Mixing it up with mocktails

Remember that television commercial from years ago with Temuera Morrison? The one that went "There are a lot of reasons why someone might not want a drink. Respect them - that's what a friend would do". One of the reasons was probably not "because there are so many cool non-alcoholic drinks on offer".

Many's the time I've been at an event and the only non-boozy option has super-acidic room temperature orange juice. Sometimes non-alcoholic drinks don't even make it onto the drinks menu in a restaurant or cafe. Though, I do think things have improved in recent years with various iced tea and ginger beer options springing up, sometimes it can be hard to get excited about a juice or a smoothie. If only all the creativity that goes into cocktails could be available for pregnant folk, people on medications, or sober drivers?

Welcome to the wonderful world of mocktails, my friend!

But where to start on your exploration of booze-free beverages? Well, books of course! Check out some of the great titles we have and expand your hydration horizons!

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Meet a mixologist

Kate Higgins-Holdene will be delivering a workshop about making mocktails at Tūranga next month which will include some special book-themed beverages. (THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED)

Tells us a bit about yourself

Long story short, I was born into an anglo-mexican family, I have been lucky to have lived in Mexico, Spain, Wales, England and now New Zealand. This has made me the adventurous  and outgoing individual I am today.

I studied Criminology at uni and I have worked as a bartender during summers and my gap-year. This is where I got into mixing delicious cocktails.

How did you get into mixology?

Even before I started working behind the bar, I always thought that being able to create delicious and cool-looking beverages for friends and family would be a great skill to have. It is also a pretty cool party trick!

I always saw cocktails as a way to learn about alcohol and how to drink it. I never enjoyed the binge -drinking culture I came across during my time at university.

Tell us about your pastimes besides mixing delicious cocktails

You are very likely to find me with a book in my hands. I love diving into different universes and creeping into the minds of different people. I believe literature gives us a glimpse into what the human experience is really about.  

This is why I was so keen to bring together two of my passions for this workshop.

Catalogue record for Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a literary twistGive us a few tips to mix our own drinks at home.

Expand your palate! When visiting your favourite bar, don’t just go for your usual drink, try new flavours and liquors. Ask the bartender for recommendations!

Keep it simple. Three ingredient cocktails are easy to make and delicious. You also don’t need fancy and expensive gear to create great beverages. Go with the basics!

Making your drinks look nice is a big part of the experience, invest in cool wine glasses and classy rocks glasses. I recommend shopping at second-hand and vintage stores where you can find affordable and unique glassware.

What do you like reading?

I love reading about the human experience. One of the latest books I have read was The Stranger by Albert Camus in this book he manages to centre on the irrational nature of the universe and random things that happen to random people and it also manages to provide a great example of Camus’ absurdist philosophy of the meaninglessness of life. It’s a powerful read that moves something within the conscience of the reader.

What the most unusual cocktail someone asked you to make?

Maybe not the weirdest but the one that made me roll my eyes to the back of my head was when a young gentleman (I believe on a first date) ordered a martini shaken, not stirred. Living his Bond fantasy!

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