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The cocktail scene in Cape Town is at the moment obsessed with botanicals: herbs, roots, and shoots. While drinks using fynbos, a family of floral plants native to western South Africa, are the way to go truly local, this variation of the mojito uses the more universally found and similarly flavored rose water (and rose petals as garnish). It’s from the Vista Bar & Lounge at the One&Only; Cape Town hotel, named for its breathtaking view of nearby Table Mountain.

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

  • 2 cups Demerara sugar
  • ½ cup rose water
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz. rose syrup
  • 1 cup mint leaves, plus more
  • 3 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • Rose petals, to garnish

Simmer sugar, rose water, and ½ cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high until sugar dissolves, 3–4 minutes; chill syrup. Muddle fresh lime juice, rose syrup, and mint leaves in a shaker. Add light rum, fresh pink grapefruit juice, and ice; shake and strain into a collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and rose petals.

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