Night life

Poison of the month with mixologist Julian Short

Dec 6, 2018, Author: Hello Joburg

Mix things up a little this December with mixologist Julian Short’s poison of the month!  

Julian Short has been topping the social scene recently with his delicious cocktails and trendy Instagram page. As the mixologist and bar manager of the speakeasy-style cocktail bar Sin + Tax, we just had to catch up with him for our December poison of the month! After all, it’s the season for celebration so why not celebrate with some killer drinks in hand!  


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“My poison of choice right now has to definitely be Vermouth. What is vermouth? Technically, vermouth isn’t a spirit but a fortified wine – a flavoured, aromatized wine that’s had its ABV boosted with some kind of neutral alcohol and has been flavoured with a variety of herbs, botanicals, and spices. Why? Well, besides the fact that it’s super tasty and delicious, it’s also low ABV, which is perfect for long happy summer days spent day drinking in the sun. There are many different styles of vermouth, most notably sweet and dry. Although vermouth is one of the most widely used classic cocktail ingredients of all time, it has lost some of its popularity with the younger generation, which is sad, but  I would like to change that. I have put together three simple, fun and a rather palatable summer style cocktails using my favourite South African vermouth, Caperitif. 

Big City Lights 

I designed this simple, stirred-down cocktail one early morning after a pretty long and exhausting 20-hour shift at the bar. Best enjoyed with laughter and good company.  

45ml Caperitif  

45ml Monkey Shoulder (or any lighter style whisky of your preference) 

2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters  

If you find this drink a tad too dry or strong, please feel free to add a splash of tonic, lemonade or sparkling water. 

Method: Place all the ingredients into your favourite tumbler with solid cubed ice and stir for 15 seconds. Then garnish with an orange zest, making sure to express the citrus oils over the glass first.   


Capers and Tonic 

This is a lovely twist on the classic G+T and my absolute favourite Sunday brunch cocktail, perfect for all-day day drinking.   

50ml Caperitif  

200ml Tonic Water (I recommend Chinchona Grapefruit Tonic) 

Garnish this drink with 1 salty caper and a long orange zest. (the caper for the saltiness and for the pun)   

Bitch, Peas  

This tasty tipple was designed for the current seasonal menu at Sin+Tax (love, spring) and is wonderfully refreshing.  

You may need to do some prep before you invite your friends over for brunch. 

(Single serving) 

40ml Dill infused Blanco Tequila (I recommend Altos Plata) – (take 5 strands of dill and steep them in the tequila for at least 24 hours) 

20ml Honey Water* (equal parts honey to water 1:1) 

20ml Sugar Snap pea infused Caperitif (bruise a small handful of sugar snaps and steep them in caperitif in your fridge for at least 24 hours) 

30ml Fresh Melon Juice (freshly pressed Green spanspek is my favourite)  

1 egg white (optional) 



Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds, then strain the ingredients into your favourite tumbler over solid cubed ice. garnish with either a sugar snap pea or a dill strand. I would also recommend batching the entire cocktail in a jug as a welcoming drink (minus the egg white).  

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