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Coopers Union

Spring is a great time for a Coopers Union, a classic cocktail that is a little different. Similar to an Old Fashioned, this is a blend of smooth, bright whisky (such as a lowland Scottish or aged Irish), elderflower and orange and cardamom bitters. The clever twist is that you rinse the glass with a peaty, smoky bold whisky: your brain thinks it is in for a big, bold bomb of a cocktail, but you are actually greeted by a very pleasant, light concoction.

Recipe

The Civil Servant

The beginning of spring means all the new season sauvignon blancs are released, and there’s a great selection of citrus. For The Civil Servant we have taken these to make a refreshing mandarin, fennel and sauvignon blanc cocktail. With any leftover mandarins you could make marmalade, then you can have this drink (or something like it) all year round.

Recipe

Libertè

This is a classic French 75, an adaptable and fun cocktail given a springtime twist by using a tea syrup to balance the lemon juice. We love using the Runaway Rose tea from Libertine Blends in Wellington as it bounces with great notes of rose, lavender and vanilla. We’ve chosen Lighthouse gin as its citrussy components sit well with the floral notes of the tea. Of course, depending on your personal taste, you could go for a spiced orange and horopito tea from Kerikeri Tea which pairs excellently with the spicy notes in Reid+Reid Native gin.

Recipe

The Richard Parker

Named after the tiger in The Life of Pi... now, this is something unusual. With all the fresh citrus and herbs around in New Zealand’s spring, cooking at home always turns to ceviche. The juice of the ceviche is called ‘leche de tigre’ or ‘tiger’s milk’. In Peru, this juice is drunk the next day as a hangover cure but what I’ve discovered is that it is really exciting when shaken with Venezuelan rum or pisco into a daiquiri or pisco sour. When making the ceviche, I allow it to rest without any onion, strain off the leche de tigre for your cocktail, and then add the onion to the fish. The drink still works with oniony leche de tigre but it is a little more challenging, so best left out for your first attempt.

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