New Vicious Virgin Rum Bar not vicious at all, brings French Polynesian Tiki cocktail culture to Cape Town!



A new rum bar Vicious Virgin has opened quietly on Wale Street in Cape Town late in December, the first bar to bring the French Polynesian Tiki cocktail culture to Cape Town. Not only can one order specially created rum-based cocktails, but eat there too. Vicious Virgin is the name of a famous rum cocktail. I ate and enjoyed a cocktail at the Vicious Virgin with RadfordDale Business Development Manager Tom Prior a month ago. 

Vicious Virgin was opened by Travis Kuhn, who is an Award-winning mixologist and also owns The Perfect Serve, a premium bar service. Kuhn has just been named South Africa’s Most Influential Cocktail Personality in the DrinksFeed Top 20. He previously owned the Polynesian Pearl Diver pop-up Bar, recognised as the Best pop-up Bar two years running.  Kelby Schnetler is a co-owner of Vicious Virgin who previously worked at Illusion at the Kempinski Hotel in Doha, as is Travel and Drinks writer Leah van Deventer. 

A team of top mixologists moved across from the Gorgeous George Hotel’s GiGi Rooftop Bar: Jody Rahme was the Head of the bar at Gigi’s, and Burdett Geiling is a mixologist making a name for  herself in cocktail competitions, currently participating in the Barcadi Legacy Finals. 

Vicious Virgin serves French Polynesian-inspired rum-heavy cocktails, which are known for their kick. The Vicious Virgin cocktail is made with two kinds of rum, Cointreau, falernum (a Caribbean liqueur or syrup), and fresh lime juice. Tom ordered the Anthurium (R80), made with Bacardi 8 shaken with passion fruit purée, hibiscus tea, and pineapple juice; whilst I tasted the Missionary’s Downfall (R90), a Bacardi Rum Blend mixed with Peach Schnapps, Mint Oleo, fresh pineapple juice, and citrus, from a list of five rum-based cocktails offered. Both were refreshing drinks, and didn’t have as strong a kick as I expected. 

Chef Jessica Dean from the Gorgeous George Hotel moved across to Vicious Virgin too, having created a small light menu, which has expanded since we ate there. Tom enjoyed his Don’s Beef Burger (R95), with a beer-basted patty, pineapple chutney, mature cheese, caramelised balsamic onions, and a Rum BBQ sauce, with skinny fries  (R 30), as did I like my healthy good value House salad of greens, carrots, heirloom tomatoes, beetroot, and sesame seeds, with a spicy citrus dressing. (R 45). The small menu in January also offered Corn cakes with dipping sauces, coconut fish, and other bar snacks, costing around R60; Tacos at around R85; and a chicken burger at R90. 

RadfordDale makes a delicious Syrah which I discovered via Woolworths. The wine estate combines the old with the new, and makes its wines with minimal intervention, using grapes from the Helderberg, Elgin, and Perdeberg regions. What makes the wine company different is that it does not chase awards. It is socially conscious, assisting the development of children of its previously disadvantaged staff. Tom looks after RadfordDale sales in Europe, Canada, and the USA. He was previously running the Tasting Room at Marianne wines in Klapmuts. One can taste RadfordDale wines by appointment.

I liked the atmosphere, the music, and friendly staff, who checked on us regularly and provided information about our cocktails, and the origin of the bar. I will return for an evening visit. Signage is not visible from Wale Street, it being located next door to Harley’s Liquors. 


Vicious Virgin, 53 Wale Street, Cape Town. Cell 062 728 9341. No website. Facebook: Vicious Virgin Bar Instagram: @viciousvirginbar Open Tuesday – Saturday from 11h00 – 2h00. 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein


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