Love and Alchemy with mixologist Jesse Chinn

Feb 20, 2019, Author: Hello Joburg

La Stalla, Coobs, il Contadino and most recently Douglas + Hale have been on our radar for quite some time now and, with Chef James Diack at the head of it all, it’s easy to understand why. While each restaurant is focused on simple, beautiful and flavourful food – which we can’t get enough of – it’s the cocktails that we’re crushing on this month. We caught up with Douglas + Hale’s mixologist Jesse Chinn, the man behind the alchemy, to find out exactly what he’s brewing up for the month of love and more importantly what you can expect from these picture-perfect spots this Valentine’s Day – did someone say his and hers cocktails? We’re in love already!  

Instagram: @douglasandhale @coobsparkhurst @lastallajhb @ilcontadinojhb  

Get to know Jesse Chinn   

Jesse creates his cocktails around a concept or character and loves to embody the spirit of an idea in his creations. His signature creation the Black Pearl, an inky, glittery number garnished with smoke and inspired by his love for rum and being a pirate, is quite literally the personification of smoke, mirrors and magic. Jesse’s standard cocktails are designed classics done in three ways for the purist at heart, the slightly adventurous and the wild child looking for something new. Best known as the Johnny Depp pirate with a killer music selection, you’re living under a rock if you haven’t tried one of his drinks.  

Instagram: @jessechinn 



A Candy Floss twist on the classic French 75. This will be the hers for La Stalla. My inspiration for this was going for a completely kitschy idea of Candy Store Lovers. That nostalgic 50s idea of getting candy for your love. For the gents, I will be doing a Sherbet Old Fashioned.  


1 1/2 shot Tanqueray Gin 

Ball Candyfloss 

1/2 shot lemon juice 

1/2 shot lime juice  

Top with L’Ormarins Brut Classique Rose 

Garnish: Love Hearts  

Place Candy Floss ball in Martini glass. In a shaker filled with ice, add your gin and lemon juice and give a vigorous shake. Strain into a separate receptacle and charge with about four shots L’Ormarins Brut Classique Rose. To serve, pour your gin, lemon juice and bubbles over candy floss ball and watch it dissolve into drink. 



For Douglas + Hale, my inspiration was the silver screen. With the idea of a movie date in mind. The Kernel will be the his version. The hers will be a Wine Gum Spiked Slush. 


2 shots butter washed popcorn infused spiced rum (I used Sailor Jerry) 

1 shot housemade salted caramel reduction 

1 egg white 

1/2 shot lemon juice  

1/2 shot lime juice 

Garnish: Home-made caramel corn  

Method : 

In a shaker with no ice add all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify egg white with other ingredients. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain into rocks glass filled with ice, making sure to get the foamy topping. Top with caramel corn, serve and enjoy. 



My inspiration for this was an earthy, au naturale kinda love. With a drink that looks like the blood pumping through our veins. I wanted to use raw ingredients like beetroot and ginger that give that earthy feel of a true mortal kinda love. This will be the hers for Il Contadino. 


1 shot Mezcal ( I used Amores as it has a beautifully smokey finish) 

1 shot Chambord 

1 shot housemade cocoa reduction 

1 shot pressed beetroot juice 

3/4 shot lemon juice 

Thumbnail fresh ginger muddled 

3 dash orange bitters 

Charged with ginger ale 

Garnish: Dehydrated beetroot rim and orange slice 


In a shaker, muddle your thumbnail of ginger. Add ice and combine your Mezcal, Chambord, cocoa reduction, beetroot juice, lemon juice and orange bitters. Give a vigorous shake and double strain into a Linz glass filled with ice and rimmed with dehydrated beetroot dust. Charge with Ginger Ale and add an orange slice on top. Serve and enjoy. 


This is a more sophisticated cocktail that will be the hers for Coobs. My inspiration was the box of chocolates you pull out at the end of a dinner date. Beautifully crafted, both with look and taste. The taste profile of this will be white chocolate, black raspberry and rose, almost Turkish Delighty. The his will be based on the Seville Orange dark chocolate.  

Ingredients : 

1 shot Chambord 

1 shot Creme de Cacao  

3/4 shot Monin Rose Syrup 

Dash chocolate bitters 

Charge with L’Ormarins Classique Rose  

Garnish: Rose petal  


In a shaker filled with ice combine all ingredients except bubbles and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled Coupe and top with pink bubbles. Float a rose petal and serve.

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