Mesh is Africa’s first curated members’ club, an exclusive and sexy work and play space for a beautiful set of movers and shakers who include bona fide South African celebrities and the talented tastemakers and creative minds who lead talent to stardom. Mix is the club's cocktail bar, open to non-members from 16:00, and attracting a boldly 'Afropolitan' (as neighbourhours Kaya FM would call them), young and fun-loving crowd, particularly on Fridays when Mix hosts top local house DJs for the Soulful House Session.
If you appreciate cocktails made with the same approach to ingredients, flavours and provenance that you can expect of a fine dining chef, then you will love what head mixologist Devin Cross has created here. Meanwhile if you have always thought of yourself as a 'just happy with a margarita' type of cocktail drinker, prepare to have your personal standards raised. Wine drinkers will also be more than satisfied with the choices on offer and if you are a devotee of Champagne the bar stocks top labels like G.H Mumm.
Devin counts among his biggest inspirations the maverick Asian-American chef David Chang, founder of cult New York restaurant Momofuku. Chang (who also has his own Netflix show) is famous for his radical approach to mixing cultural and culinary influences, such as in his famous cacio e pepe made with ramen. Similarly, Devin has approached his redesign of Mix's menu (he joined the bar in October 2018) with an open and adventurous attitude that mixes global trends, seasonal influences and fun experiments with techniques such as fermentation.
Every ingredient used in his cocktails (aside from the basic base spirits and mixers themselves), has been conjured up by Devin and his team through a process of infusion, fermentation and 'compression' (a kind of sous vide magic for fruits that keeps them crisp and yet also filled with the alcohol of your choice). Under the bar counter are jars of fermenting buchu kombucha, bottles of homemade colas and a nitrogen tank for keeping drinks ice cold and creating alcoholic sorbets (the only way that physics allows spirits to become truly frozen). While the drinks are remarkably quick to prepare (one of Devin's biggest pet hates is slow service), the process that goes into them is impressively complex.
Seasonality plays a major role, which is why the menu changes every three months to reflect the best ingredients available. Meanwhile the design of the menu itself has been thought out in such a way that it appeals to a range of tastes and desires, such as 'refreshing' or 'savoury' (cocktails are also handily illustrated with a silhouette of the type of glass in which they are served), with just the right amount of information supplied to make things enticing, as well as a hint of intrigue to ensure surprises.
You can opt for the 'Freedom of the Bar' menu, a unique cocktail pairing experience where the tenders will guide you through a selection of their latest cocktail creations, paired with corresponding appetisers and clever palate cleansing bites that are designed to complement the drinks.
Bringing together world-class mixology with interiors that ooze contemporary luxury, fabulous sunset views and the coolest crowd, this is a cocktail bar of note in which to enjoy some of Joburg's most memorable sundowners.
Autumn 2019 cocktail menuReflecting the change of season and the preparation for winter, Mix's autumn menu favours fermented spirits and home preserved ingredients mixed with plenty of homemade kombuchas and sodas plus herbs foraged from Mix's own vertical garden on the terrace.
Standout creations on Mix's new autumn 2019 menu include the MajorDomo, a savoury nod to David Chang's 'ugly delicious' philosophy, made from a bourbon that is fermented with rendered pork shoulder and pineapple. Sounds like it should be diabolical and yet the taste is so remarkably smooth with just the right amount of five spice sprinkled on top, that one would never guess that this drink once had pork fat near it.
We also loved Cake, Devin's take on renowned pastry chef Christina Tosi's iconic birthday cake (which Joburgers will not be able to separate from the cult Paul's Homemade Ice Cream flavour). The base of the cocktail is Absolut Elyx which Devin has experimented with to give it a subtly light, fluffy feel that reminds one of vanilla icing and buttery sponge cake all at once without being half as sweet. The Cake cocktail is a long, easy-drinking sort that comes served in a dangerously quaffable wine glass-sized portion with a fun streak of sprinkles down the side.