Sin + Tax in Rosebank

Private Property South Africa
Lucy Sarah Heaney

Rosebank’s secret bar is no longer a secret, as its popularity and reputation have quickly made it cocktail conversation’s hottest topic.

With countless awards to his name, a passion for authentic cocktails, and endless enthusiasm, Julian Short’s first bar was always bound to be a success. And in the few months it’s been open, word of Bolton Road’s Sin and Tax has quickly spread, taking it from quiet backdoor secret to sought-after evening haunt. We sit with Julian to talk about Joburg, real drinks and his popular drinking spot.

barman pouring drink at bar

Why Sin and Tax, and why now?

I trained at The Landmark under Gareth Wainwright, and while I loved working there, I wanted to do more, and more often. Being a small cog in a big machine doesn’t often mean that you get to implement your own ideas, and at Sin and Tax I’ve been able to build the kind of bar that I dreamed of opening.

What kind of bar is that?

A bar that’s all about being a bar, where the emphasis is on the experience and the drinks themselves. If you ate at a top restaurant, the chef would come out and tell you about the meal himself. At Sin and Tax, it’s the same – the bartenders are passionate professionals, who care about what they’re creating, and want to share that experience with you and make a real impact on their customers.

image of an alcoholic drink

Why did you choose to set up shop in Rosebank?

If you’re in New York, or London, or Hong Kong, there are dedicated cocktail bars, and we felt that Rosebank carried the same weight appropriate for opening a great bar. With the growing cocktail culture in SA, we felt Rosebank would be equally accessible for travellers looking for an excellent Martini, or locals searching for the perfect after-work Old Fashioned.

barman pouring drink at bar

What should we drink the next time we’re at Sin and Tax?

The great thing about our menu is that it’s always changing – we look for inspiration everywhere, and change our drink options with what’s in season and what we’re currently loving. We have an unmissable drink on the menu called a Number 9, but if you want a personalised recommendation, just ask your bartender – after all, that’s part of why we love what we do.

Experience for yourself:

  • Sin and Taxes | 010 900 4987 |

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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