Last week I learned how to make a fireball from an orange peel. I might not disclose this on my CV but I hope it will come in handy sometime soon.
Thanks to Zomato, I attended a cocktail class hosted by Bellini which is the bar at the Hilton on Princes Wharf on Auckland’s waterfront. Yeah, pretty swish. I’d never visited the Hilton before and it’s recent renovations make this a very inviting spot for drink.
With over 130 cocktails on the drinks menu, harbour views and open fire features this was a wonderful place to spend a windy Tuesday night.
Jonas the bar supervisor and mixologist had the expected showmanship required of his position. He started us off with bellini, traditionally made with peach puree and prosecco. My drink was made with Deutz, peach and pomegranate and we learned that we can change up the ingredients a little while still being able to call it a bellini.
The first cocktail was my all time favourite, the mojito. A mojito made properly is a beautiful thing. With fresh lime, fresh mint, sugar and white rum this delightful drink tastes of summer. Not too long ago I paid $2.55 for a single lime so I was impressed that their mojito uses 8 lime wedges per drink. The mojito at Bellini are very good. Perhaps the best. I’ve made a few mojitos in my time and they’re a pain the ass to make (and expensive if limes are $30kg), especially if all your friends want one too. But the payoff is great and it can be pretty satisfying smashing up ice with a muddler and tea towel.
The second cocktail we had was the Long Island Ice Tea. A classic for when you want to get hammered or just want something yummy to sip on for a while. The version at Bellini features 75ml of booze. The first and only time I remember ordering an Long Island Ice Tea was a thousand years ago when The Koala was a bartender and I had volunteered to be the door bitch for the night. Let me add that I’m way too nice to be a door bitch…I guess I was just a door girl then. Anyway, I knew I’d be stranded by the door for the night and might not get another chance for a drink, so when someone came and asked me if I wanted a drink, I ordered a Long Island. The Koala appeared immediately and demanded to know, “Did you order a Long Island Ice Tea!?!”. I told him my reasoning and he made my Long Island. It’s not a drink that I would make at home or even order when out, but it was interesting to see all the booze that went into one drink!
The final drink we made was a Cosmopolitan. Glamourised in the 90’s by TV series Sex and the City, this drink is tart, strong and pink.
Made with vodka, cointreau, cranberry and lime, a coin shaped piece of orange peel is flamed over the drink prior to serving.
F & B
We enjoyed a luxurious selection of bar snacks including Oysters Rockefeller, fish and crab cakes, prawn tempura, lamb cutlets, meatballs and calamari.
Most of the cocktails are in the $20-25 range though the most expensive cocktail on the menu is Alexander’s Paradise at $130 which features Hennessy Paradise, Crème de Cacao and Frangelico cream. Intriguing.
I was delighted to learn that Bellini offer a “Twisted High Tea” with different options of high tea the most interesting being the ones that pair with cocktails or a flight of whiskey. The prices range from $39 to $79 per person and must be booked in advance (minimum 2 people). Available Thursday to Sunday 12.30pm to 3.30pm, this would be great for a hen’s party or special occasion.
Bellini’s cocktail class is $59 per person and includes your choice of 3 cocktails and tasting platters. Class size 4 to 15 people. For more information about their cocktail classes, visit www.bellini.co.nz/cocktail-classes
This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage bloggers to try new food related things.