Self proclaimed "talented" and "handsome" bartender, Guy Jacobson, backed himself ahead of this year's BACARDI Legacy Cocktail Competition.
"(I) can't be beat," he said.
And he wasn't. The 27-year-old Wellington-based bartender crafted a cocktail called The Leaf Nose, named after the Cuban fruit bat, and took out the prestigious competition.
UNFOLDING: Guy will be joining us for a live chat on Friday from 12 until 1pm. Check that story out over here.
As the silly season gets in to full swing, we asked Guy for his beverage suggestions at various summer time scenarios.
On Christmas Day:
You don't want to be tied down on December 25 mixing drinks while your loved ones kick back, eating, drinking and being merry. Guy says to minimise hassle by making jugs of Pimms mixers - add to the Pimms some lemonade, ginger ale, mint, seasonal fruits (we like lemons, oranges, strawberries or cucumbers) and ice. For something extra special try find Sipsmith Summer cup.
When you're feeling dusty on Boxing Day
Guy reckons you should dedicate Boxing Day to Berroca and fried food while watching your pick of the sports on the box. (FYI, he'll pick basketball.)
To be the host with the most:
Guys recommends getting your hands on a juicer. Throw together simple but delicious combinations (he suggests Bacardi 8 and fresh pineapple, Glenfiddich 12 and pear or rye hhisky (like Wild Turkey Rye) and Granny Smith apple). Prep is minimal and the process is pretty easy and fun so guests can DIY. Handy hit: Collect the solids and use them for cooking and baking later (apple can go in to pies, pineapple can be made in to sorbets).
If you go camping
Camping only works when it's well planned, so Guy says you have to do the same for your beverages. While it might sound a little unusual, he reckons some milk punches work a treat. They take about an hour to whip up and the further ahead you do this the more delicious they are. (Check out a recipe from his mate, Jason Crawley, at the end of this story). Handy hint: Take your pre-prepped drinks in plastic bottles, they're lighter and can be crushed up when empty to save bag space before you can dispose of them responsibly.
On New Year's Eve
This is the night assigned to celebrating good times and all that jazz so you can't go past bubbles. Grab yourself enough sparkling wine for everyone you're with and Guy suggests flavouring flutes with some good quality liqueurs to make royales - strawberry and peach are delicious, while gents prefer blackcurrant and fig, he says.
On a picnic
Fresh drinking coconuts are pretty hip right now and Guy has an awesome cocktail suggestion using these beauties. Pick up a miniature Bacardi Superior Rum for each fruit. Try and keep the coconuts cold in a chilly bin, then, when you're feeling thirsty, add a straw, sip enough milk out then pour in the rum. Looks and tastes so cool!
Tequila Cellared Milk Punch
2 bottles tequila (I recommend espolon, arette or hornitos)
1.5 cups castor sugar
135ml lemon Juice
750ml full cream milk
Put peels from lemons into sugar and let sit for 1 hour. Muddle them and add lemon juice. Add the tequila. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Heat milk on the stove until scalding hot. Add hot milk to lemony tequila mix and stir as it curdles. Stir in freshly grated nutmeg and let it sit for an hour. Strain liquid through cheesecloth into clean bottles. Rest for at least a week for best results.