Stories Feature


I can't really pick a favorite cocktail, I love them all! But during level 4 lockdown I made a cocktail everyday and maybe due to boredom, ended up exploring some fairly niche liqueurs.

Every time I go to Azabu, I have a Rozu Chan mocktail, so I decided to recreate this at home but the alcoholic version, it's not as good as the real thing but it's still delicious!


  • Vodka
  • Lychee liquor
  • Rose liquor
  • Lychee juice (from a can)
  • Vanilla
  • A squeeze of lime

I just guess the amounts and adjust ingredients to taste. Shake it all up with some ice, strain it into a glass and top with a lychee from the can.


When it comes to summer cocktails for me, I don't like to over complicate it. I believe a chemical reaction occurs when a gin and tonic is drunk in outdoor conditions exceeding 25 degrees. The result leaves me feeling literally invincible and so buoyant I could fly away. I'm not starting anything new when I say that East Imperials Grapefruit Tonic reigns supreme. So my perfect summer drink is...


  • Ice (This drink needs to be so cold and refreshing that you have to hold yourself from guzzling it back like you've just completed a marathon. I also recommend those obnoxiously large ice cubes, they aren't just stylish, they melt slower which means less water in your drink)
  • Gin (as much as you can handle, start slow, I'm sure by your 3rd or 4th you'll be feeling more generous)
  • Grapefruit Tonic (to fill the glass up. They bottles are annoyingly small, so see if you can find the bigger individual ones and then buy 6 of them)
  • Garnish if you have the patience

Up ya bum, Cheers!


I love a Margarita! In my younger days my main experience with tequila was shots at the bar…didn’t care what brand - very non-discerning! More recently I’ve discovered a love of fine tequila on the rocks or a well made Margarita.

Lauren and I have been known to indulge in a Sunday cocktail session - none of this Mimosa stuff - straight to the liquor!!

Adding a bit of spice can also make things exciting - and a great pick me up after a long day at work. Just remember to make the chilli syrup in advance so it has time to cool.

I like to use a Blanco Tequilla in my cocktails as it has a cleaner, lighter taste than some of the aged varieties which I prefer to drink neat.



  • 2 jalapeno or your fav chilli
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water


  • 90ml Tequila
  • 60ml fresh lime juice
  • 30ml Cointreau
  • 15-30 ml of Jalapeño syrup - depending on how spicy you like it
  • Salt or Chilli salt

For the syrup:

  1. Mix the water and sugar in a saucepan and stir it at medium heat until the sugar dissolves
  2. Reduce the heat to low. Add the Jalapeno (sliced) to the syrup and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the syrup
  4. Store in a bottle and let cool

For the cocktail:

  1. Place salt on a side plate, run a wedge of lime around the rim of the glass. Place your glass upside down on the plate into the salt.
  2. Add the tequila, lime juice, Cointreau and your spicy syrup to your shaker. Add one small scoop of ice.
  3. Shake firmly
  4. Strain it into your margarita glass. Add a lime wedge to garnish.

Have a bloody good summer everyone and be careful and kind!


My favourite cocktail, through and through, is a Manhattan. Having spent the last couple of summers in Ōtepoti Dunedin, I became pretty fond of this classic cocktail, particularly when it was made by my dear friend Frances Libeau at my favourite bar Woof! The summers down there are never that warm, so drinking whisky drinks all year round isn't that strange, and I love how it can be simultaneously rich, sweet, bitter and dry.


Aperol Spritz is my all time favourite. I love that you don't need a long list of ingredients to bring one to life, and it looks endlessly impressive.

Perfect at lunch! Even lovelier before dinner. I once drank one at a fancy breakfast. Wonderfully suited to summer and splendid when shared with friends. It always feels like a holiday when you've got one of these in your hands.


  • Ice
  • 60ml Aperol
  • 90ml Prosecco
  • Orange slice


My favorite cocktail to make and drink is an Aviation. It's also been nicknamed the 'truth serum' by friends who have drunk it. It's boozy, slightly floral, and extremely drinkable.


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Maraska Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Crème de Violette

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino or Morello cherry.


This truly divine tipple was dreamt up by a trio of ‘Party Galz’ in their early twenties.

The existence of ‘Red Fantasy’ was revealed in Sean Mahoney’s ‘Bring a plate’ story last year as the perfect accompaniment to a cob loaf, however it also goes down a treat alongside a plentiful amount of ‘Cheezy Weezie’s’. This drink was most often consumed in excess before a night of getting hot, sweaty and ‘wet-y wet-y’ at Family Bar in the mid 2010’s.

As far as vessels are concerned to bring drink to mouth, the world is your oyster; however this drink was most often enjoyed either from a large glass tumbler or coffee mug.


  • 1 part Fanta.
  • 1 part ‘Country Red’ wine.
  • 1 orange (to garnish).
  1. Make the drink - Add the Fanta to the glass or cup of your choice and top with the same amount of Red wine direct from the goon.

  2. Garnish - Slices of orange can be added for extra #health. Add ice to enhance the illusion of a cocktail.

An alternative version of ‘Red Fantasy’ can also be made by swapping out the Fanta for Coca-Cola. This version is most commonly referred to as ‘Beauty Juice’ .



I thought up this cocktail to celebrate the re-opening of Hollywood Cinema after lockdown and now Im obsessed! It's called Glorious, a beautifully fragrant and uplifting summer cocktail, using my favourite flavours.

It's easy to make and the simple flavours totally shine.


  • Thomson Whisky
  • 1 Cinnamon quill
  • Pot of Earl Grey Tea
  • Star Anise flowers
  1. Infuse the cinnamon in the tea and let cool and then put in fridge until cold - can be made the day before.
  2. Pour the infused iced tea over ice cubes, add 1-2 shots of Thomson Whiskey and garnish with Star Anise. Stir and enjoy!

I hope you love it too :)


This cocktails combines my two favourite tipples in the world… Gin and Champagne! I was first introduced via fashion designer Trelise Cooper and it’s been my Christmas and New Year drink since!

Just be careful though, it creeps up on you and before you know it you will be singing “Grandma got run over by a Reindeer” at the top of your lungs.


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar syrup
  • 50ml gin
  • Champagne
  • Ice
  • Lemon zest
  1. Pour the lemon juice, sugar syrup and gin into a cocktail shaker then fill up with ice.
  2. Shake well then strain into a champagne flute. Top with a little champagne, leave to settle (as it will bubble up) then fill up with more champagne. Swirl gently with a cocktail stirrer then garnish with a strip of lemon zest if you like.


Typically more of a winter cocktail but perfect for a festive kiwi Christmas too. Gimlet’s have been around for over 150 years and this rosemary variation is a delicious twist on a classic. The bitterness of the lime balances out the sweet botanical rosemary flavours…it’s even better if you make it lethal.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves


  • 2 shots gin
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons rosemary syrup
  1. Make the rosemary syrup by heating the water, sugar and chopped rosemary leaves in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool. Once cool, strain the rosemary syrup into a jar, and refrigerate until ready to use. This makes enough for one cocktail but if you make the syrup in bulk it makes for a dangerously easy cocktail to pour.
  2. Measure gin, lime juice and rosemary syrup into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, cover, and shake. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
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