Sandton Iced Tea cocktail header

The start of November.  From here, it is only a hand full of sleeps till Christmas and not many more before the start of a new year.  But before the year speeds to and end, it is first one of the most anticipated whisky events in Sandton – the Whisky and Spirits Live show.  Held on the 8-10th of November at the Sandton Convention Centre, the show this year will, for the first time, incorporate not only whisky, but a variety of local gins and other premium spirits as well.

A friend of mine, who only drink the occasional glass of wine, went off to Mauritius for a holiday.  There, relaxing on the loungers next to the pool, she decided to try a cocktail.  I was always talking about cocktails, so she deemed it a perfect time to try something different.  The first cocktail that caught her eye was a Long Island Iced Tea and she ordered it. 

It came in a tall glass and looked very pretty, but after sipping through half of the glass she was not quite feeling herself.  She thought that the sun affected her.  And, strangely, it did not taste of tea. 

She related the story on her return and I burst out laughing. (Sorry Tash)  I explained to her what a Long Island Iced tea was and what big mix of alcoholic drinks she consumed.  No wonder she was feeling a bit wobbly on her feet. 

Her experience however made me think.  What a great way of pulling all the different spirits together for the Whisky and Spirit Live 2017 Show!  I stared experiment with an Iced Tea concept.

Sandton Iced Tea cocktail with blue

First lets look at what is a classic Long Island Iced Tea:

It is a type of alcoholic mixed drink typically made with vodkatequilalight rumtriple secgin, and a splash of cola.  The cola gives the cocktail the same amber hue as an iced tea.  The Origin of this classic cocktail is in dispute, but what can’t be quarrel about is the fact that too many of these will give you the hang over from hell!

Special Iced Tea for Whisky and Spirits Live

For me, it was important that WHISKY stays the star of the show and for the cocktail not to loose the golden color associated with whisky.  I also wanted to make use of South African spirits as far as possible. So I chose a Proudly South African Whisky.  Made in Wellington The James Sedgwick Distillery, the Three Ships Bourbon Cask has notes of spice, Christmas Pudding, vanilla and dried fruit. 

It is an easy drinking, affordable delicious whisky.  With all the wonderful gins available, I chose the Ginnifer Gin, made right here in Sandton by the Angel Heart Distillery.  This gin is big and bold and represents the vibrancy of Johannesburg with notes of pepper, citrus and pine trees. 

Sandton Iced Tea cocktail with star
On the list of brands I noticed an award winning Craft vodka from New Zealand.  Say what?  I was immediately intrigued and went to investigate.  Spiritual Vodka won a Platinum “Best of Show” Award at the 2016 World Spirits Competition and will be available in popular retails stores in SA from November. 

I was very excited when I saw that Fitch & Leeds tonic will be available at the show.  They make lovely tonic water and even have a pink tonic.  They also have e great ginger ale that was perfect to replaced the traditional cola with to ensure a refreshing drink while keeping the color golden.

Also in recognition of Johannesburg, the City of Gold, I added a golden touch to the cherry on top.  After many experiments, I perfected the Sandton Iced Tea.  A mix of local and international spirits mixed together with just the right hint of sourness to balance out the sweetness.  Decorated with a gold dusted  cherry on top.

Sandton Iced Tea

Gauteng Iced Tea ingredients

  • 60 ml Three Ships Bourbon Cask
  • 30 ml Ginifer Gin
  • 30 ml Spiritual Vodka
  • 30 ml Cointreau
  • 30 ml Lime Juice
  • 180 ml Ginger Ale
  • Maraschino Cherry
  • Edible Gold Glitter

Add the first 5  ingredients to a shaker with lots of ice.  Shake until the shaker is ice cold.  Fill a tall glass with ice and strain the spirit mix into the tall glass.  Top up with Ginger Ale.  Decorate with a Maraschino cherry dusted in gold glitter and serve immediately.  Sit back and celebrate with a Sandton Iced Tea.

Have you got your tickets yet for the Whisky and Spirit Live show 2017.  It is going to be amazing.

Sandton Iced Tea with cherry

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