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Leaving winter behind with a few hot cocktails

Many ingredients locally made and farmed, and are readily available

Londiwe Dlomo Journalist
Biscotti Martini.
Biscotti Martini.
Image: Supplied

Sick of the cold weather? Let’s show it the door by throwing a farewell party with some yummy cocktails!

Just like when it’s warm, there are ingredients that lend themselves to cold weather drinks. Warming ingredients in cold beverages include spirits, wines and spices like chilli, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

The list of warming ingredients also includes flavours of beetroot, carrots, chocolate and savoury umami that include mushrooms, ginger and soy sauce.

“The idea of a beverage giving warmth has to do more than whether it is heated or not. Cold drinks containing ginger or even coffee can give us the feeling of being warmed from the inside out.

“What’s more, plenty of these ingredients are locally made and farmed and readily available to those wanting to try something new and delicious,” says head mixologist at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Melrick Harrisson.

“The added value of thinking of the warmth of colours, scents and spices is that enjoying a wintery beverage can become a multi-sensory experience where the senses of sight, smell and taste are all used,” adds Harrison.

Here are some warming winter drink recipes from Melrick Harrison.

Biscotti Martini

Serves: 1


50ml Musgrave pink gin

20ml Amaretto liqueur

35ml Espresso

10ml Lucky Byrd Ginger Syrup

5ml Simple Syrup

Mint sprigs


Add all ingredients to a shaker. Add ice and give it a good shake. Strain into a martini glass and serve garnished with three to four coffee beans and a sprig of mint.

White sage Gluhwein.
White sage Gluhwein.
Image: 123RF

White Sage Gluhwein

Serves: 5


6-8 mint leaves

5 sprigs of sage

125 local chenin blanc

25ml of pineapple, vanilla and orange syrup – made by boiling 100ml pineapple juice, 1 vanilla pod and until syrup consistency.

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp allspice

4 cloves

25ml any orange liqueur


Mix all ingredients besides the pineapple syrup in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil. Garnish with pineapple syrup. Serve warm.  

And if you’re not a cocktail person here is a great Rooibos beer recipe to stun your guests with if you’re hosting. International Beer Day is celebrated in August actually, you might be late as the actual date is the 4th but the beer will still taste great! Homebrewing beer allows you to be creative with your beer recipe. Go on then and offer your guests a cuppa of beer!

Rooibos beer.
Rooibos beer.
Image: 123RF

Rooibos Beer Recipe

Makes: 7.25 litres   

Preparation Time: 20 minutes (excluding fermentation time)


5ml sugar

500ml lukewarm water

10g instant yeast (15ml – 1 packet)

600g castor sugar (750ml)

15ml tartaric acid

250ml lemon juice

20ml lemon rind

3l strong Rooibos tea

3.5l cold water


  1. Dissolve the 5ml sugar in 500ml lukewarm water. Sprinkle the instant yeast over and set aside until frothy, about10 minutes.
  2. Mix the remaining dry ingredients with the liquid and juice together with the activated yeast mixture and stir until well mixed.
  3. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrapping and leave in a warm place for about 12 hours.
  4. Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth and pour the beer into bottles with tops. Leave in a cool place for 3 days. Chill before serving.


As the beer is very fizzy, ensure that the bottles are opened slowly and carefully, allowing the fizz to subside before totally removing the lid. It must be stored in a cool place or else the yeast will ferment too quickly, and the bottles could explode (preferably use plastic bottles).

* Courtesy of I Love 2 Bake: (https://ilove2bake.co.za/) via Meropa Communications

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