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Hit me with your swizzle stick

May 13, 2008

Hit me with your swizzle stick

Get ready to explore a cocktail evolution this week as Auckland celebrates World Cocktail Week.

Established to celebrate the rich history of the cocktail, World Cocktail Week recognizes the craftsmanship and skill of bartenders who have been mixing them for more than 200 years.

42BELOW and some of Auckland’s finest bars shake things up during World Cocktail Week by hosting a cocktail journey through time.
Mea Culpa, Crow, Suite, Chow and Bubble are each representing a different period in cocktail history; pre-prohibition, prohibition, tiki, contemporary and future.

Mea Culpa brings to life the Pre-Prohibition period - a time when bartenders were gods and drinks were simple. Paying tribute to the 19th century cocktail pioneer ‘Professor’ Jerry Thomas - the illustrious American Bartender who pioneered the cocktail - Mea Culpa mixes up the Honey Bee Blazer - a modern twist on Thomas' signature drink the 'Blue Blazer'.

Proving that drinking isn’t a crime, Crow brings the prohibition theme out of the dark. As Al Capone and Bugs Moran waged war over Chicago’s black market, bartenders had to get creative to disguise the taste of the rough homemade spirits. Juices, cordials and bitters were used to make bathtub gin and moonshine at least a little palatable. Crow bar showcases two different schools of cocktails which emerged from Europe and America during Prohibition between 1920 and 1933.

Suite throws an old school tiki party with volcanoes, tiki mugs, umbrellas and coconuts. Trader Vic’s version of the Mai Tai and a cheeky little twist on the Smog Cutter are on the drinks list.

Tiki Culture started in 1934 with the opening of Don the Beachcomber, a restaurant with Cantonese style food and rum-based punches. The drinking culture was cemented a few years later by Victor Bergeron with his chain “Trader Vics”, founded to accommodate soldiers returning from WWII.

Today’s retro tiki revival is responsible for the return of such cocktails as the Mai Tai, the zombie and the fog cutter. The fun, relaxed style of drinking also accommodates the return of the elaborate garnish with the use of umbrellas, tiki mugs and even the occasional Hawaiian shirt thrown in to the mix.

Chow brings back ‘70s glamour with the Golden Dream and proves that NZ is very much on the cocktail map with the country’s most famous cocktail, the Falling Water, mixed using New Zealand’s own 42 Below Feijoa.

During the ‘70s the baby boomer generation matured, wanting peace, civil rights and Pina Coladas. More leisure time meant more drinking. Suddenly, history ended, there was a man on the moon and cocktails were mainstream. James Bond epitomized the glamour and sophistication of mixed drinks but for every dry martini downed there were three fuzzy navels and a bathtub of tequila sunrises. Then, in New York and London, older simpler drinks were rediscovered and a revival of classic cocktails emerged.

Bubble’s time machine will beam you up a Mojito of the future and a deconstructed Bellini. Prepare to enter the science laboratory of mixology.

Cocktails have had a traditional and colourful history, and now they are evolving with a new degree of imagination. Molecular gastronomy is giving way to molecular mixology as bartenders around the world follow the kitchen's lead and delve into suspensions, caviars, foams, gels, airs and techniques yet to be invented. No longer is a cocktail just liquid in a glass, it has crossed into uncharted territory in the laboratory and the club.

The brainchild of the Museum of the American Cocktail, World Cocktail Week acknowledges the rich culinary and historical tradition of the beverage genre. Auckland joins a host of international cities to pay tribute to the evolution of the cocktail.

The event runs on the 14, 15 and 16 May from 5pm until late – with bars offering special prices on drinks until 10pm. All participants get a route map and 42 Below will be providing complimentary 42BELOW MINIs to carry people between venues.


Note to editors:
Bars and cocktails are as follows:

Pre 1900s - Mea Culpa:
Honey Bee Blazer
Recipe on request
Whiskey Sour
Recipe on request

Prohibition - Crow
White Lady
60mls South Gin
15mls Cointreau
20mls fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine all ingredients into boston, add ice, shake, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry, serve

The Prohibition Cocktail
60mls Bathtub Gin
45mls Lillet Blanc
7mls apricot brandy
5mls fresh squeezed orange juice

Combine all ingredients into boston, add ice, squeeze lemon wedge into mix, shake briefly, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a lime twist.

Tiki - Suite
Mai Tai
30ml Tahiti dark
30ml seven tiki
½ lime juiced
20ml orgeat syrup
15ml orange curacao

Smog Cutter
1 barspoon apricot jam
45ml Tahiti dark
15ml apricot brandy
20ml orgeat syrup
60ml pineapple juice
Juice of 1 lime
2 dashes bitters

Contemporary – Chow
Golden Dream
20ml 42 Manuka
20ml Galliano
20ml Cointreau
20 ml cream
20 ml O.J

Shake and strain in a Martini glass.

Falling Water
30ml 42 Below feijoa

Served in a highball topped with Chi and garnished with a wedge of cucumber.

The Future - Bubble
Mojito of the Future & Bellini of Tomorrow
Recipes on request


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