Words: VICKI RAVLICH-HORAN | Recipes: HAYES COMMON | Images: ASHLEE DECAIRES
Great chefs take time to source their ingredients. They understand the seasons, the importance of quality products and often the value of paying a little extra for this. A great eatery winds this knowledge and philosophy into their service, the staff all take care and pride in not just what they create but the ingredients and the story and love behind each element. At Hayes Common this philosophy continues through to their drinks offering.
Like their food menu, there is an emphasis on local with around 75% of the wine and 50% of the spirits all being Kiwi. Tasters of wine are offered and wines can come by the glass, carafe (half bottle) or by the bottle.
Business development and events manager, Shona Lambert, says, “Our cocktails are heavily influenced by classic cocktails or flavour combinations which we then add our own twist to.” Like the food, the cocktail list changes seasonally to pair with what is on the menu as well as what is in season.
This creativity combined with the care and attention of all aspects of the guest experience is why Hayes Common is becoming more and more popular as a venue for special occasions, from intimate weddings to milestone birthdays.
The Mezcalrita is a great example of how cocktails can come together. It started with an interest in Mexcal when Brent (owner) heard it was the tequila for whisky drinkers. Based on a popular cocktail of Mexico City called Jamaica (Jamaica being the Spanish word for hibiscus) the team approached their tea supplier, Forage and Bloom, to source dried hibiscus to make the syrup with clove and cardamom.
Shona says, “This is another humidity beating drink with an intriguing balance of smoke, sugar, acid, and spice.”
60 mls Del Maguey Chichicapa mezcal
60 mls hibiscus syrup**
30 mls fresh lime juice
Half rim your rocks glass using a fresh lime wedge and flaky sea salt.
Add ingredients into a Boston shaker and shake.
Double strain into glass. Add a large ice cube and a hibiscus flower to garnish.
**Hibiscus syrup recipe:
In a glass bowl, combine 100g of hibiscus with 2 cups of water, 10g of cardamom pods (crushed) and 5g whole cloves. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
Transfer to a saucepan and add 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil. Let cool and drain out solids. Refrigerate for up to a month.
Del Maguey brings you a collection of Single Village® mezcal made in the lush, remote mountains, plains and valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico. Each mezcal is named for the village where it is made.
Chichicapa has a medium nose and a complex taste with lots of citrus and a long, smooth finish with overtones of mint. Twice distilled and unblended from 100% mature agave Espadin and is produced the original, 400-year-old hand-crafted way. Production is limited to exclusive quantities per year to preserve quality. There are no chemicals, colourings, or additives ever used.
A firm favourite at Hayes Common before it went ‘viral’, Shona describes it as a boozy slushy for grown-ups.
30 mls vodka
6 frozen raspberries
15 mls lemon juice
30 mls gomme – simple syrup
½ c frozen rosé*
Blend and pour into a white wine glass, garnish with purple petals and freeze-dried raspberries
Mix 10 mls rosewater with 1 bottle of Rosé. Pour into a large flat container and freeze.
Classed as a tiki drink, although there is no real definition of a ‘tiki drink’. The Hayes team stick to the following three attributes: heaps of rum, tropical fruit juices and layers upon layers of flavour. It should be drunk on an island beach, but the sunshine of Hamilton East is close enough!
60 mls Black Collar Spiced Rum (from the Bay of Islands)
20 mls passionfruit plus extra from garnish
30 mls lime juice
60 mls pineapple juice
15mls orgeat (almond syrup)
3 dashes tiki bitters
Add all ingredients to shaker with ice and shake.
Strain contents into a tall/tiki glass.
Add ice and drizzle passionfruit.
Garnish with pineapple, mint and lime.