Food & Wine News South Africa

2023 Bar & Beverage Awards South Africa winners announced

The Angostura Bar & Beverage Awards 2023 revealed its winners at a gala ceremony held at The Westin Hotel in Cape Town. Guests from the industry attended this inaugural awards ceremony from all over the country.

“South Africa is one of the world’s top destinations for gastronomy, leisure and hospitality,” says Paul Reynell, Angostura Bar & Beverage Awards director. “And a huge contributor to our global reputation as a destination is our cocktail bars and teams. This annual campaign now recognises all industry stakeholders and the role they play in South Africa’s economy.”

One of the big awards for 2023, Best Cocktail Bar, went to Gauteng-based Sin Tax. Co-owner, Julian Short, spoke on behalf on the team. “The whole industry works just as hard as us, but to be nominated by a group of your peers, and then win, is very cool. It also means that you’re doing the right thing, so just keep going!”

Sin Tax co-owners Evert de Jong and Julian Short. Image supplied
Sin Tax co-owners Evert de Jong and Julian Short. Image supplied

Making their mark in the industry and picking up the award for Best New Cocktail Bar was Cape Town-based Hacienda. Head bartender, Dalu Dube, found himself overwhelmed by their incredible achievement. “We feel so lucky – the support we’ve received from everyone else in the industry is just incredible. We’re like a family.”

Dalu Dube and the Hacienda Team. Image supplied
Dalu Dube and the Hacienda Team. Image supplied

The Best Bartender category saw two incredible innovators from the industry awarded the title: Charne van Heerden from The House of Machines and Julian Short from Sin Tax. When asked for some advice for fledgling bartenders coming into the industry, Short responded, “Do your research, learn your classics, learn the fundamentals of the industry because those are the building blocks for everything. How to make an Old Fashioned, how to work a 7, 12, 15-hour shift, how to work with money and with people, and when you become a great bartender, just keep going. Fall in love with it.”

The awards also recognised four industry pioneers, who have invested years in the industry not just locally but also globally. Their contribution to the industry has been insurmountable and between them, they have innovated, trained, mentored and developed much of the local cocktail landscape as we see it today. Recipients of the Industry Icon Awards were Brent Perremore, Kurt Schlechter, Marson Strydom and Raymond Endean.

“On behalf of the Angostura Bar & Beverage Awards, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of 2023. These remarkable individuals, teams, and brands have demonstrated outstanding dedication, innovation, and excellence to keep South Africa a top-performing player on the global stage. Their achievements serve as inspiration to us all, and we look forward to watching their continued impact, supporting them and experiencing their cocktails!” concludes Reynell.

Here are all the winners...

Best Cocktail BarSin Tax
Best New Cocktail BarHacienda
Best Hotel BarGigi Rooftop Restaurant & Bar at the Gorgeous George Hotel
Best Restaurant BarAsoka
Best Bartender Charne van Heerden & Julian Short
Best Bar TeamThe House of Machines
Best Support StafferAlex Duru
Best Bar Solutions Just Short
Best Upliftment Programme or Initiative Sisterhood for Industry Support (SIS)
Best Brand Ambassador Bradley Jacobs
Best Bar Communicator Leah van Deventer
Best Mentor Cassandra Eichhoff
Industry IconBrent Perremore

Best Brand Campaign Castle Double Malt (M-Sports)
Best CSI Campaign Amstel the Entrepreneur (Heineken)
Best New Local ProductWildebeest Kamoefleer (Bundu Brands)
Bartender’s Best Friend Angostura Bitters

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