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The Thornybush Signature Festive Cocktails

21 Dec 2021 | By Author Thornybush | Lodges & Recipes & Team

The festive season is well underway and what better way to celebrate the end of another fantastic year than by making one of our signature cocktails!

We tasked our bar team at each of our lodges to create their favourite festive season cocktails. Here they share their secret recipes and why they chose each ingredient to represent their lodge. So get ready to swirl, shake and sip on a taste of the African bush.

Nkhikhi Cocktail by Thornybush Game Lodge

Named “Nkhikhi” which is the Shangaan word for being passionate, this cocktail represents the passion that the team at Thornybush Game Lodge feels about being in the bush.

To mix:

Mix directly in a gin glass filled with ice

You’ll need:

  • 1 tot Clemongold Gin
  • 1 tot Passion fruit cordial
  • Top up with Soda Water
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Spoon of fresh passion fruit
  • Garnish with Rosemary, mint and a ring of passion fruit skin

Rosemary Elderberry Cocktail by Saseka Tented Camp 

As we approach Christmas, we are all anticipating a big season filled with fun, laughter, and amazing moments. Our Rosemary Elderberry Cocktail is the perfect drink to relax and enjoy. Our signature cocktail spotlights the wonderful smells of Thornybush Saskea Tented Camp, the delicious food and will no doubt, bring on the holiday cheer!

To mix:

In a tall glass with a few ice blocks add sugar syrup, lemon juice and elderberry drops. Fill it up with lemonade or sparkling water and garnish with rosemary, lime slices and blueberries. 

You’ll need:

  • 1 tot of Sugar syrup
  • 1 tot of Lemon Juice
  • 3 or 4 Elderberry drops
  • 2 or 3 slices of Lime
  • Fresh twig of Rosmary
  • Can of Lemonade or Sparkling water
  • Handful of Blueberries

Simba Surprise Cocktail by Simbambili Game Lodge

If you’ve ever visited Simbambili then you’ll know the expression your face makes when you take that first sip of your welcome drink. It’s the most refreshing welcome to the bush. Because we often get, “Can I have more?” we thought we would add it to the menu as our signature cocktail. Blended with our homemade lemonade this is our Simba Surprise!

To mix:

In a tall glass add homemade lemonade (we know our guests love our homemade lemonade but we don’t mind if you use your family secret instead), gin, cherry kirsch and fill it up with crushed ice. Garnish with raspberries or cherries and a slice of orange. 

You’ll need:

  • Homemade lemonade (guests always love our homemade lemonade)
  • 2 shots of Gordons Gin
  • 1 shot of Cherry Kirsch
  • A Glass of crushed ice
  • Garnish with a cherry & slice of orange

Ho-Ho-Homemade Pink Vodka Lemonade Cocktail by Jackalberry Lodge

‘Tis the season to be merry, and because we love our refreshing festive drinks at Jackalberry we decided to put a fun-festive spin on our favourite drink; our lemonade! And because it is the season for giving, we’ve included our lemonade recipe too. Enjoy!

The Lemonade

To mix:

Add all the ingredients together in a jug, mixing often until sugar has dissolved. Pop in the fridge into its chilled. 

You’ll need:

  • Juice of 6 Lemons, freshly squeezed.
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1L Soda Water/Sparkling water

The Cocktail

To mix:

Add all the ingredients to a glass filled with ice, fill with fresh lemon slices.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tot of Vodka
  • 100ml Cranberry Juice
  • 150ml Lemonade
  • Lemon slices


We hope you enjoy bringing the taste of Thornybush into your holiday, have a safe and merry festive season!