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Words: Lucy Sarah O’Connell | Images: Supplied

There’s no denying it: winter is well on its way. As the cold, dry evenings set in, we’ve been looking for ways to warm up. Enter Van Ryn’s, the brandy which has been delighting South Africans since 1845.

The brand has teamed up with local luxury food brand Nomu to create delicious chocolatey winter cocktails. “Brandy really is the perfect winter drink,” says Marlene Bester, master distiller at Van Ryn’s. “As it’s a spirit, it’s absolutely perfect for warming you from the inside, and I also think it’s the best thing to be drinking at this time of the year as the days grow colder, because it pairs so well with wintery elements like chocolate and spices.”

In celebration of winter, the Van Ryn’s partnership with Nomu saw the creation of hot brandy concoctions by cocktail specialist Owen O’Reilly, with each one having its own special flavour and ingredients. “I love Owen’s creations because they’re all so unique, yet they’re all great for winter. If I had to choose a favourite, though, it would probably be the Van Ryn’s Pumpkin Pie Cocktail. I adore the spices and the creaminess of it; it’s perfect for a cold day in front of the fireplace,” says Marlene.

As well as the Pumpkin Pie, Van Ryn’s and Nomu have also created a Choco-Choco Wine Cocktail and the Van Ryn’s Blazing Chococcino, which you can make for yourself at home using the recipe below. Check out the Nomu blog online for other delicious recipes.

Van Ryn’s Blazing Chococcino


  • 50ml Van Ryn’s 12-Year-Old Distillers Reserve Brandy
  • 25ml citrus liqueur
  • 3 tsp Nomu Just Add Water Hot Chocolate
  • 75ml prepared filter coffee
  • 75ml milk
  • 1 pump Nomu Vanilla Paste
  • Marshmallows to serve

Use two small pots or frothing jugs with handles. Add all ingredients except marshmallows to one pot or jug and heat while stirring. Carefully set the liquid alight using a long-handled lighter, and slowly pour the burning liquid from one pot or jug to another. Repeat this step four or five times to aerate the mixture. Pour into a glass and top with marshmallows.

For more information on Van Ryn’s visit the website, and for more information on Nomu, visit the website.


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