Although the city doesn’t have a beach nearby, or an epic big mountain to stare at, it still has its own unique charm. With its formidable skyline, there are various spots perfect for a gin and tonic with a view.
Fun Facts About Gin
Gin has been around since the 17th century. Starting out as a medicinal concoction, it evolved into becoming one of the most popular liquors in the world.
#1 The Gin Twist: A Little-Know Classic
If you want some useful conversation starter material, this one is a gem. The Gin Twist was a big hit in 1923. It was even mentioned in a few periodicals and novels. Want to recreate it? You need hot water, lemon juice, plain syrup and of course, the gin.
#2 DIY Gin
Making gin is easier than you might think. Basically, it’s flavoured vodka. You can buy a fancy gin making kit, or simply infuse vodka with some juniper berries plus other botanicals and spices. Who knows, maybe you stumble onto a new world-famous gin recipe in the process!
#3 Stay Away from Bathtub Gin
When gin first became popular, people became very inventive with the fermentation process. They got cheap grain alcohol and mixed in juniper berry juice and other flavourings. The mixture was chucked into a bathtub before being distilled. You might think that a bathtub seems like a good place for fermentation, it must be clean, right? Unfortunately it was not clean enough, and bathtub gin caused various illnesses and people even died from it.
#4 The Biggest Gin Fans
The British want to boast with this title. But they have another gin market to contend with. The Philippines make up about 43% of the worldwide gin consumers. It’s so popular, they even created a Tagalog word for a gin drinking spree, “Ginuman”.
#5 Do Not Try Drinking Gin Neat
Don’t try and be brave, drinking gin strait from the bottle. You will have a very fiery throat to deal with. Since it’s beginning days, gin was not made to be a gentle palate cleanser. The potent spirit is perfect as a complementary cocktail ingredient, but not advisable as a drink on its own. That’s why gin and tonic became such good friends.
Best Spots to Watch the Sun Go Down
Now that your mouth is watering for that gin and tonic, let’s do some location scouting for the best sundowner spots in Joburg.
#1 Northcliff Water Tower
Enjoy the sunset from this epic spot, free of charge. It’s a very romantic location to surprise someone you want to impress with a sundowner picnic. Add a good gin and tonic and you are sure to win their heart. With a bird’s eye view of the city, you will feel whisked away to a foreign place for a moment.
You can’t miss the tower looming over Joburg. It’s a short drive from Beyers Naude Drive, situated in Lucky Avenue. Click herefor directions.
<iframe src=”https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d14326.64419431164!2d27.964884183048344!3d-26.142592451937276!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x1e950adf1821b3b1%3A0x62841822201e8818!2sNorthcliff+Ridge+eco+park!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sza!4v1536046437850″ width=”100%” height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ style=”border:0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
#2 Top of Africa – Joburg CBD
Feel on top of the world, enjoying a spectacular 360-degree view of the City of Gold. Travel up the Carlton Centre to the observatory deck on the 50th floor. Watch the sunset turn the city into liquid gold.
Enjoy South-West views of Soweto and the FNB Stadium, spot Gandhi Square on the Western side, and look out for Hillbrow on the North. At the top there’s a bar as well as a coffee shop, if you want to stabilize the legs for the long journey down after enjoying your gin and tonic. It’s open every day from 09:30 to 19:00, located in the heart of the Joburg CBD. Click herefor directions.
#3 Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
Tucked away in the concrete jungle, lies a natural jungle. The gardens and Emmarentia Dam are frequented by locals. For a moment you will almost feel like you’ve been whisked away to the other side of the world, the place feels a little bit like New York’s Central Park.
Entrance is free. Beware, it is set inside the concrete jungle, so don’t linger too long after the sun has slipped behind the horizon. Keep an eye on songkick.com for upcoming music events hosted in the gardens. Local and international musicians are featured. Click herefor directions.
<iframe src=”https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d7162.387124721935!2d27.99703966625362!3d-26.157824899909382!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x1e950b76ab1ea7a7%3A0xdd1dfd286851aa08!2sJohannesburg+Botanical+Gardens!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sza!4v1536046689214″ width=”100%” height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ style=”border:0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
#4 Johannesburg Zoo Lake
Another little piece of nature offering locals and visitors to Joburg an escape from the bustling city life. Situated across the Johannesburg Zoo, it forms part of the Hermann Eckstein Park. Look out for the Coronation Fountain heritage symbol.
Perfect spot for a picnic with an ice-cold gin and tonic on a hot highveld summer day. In the winter time you’ll need to pack a jersey, temperatures drop suddenly after the sun goes down. Various events are hosted here, including annual events such as Jazz on the Lake and Carols by Candlelight. An open-air art exhibition is also hosted every month, called Artists under the Sun. Click here for directions.
<iframe src=”https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d3568.7953063772247!2d28.02651372076743!3d-26.158095532152725!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x1e950c878c1ac687%3A0xe69330146226fd9d!2sZoo+Lake!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sza!4v1536046799876″ width=”100%” height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ style=”border:0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
#5 Melville Koppies Nature Reserve
This is one of Johannesburg’s prized Heritage Sites. It’s the last little piece of the city’s gold history, the conserved ridges where gold was discovered in 1886. The area is beyond ancient, with a geological history dating back three billion years.
So, tread lightly as you make your way up for your sundowners. After a small hike up the mountain, you can sit back and relax with your gin and tonic, ready for the beautiful sunset. Learn more about the history of the area.
Beaumont And Epic Gin and Tonics Go Hand in Hand
We pride ourselves at remaining at the forefront of the cocktail industry. Our products are designed with the customer in mind, striking the balance between utility and affordability. Browse through our wide selection of products and bar accessories that are available in the Johannesburg area to enhance your cocktail making experience.
Click here to find out more about our products.