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A Fix of Fynbos at The Botanical Bar
Get a taste of the Western Cape landscape at this hot new spot
The rise in popularity of botanical-infused drinks has seen a new bar pop up in a trendy Cape Town locale, the aptly-named Botanical Bar.
Step inside this newly-opened Longmarket Street watering hole and you’re greeted with a warm atmosphere in wood finishes, which give way to the centrepiece; an expansive bar surrounded by shelves showcasing a multitude of colourful tonics, tinctures, bitters and infusions. It’s spacious inside with a casual and relaxed vibe.
The jars above and surrounding the bar are an interesting talking point, the result of head barmen Peter Lebese and Kenan Tatt’s journey around South Africa to learn about the use of plants from herbalists, traditional healers, horticulturalists and foragers. Along the way plants such as buchu, wilde als, wild mint, wild rosemary and African potato were taught. Each of these possess their own unique medicinal qualities and flavour profiles. Upon their return to Cape Town, the bartenders spent time experimenting, tweaking and – of course tasting –their creations.
The cocktail menu is a tribute to the Western Cape landscape. Travel to the Karoo, Cederberg, the West Coast and more from your seat and enjoy the blends of these locally-distilled spirits and plants. Choosing the “West Coast” gin cocktail (R85) will reveal a sour and fresh sensation consisting of Amari Atlantic Ocean Gin, West Coast bitters (an infusion of wild-foraged plants from the locale), lemon juice, egg white, kelp salt and sour fig. For a more simplified experience, try a concoction from the bitters or ‘shrubs’ selection such as buchu and orange, or wild mint and aniseed, best enjoyed with a tot of gin and completed with tonic.
The Bill: Not only are the thirsty catered for here, but special bar snacks and small plates are on offer too. Like the bar menu, an element of the wild can be detected in the food selection, where light snacks such as Buchi & Orange Marinated Olives (R35) to slightly heavier dishes such as Karoo Lamb Frikkadels with Wild Mint Salsa Verde (R80) and Bacon-crusted Skilpadjie Pâté with Wild Rosemary Flatbread (R70) can be ordered to enjoy.
This is the third venture from the owners of popular spots The Gin Bar and Marrow. The Botanical Bar is adding something fresh and floral to the artisanal drinks offering, combining botany and mixology in unique and interesting ways, and we could be more delighted.
160 Longmarket St| CBD | Cape Town | +27 (0) 64 686 4164| [email protected]
#CapeTownMagNew is a long-standing project that is dedicated to discovering exciting new places in and around our pretty city. We tell their stories, find out what they offer, and delve into what makes them unique. From cafés and restaurants to trampoline parks and dog hotels, there is always one new place in the city that we uncover each week. You can follow #CapeTownMagNew on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to track recent features or read more here about more Hot Spots and New Restaurants in Cape Town and Surrounds.
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