind of Blue, a luxury mix of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whisky, The Botanist Gin, Don Julio Tequila, grapefruit juice and a slice of cucumber. R250
6. The Oysterbox Hotel Lighthouse Bar
Savour a great cocktail while staring past the Umhlanga Lighthouse and off into the horizon at this dreamy bar. Or if you must, get your sports fix on the large plasma screens on game days.
TRY: Umhlanga Schling, made with Mainstay Cane, mint leaves, mango juice and sugar syrup and garnished with a pineapple wedge. R85
7. Unity Brasserie and Bar
Catch up with friends over cocktails at this vibey bar, and if you get hungry, tuck into some good value pub grub.
TRY: Savage Sours, a mix of Amaretto with a dash of whisky, shaken with egg white, fresh lemon and sugar syrup, served on the rocks.
8. Panorama Bar
If you want to do some people watching, this bar at the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Hotel, overlooking Durban’s golden beachfront, is a good choice.
TRY: California Ice Tea, a take on the classic with tequila, vodka, rum, Blue Curaçao and lemonade over ice. R55
READ: Are you in the Mother City? See our round up of 9 cocktail bars you have to visit.
Catch Leah on Twitter at @leahvandeventer or Instagram on @theveneervandal.
- Leah van Deventer