StrangeLove Cocktail Lounge is ready to shake and stir at Hope Distillery

February 8, 2023 (Last Updated: February 3, 2023)

StrangeLove Cocktail Lounge, located in what was Hope Distillery’s tasting room, will stand out in a world of informal bars and pre-mixed spritzers for its distinctive offering of small-batch hand-distilled spirits and liqueurs, as well as its unique menu of curated cocktails and mini-food pairings.

The cocktail lounge features pared-back Scandi furnishings in dark hues, lush greenery, and wooden finishes.

Picture: Warren Heath

While resident mixologist Decks serves the carefully curated cocktail menu – which can also be paired with meals from the StrangeLove à la carte snack menu – in their own cocktail glasses, customers in the generous open-plan space can get a bird’s-eye view of the distillery and its vast copper stills and learn about the spirits they sip.

Cocktails by Alix Rose-Cowie. Picture: Warren Heath

Hope Distillery, founded in 2014 by co-founders Leigh Lisk and Lucy Beard – both of whom left corporate law careers in London to follow their hearts (and palates) back to Cape Town – was the Mother City’s first licenced small-batch distillery.

Since its inception as a gin distillery, StrangeLove has expanded into a diverse catalogue of vodka, agave spirits, rhum agricole, and an in-house African Amaro that can only be tasted at StrangeLove.

There’s nothing strange about the curated cocktail-and-mini-food menu, which is served in three courses: aperitifs, mains, and digestifs.

Clover Club Cocktail by Alix Rose-Cowie. Picture: Warren Heath

The Sbagliato, made with house Campari-style liquor, vermouth, and prosecco, is served with a taralli cracker; the El Presidente, made with rhum agricole, vermouth, and grenadine, is served with rolled labneh and salted crackers; and the Gin Alexander, made with gin, cacao, and nutmeg, is served with a mini nutmeg macaron.

Picture: Warren Heath

If you want to bring a piece of the experience home with you, Hope Distillery recently opened a new on-site shop selling bottles of rhum, agave, vodka, and gin, as well as branded merchandise.

Martini by Alix Rose-Cowie. Picture: Warren Heath

The newly designed StrangeLove logo, reminiscent of a warped view through a ribbed drinking glass, captures the sense of disruption that this new arrival brings: a space dedicated to not only locally made spirits but also the appreciation of quality spirits in a union with food for customers to explore, taste, and marvel at.

StrangeLove Cocktail Lounge opens on 9 February 2023 and welcomes cocktail aficionados between 5pm and 10.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays.

Seating is limited to 30 a night; walk-ins will be accommodated if there is space available, but bookings are highly recommended.


  • Address: 7 Hopkins Street, Salt River, Cape Town
  • Hours: Thursday and Friday: 5pm – 10.30pm
  • Contact: 021 447 1950 | [email protected]
  • Website:

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Written by Sarah du Toit for Cape {town} Etc.

Feature image: Warren Heath

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