Now that the alcohol ban has been lifted, we were keen to get back to reviewing some of our favourite cocktails at South African Restaurants…

All4Women’s drinks reviewer is Roman Mthimkulu – A certified Beverage Operations Manager, and regional finalist in the Diageo World Class Bartending Competition in Durban. Roman stepped out on the town last week to find some of the most delicious cocktails in Ballito. Here’s what he found:


Ballito Lifestyle Centre is known for its shopping experience that encompasses all that is the good life, the Ballito way.

This centre is not only great for its relaxed atmosphere, but also for its wide variety of restaurants and wonderful live music.

We decided to go to Lupa Osteria, a popular Italian restaurant that is well-known for its homemade pasta and wood-fired pizza. Their bar offers a wide selection of house wine, craft beers and cocktails.

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The décor allows the simplistic beauty of the food to really shine, though beauty isn’t the only thing bringing diners to Lupa Osteria. The restaurant buzzed with excitement from the welcoming staff and seemingly satisfied patrons.

We were seated and our friendly waitress Portia immediately approached us with their menus.

I decided to order the Italian Job cocktail which cost R65 and my guest ordered the Strawberry basil smash cocktail that was R60.

Our drinks arrived at our table and were looking inviting, tempting and really well garnished. The Italian Job cocktail was presented in a beautiful glass and garnished with a slice of lemon.

The ingredients of the cocktail include:

  • Bacardi Carta Oro
  • Pineapple juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Blackcurrant syrup
  • Fitch & Leeds Ginger Ale

The cocktail flavours in this drink really complemented each other, the choice of pineapple juice and ginger ale was perfect. The blackcurrant syrup was well balanced and all the ingredients blended really well with the rich, soothing flavours of the Bacardi Carta Oro spirit. Overall, it was a great tasting and refreshing cocktail.

The Strawberry Basil Smash cocktail was also well garnished and very attractive. The aromatics from this cocktail were really enticing and pleasant, seemingly that they had used fresh ingredients for this cocktail.

The cocktail ingredients are simple:

  • Bombay Sapphire
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar syrup
  • Fresh strawberry
  • Basil leaves

The lemon juice and sugar syrup ratio were perfectly balanced and really allowed the Gin and other flavours to come through. This was the best tasting cocktail my guest has ever tasted and was really pleased.

The ambience was great and the staff was engaging and I loved the team work amongst the servers. The management was impressive and made us really feel welcome and made sure to check up on us.

Though I would love to be selfish and keep Lupa Osteria Ballito all to myself, the work of managers and staff is too good to stay hidden for long. Judging by the great experience I’ve had here I know I’ll certainly be returning soon.



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*All opinions of the reviewer are theirs and do not necessarily reflect the views of All4Women. This review was not paid for by the venue and was the reviewer’s own choice.