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Matching the world's best cocktails

Matching the world's best cocktails

A "sophisticated" Auckland bar that makes its own mixes is the only New Zealand establishment to feature in leading international book of cocktails.

Match Lounge Bar in Central Auckland is described by the book Signature Cocktails as having "taken the art of mixing cocktails to a new level".

The book is written by Bill Tikos and was published in November 2005 by Mitchell Beazley a leading UK publisher of books about drinks.

It features Match Lounge's Ugello Nero cocktail among 50 cocktails from bars in Amsterdam to Venice.

A vodka-based drink, Ugello Nero combines Match's self-made plum syrup and vanilla syrup with crème de cacao blanc for a distinctively plum flavour, being sweet initially with hints of cardamom and vanilla for a sweet tart finish.

Owner Tony Stewart says he was contacted by a representative of the author and asked to submit two cocktails.

"We put together a couple of our most popular drinks together with some pictures we had taken of the bar especially for the book. The next thing we knew was we got an email to say we were in.

"Of course it helps that we use only 42 Below, New Zealand's best known vodka internationally."

Match makes its own cocktail mix syrups "from the best of seasonal New Zealand ingredients" and the book explains the bar has a unique range of cocktails designed exclusively for it.

Signature Cocktails says Match "still believes in the tradition of table service" and sees itself as a "destination bar, a place for people top go rather than merely stumble across".

Tony Stewart opened Match Lounge Bar in 2003 to bring together "a space catering to a discerning clientele".

If you're in Auckland you must drop in to Match Lounge Bar on the corner of Hopetoun and Pitt Streets to try the Ugello Nero.

If you're from out of town, try making it yourself. Here's how. Take …

½ kg ripe plums

¾ cup sweet red grapes

1 vanilla pod

2 crushed cardamom pods

150ml water

200g white sugar

2 tsp salt

1 whole lime squeezed

Add plums to boiling water and blanch off the skin then remove the stones. Add all the other ingredients to a deep pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 hour then put all ingredients through a sieve. Now reduce the liquid to a syrup. This stage varies in time due to individual tastes. From this recipe you will achieve approximately 100-150ml of Plum Syrup.

Add 45ml of Plum Syrup, 45ml of 42Pure and 5ml of crème de cacao blanc to an ice filled shaker. Shake and pour. Enjoy.


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