Ama-Lekkerlicious shakes up South African spirit

Date posted:
November 4, 2011

It’s official. South Africa has a new national drink. With brandy, the country’s most-loved spirit as its base, the Ama-Lekkerlicious – a trendy concoction inspired by the Rainbow Nation - came up trumps in a nationwide search for the ultimate cocktail.


Joining forces with the men’s interest magazine FHM, the South African Brandy Foundation initiated the quest for a mixed drink that best showcases the modern side of South Africa’s most iconic spirit.


Created by Kurt Schlechter, a Johannesburg-based mixologist, the Ama-Lekkerlicious was revealed as the FHM Ultimate Brandy Cocktail of the Year at a swanky event hosted at ZAR in Sandton recently. The social set, fired on by Proverb as MC and music by DJ Bravo and Good Luck, agreed with the esteemed judging panel: “Ama-Lekkerlicious is rad and rock ‘n roll. It’s really cool – even the name is creative.”


Kaapse Smaak, created by Joakim Blackadder, sommelier at Roundhouse in Cape Town, was a close contender in the competition drawing entries from cocktail aficionados, eager novices, chefs and sommeliers, bar tenders and modern mixologists.


Christelle Reade-Jahn, director of the South African Brandy Foundation, explains the reason behind the project: “With the interest in brandy as a hip, trendy drink soaring at a time that cocktails’ popularity is skyrocketing, a brandy campaign focusing on these connecting trends was perfectly timed.


“South African brandy is recognised in global spirits circles as the best in the world, appreciated by connoisseurs, as proved once again with this year’s results at international competitions such as the International Wine and Spirits Competition and International Spirits Challenge where our brandies took top honours. Yet, while we celebrate these international accolades, we also want to show the lighter side of brandy, its versatility and the many ways to enjoy it – other than having it neat or with ice.”


While modern and fresh, Ama-Lekkerlicious is not too outlandish, reckons Reade-Jahn. “Even die-hard brandy and cola fans will be tempted to explore this new brandy classic in-the-making. No wonder this was the judges top choice as it looks and tastes great; it’s easy to mix and made with easy-to-find ingredients – all key to a popular cocktail.”


“Ama-Lekkerlicious shows that brandy is a spirit with body that can support other flavours without getting lost or dominated,” says Ielanda Koen, general manager of the South African Brandy Foundation and convenor of the judging panel. Other judges included Jacques le Grange of Survivor-fame; Louis Raubenheimer, managing Editor FHM magazine and Ettienne Schlechter, President of the SA Bartenders’ Association and head of the World Flair committee.


According to the winner, Kurt Schlechter, he believed from the onset that a drink worthy of the title FHM brandy cocktail of the year should be a drink for everyone, with flavours that will appeal to everyone. “That’s what Ama-Lekkerlicious is all about. We as the Rainbow Nation deserve a national drink that includes us all, and which is liked by all.”


Schlechter, who entered under a pseudonym, looked towards brandy itself for inspiration. “Brandy with its awesome aromas is such a fantastic base for a cocktail, and being so popular, I wanted to combine it with other flavours that are current and now such as cranberry, peach and orange. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and a dash of bitters add balance. As an element of surprise, there’s some sherbet on the rim of the glass.


“And with all these fantastic products so easily available, Ama-Lekkerlicious can be made at home without fuss. “





25ml brandy

12.5ml triple sec

15ml fresh lemon juice

Dash of bitters

12.5ml peach syrup

50ml cranberry juice



Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into glass (use a tumbler)

Garnish with flamed orange and sherbet sugar lip on the side.



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