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Save your wine and mix some easy classic cocktails instead

03 Jul 2014

I know what you’re thinking? Snow on the mountains does not make one instantly think of sipping a cocktail. But, hear me out.

Tonight, in Cape Town, sees the crowning of the number one mixologist in the country, who will then go on to compete in next month’s Diageo World Class Global Finals. To put into perspective, this is where our guy heads over to Scotland and London for a week to perform against 50 other countries in the final of the world's most prestigious mixology competition.

Tonight, one mixologist from SA will find out his fate. Exciting stuff. 

We’ll be attending the event in Cape Town tonight so please follow our updates on @food24 on twitter or look out for the announcement on the site tomorrow.

We visited the location in Camps Bay earlier this week with the News24 Live team to interview a couple of the judges of tonight's grand finale, one of whom is Tim Philips, the 2012 winner of the Global Finals held in Rio de Janeiro. Tim mixed us 2 cocktails after the interview, and when I tasted them, it got me thinking about making my own cocktails.

Look, he is the professional, but if you watch the 2 videos you will see for yourself just how easy it is to mix together a really tasty beverage yourself to enjoy after work, or before dinner, or anytime - Mad Men style. You may not have Tim’s flair, but I guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun with your friends, showing off a bit. Nothing says sophistication like a classic cocktail.

Cocktails don't always have to be about summer and colourful garnishes. The real pleasure in modern cocktails is the perfect blend of flavours and the smooth tones of premium liquor mixed together using and adapting classic cocktail recipes.

The 2 cocktails Tim mixed were both made with Ron Zacapa rum, a premium quality rum recently launched in South Africa and now available in stores (so good news for all of you already dusting off the cocktail shakers). The first cocktail, the Old Fashioned, is ideal for mixing up for some friends. It is traditionally made with American whiskey or bourbon, so this a nice adaption of the classic, and believe me, so tasty! Watch the video, and mix it yourself.

Tim's second cocktail, a classic rum cocktail, is a perfect aperitif.  Watch the video on how to make it here.

Keep the delicious red wine for dinner, and for a change enjoy some classic cocktails, and feel like Don Draper for an evening. Or two.

Before I leave you to it, back to the competition quickly - please get behind one of your favourite bartenders tonight - or back the guy from your region - one of them is going to win and it's going to be big!



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