In the mystical valley that stretches from the Swartberg to the Langeberg Mountain ranges, legend has it that the vines on which the Colombar grapes here thrive were conjured by a goddess – often mistaken for a witch because of her wild entanglement of hair – who cast a nurturing spell on this land. Karo Brandy is her story in a bottle. Karo Cape Brandy XO is double distilled in copper pot stills and matured in French oak barrels for 13 years, resulting in a unique flavour combination of delicate dried peaches and litchi – smooth and lingering with an aftertaste of vanilla and apricot – and with a hint of indigenous herbs from the Karoo bush. This refreshing cocktail represents an enchanted elixir of sorts conjured up in a chalice.
Place 5 mint leaves at the bottom of a cocktail shaker and use a muddler to gently press the mint leaves 4-5 times, ensuring you release the natural oils. Top with ice cubes, 90 ml Karo Cape Brandy XO, 90 ml Drambuie, 15 ml mint liqueur, 90 ml simple syrup and 5 drops bitters. Shake vigorously then pour over crushed ice. Slice a red apple and a Granny Smith apple into thin strips and soak in lemon juice and water. Place slices of apple on the rim of the glass.
If cocktails were invited guests at a royal wedding, garnishes would be their fascinators – fashionable headdresses that add an extra touch of glamour. But apart from their visual appeal, they also perform a function, allowing the drinker the opportunity to get interactive with the drink and adjust the balance of flavours to their liking. Garnishes should be assembled at the last minute, just before you pour the drink into the glass, especially when using fresh ingredients like fruits.