MAKWETI’S Festive Gin and Tonic Cheesecake

With the holiday season now in full swing, we are looking for ways to spread festivity in ways that are true to the quintessential South African spirit.

The reinvigorating Gin and Tonic has been adopted by South African culture, perfectly paired with our sublime, sunny weather and friendly disposition.  At Makweti Safari Lodge, we’ve combined the iconic drink with pure, creamy decadence, to produce the Gin and Tonic Cheese Cake.

It’s heaven on a plate, with a wicked streak, and now you can try this recipe at home to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends, the Makweti way.


Cake Base

  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 100g butter, melted

Cake Filling

  • 600g Cream cheese
  • 100g Icing sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra zest to sprinkle on serving
  • 50ml Gin
  • 280ml Double cream, whipped


  • 250ml can gin and tonic
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1 lemon, half juiced and half finely sliced
  • 2 medium meringues, crushed (optional)


  1. Butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed tin with baking paper. Place the digestive biscuits into a plastic food bag and crush them into crumbs using a rolling pin, or blitz them in a food processor. Transfer your crushed biscuits to a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix thoroughly, until the crumbs and butter are completely blended. Tip the mixture into your prepared tin and spread it firmly around the tin base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge to set firmly – for approximately one hour.
  2. To make the cheesecake filling, place the icing sugar, cream cheese, and lime zest into a bowl, and beat with an electric whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the gin (50ml) and the double cream, and continue beating until the mixture is thick and completely blended. Spoon the cheesecake filling onto your biscuit base, and smooth it out to the edges of the tin. Level the top of the cheesecake with a spatula or the back of a large dessert spoon. Leave in the fridge overnight, to set.
  3. To make the syrup, pour the can of gin and tonic into a pan. Add the castor sugar and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil. The sweet mixture will reduce to a syrup over about 3-4 minutes. Once reduced, allow the syrup to cool a little, and then add the lime juice and the slices of lemon and gently toss into the syrup. Allow this to cool completely.
  4. When you are ready to serve, place the base of the cheesecake on top of a can, and gradually pull the sides of the tin down. Slide the cake onto your serving plate, removing the lining and tin base at the same time. Sprinkle a handful of the crushed meringues on top (optional) and then drizzle the syrup over, allowing the lemon slices to scatter over the top as you go. Add a final dusting of lime zest, slice and serve.

With dessert this delicious, your dinner guests will leave with the taste of decadence still lingering on their lips. A perfect end to a festive party, or a playful addition to your high tea spread, Makweti’s creamy gin and tonic cheesecake is sure to be a favourite this December!

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