CAUSE|EFFECT Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar Now at the Waterfront

Words: Crush

CAUSE|EFFECT Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar has re-opened at a brand-new venue at one of the Mother City’s most iconic and busy hotspots – the V&A Waterfront.

Onwards and Upwards

Having pocket the award for ‘Cocktail Bar of the Year’ at the prestigious Bartending Accolades & Recognition Awards 2019 it has garnered a loyal following. Its growing popularity was one of the reasons for finding larger premises and its positioning at the bustling V&A Waterfront opens it up to tourist trade.

CAUSE|EFFECT Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar

Our previous space was always just a stepping stone to something bigger, so this is CAUSE|EFFECT version 2.0,” says owner Kurt Schlechter. “We’re bigger and badder. We’ve added some cool new features that will assist us do what we’re great at, which is telling stories through our cocktails.”

Those stories are inspired by Cape Town, channelling the mountain, oceans, fynbos and vineyards into an energetic menu of inventive cocktail creations.

The Look of the Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar

CAUSE|EFFECT Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar

Copper stools and hefty wooden tables create a stylish yet understated cocktail space. Lush artificial foliage clings to the ceiling, a rustling reminder of the fynbos that finds its way into many of the cocktails.

The stone-clad bar is a memory of the Cape shoreline. The copper-hued ventilation ducts a hint at the copper pot stills that created the Cape brandies that grace the shelves at the bar.

CAUSE|EFFECT Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar interior
CAUSE|EFFECT Cape Brandy Bar

It’s behind the hefty oak bar counter where the magic happens. Here a solera system of barrels age Old Fashioneds and Boulevardiers, while apothecary style jars of herbs, spices and ingredients create a mixologist’s playground of flavours.

Inspired by Cape Nature

Schlechter finds particular inspiration in the floral cornucopia of the Cape, a passion immediately evident in the etching of Leonotis leonurus – a.k.a wild dagga – on the glass doors, and the bundles of fynbos strung up above the bar.

We’re obsessed with fynbos and what it can bring to the world of cocktails,” says Schlechter, who uses Leonotis Leonorus (lion’s tail) as a bittering agent, and infuses Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) into vermouth.

A Home for Brandy

Schlechter is also passionate about premium pot still brandy from local Cape distilleries, and CAUSE|EFFECT Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar has partnered with industry collective, the Cape Brandy Guild, to offer more than 60 handcrafted brandies.

I’ve always been in love with our Cape potstill brandies and I’m learning more and more about just how incredible it is in cocktails. We want people to drink potstill brandy and understand the complexity and quality of the incredible brandies we produce here in South Africa,” adds Schlechter, who has secured an off-consumption liquor licence to offer a remarkable collection of premium potstill brandies for sale from the bar.

CAUSE|EFFECT Cape Brandy Bar

Whether it’s from a potstill or indigenous pelargonium, the spectrum of African flavours on the new CAUSE|EFFECT menu is nothing short of remarkable. In the ‘Tree Of Life’ you’ll find baobab and cardamom bitters. In the CAUSE|EFFECT Margarita the sea salt is infused with lemon pelargonium. Buchu blends with dry vermouth and prosecco to add local flair to the Spritz Service.

I’ve always seen CAUSE|EFFECT as a three-course experience. You should start with an Aperitif spritz drink, which is made with local and Italian vermouth. The main course is the Experiential cocktails, and to finish you look to a Vintage, Classic or Dessert cocktail. That approach has never changed.”


Something to Nibble

Alongside the drinks menu from the Cocktail Kitchen & Cape Brandy Bar will be a selection of platters and small plates created to complement the cocktails. Think prawn toasts and sliders, generous platters of cheese, Coppa and Parma ham.

CAUSE|EFFECT fresh cocktail garnish


Truly curious cocktail fans will also want to book a seat in the innovative Schweppes Bartender’s Lab. Seating just six guests at a time, the Lab will see a dedicated bartender create a selection of genre-busting bespoke cocktails, each paired with small plates.

It’s like a chef’s table, a bar within a bar,” explains Schlechter. “There are so many techniques we have created and perfected over the years, we can’t squeeze them all into a single menu, so the Lab is a space for our bartenders to express their creativity in liquid form.”

From the immersive ingredients to the two-metre ice-ball rollercoaster, CAUSE|EFFECT is undoubtedly about celebrating creativity in all its playful guises.

CAUSE|EFFECT cocktail smoke

We’re burning, freezing, solidifying, dusting, grating, atomising, spraying… there are so many things going on in this bar!” enthuses Schlechter. “We’re an experiential cocktail kitchen, so we want you to have an experience. We want people to come and see the magic we’re creating.”

Location and Contact Details

CAUSE|EFFECT Cocktail Kitchen and Cape Brandy Bar is located at The Rocket Shed, 280 Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town.

Open from Monday to Sunday from 10h00 to 24h00. For bookings call 021 422 0266.


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