11 November 2015 10:27

The Original Sedgwick's Cocktail Party

Sometimes in life we get pigeonholed; typecast as being exclusively suited to one particular role or another. For years, Arnold Schwarzenegger in a comedy was unheard of, the thought of Jim Carrey in a drama was laughable, Kelsey Grammer had about as much chance of being cast as a hairy blue mutant as flying to the moon. But Kindergarten Cop, The Truman Show and X-Men all happened, proving that with an open mind, typecasts can be broken.

If you're South African, chances are you've tasted Sedgwick's Old Brown, most likely on a chilly evening around a fire. We all know Sedgwick's keeps us warm in winter, but here's a thought - how about a refreshing Sedgwick's cocktail? If you think about it, this fortified wine is slightly sweet, rich and flavoursome, lending itself perfectly to a cocktail or punch. What's more, the 17%ABV means you can drink them all evening without falling over.

If you're not mixologically inclined (did I just make up a word?), the folks from Sedgwick's Old Brown have devised a range of refreshing cocktail recipes in time for summer. A range of eight drinks was created using the original "Obies" but adding a fresh touch to each. To launch these recipes, they held a Sedgwick's Original Cocktail Party at Cape Town's swanky Tjing Tjing venue. Delicious food accompanied the equally impressive drinks (masterfully mixed by David White and his bar team) while we relaxed to the upbeat jazz vibes of Manouche.



Each cocktail has a unique name and story. To whet your appetite, here are just two of them:

Behind the cocktail for the Captain's Rooms' Riddle lies the story of the sailors who visited Captain James Sedgwick's famous tavern in Cape Town. It was a jovial place where they'd meet to share their stories about their adventures at sea. A few had gained the privilege of sharing a very special drink - the few who knew the answer to the riddle: "If I have it, I don't share it, if I share it, I don't have it. What is it?" Only those who answered correctly got to taste it but were then sworn to secrecy. Only years later when the captain's two sons inherited the business did they find the recipe to the secret drink and turned it into a cocktail, but the answer to the riddle remains a mystery to this day.

The Undine's Hero's cocktail commemorates the bravery of Ernst, a sailor on board Capt. Sedgwick's tea clipper Undine who sported a magnificent orange beard. On a stormy return voyage to Europe the Undine wandered of course when it was attacked by a giant squid which wrapped its massive tentacles around the ship. It was only through the bravery of Ernst who sacrificed his magnificent beard, blinding the monster by stuffing it into the eyes that the ship survived. Sailors for years believed if you are in need of liquid courage, this is the drink for you!

Click HERE for the cocktail recipes that illustrate how Sedgwick's Old Brown is breaking free from it's pigeonhole, and reinventing itself as a wonderful summer cocktail base. Those who are open minded enough to give it a try will be duely rewarded.


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