Jason Clarke, the best bartender in New Zealand and fourth best in the world at July's Diageo Reserve World Class championship in Monaco, is serving up retro-styled sodas and shakes at Ponsonby Central's newest bar, Bedford Soda and Liquor.
The bar is owned by hospitality powerhouses Sam Ansley and Matt Nicholls (who are part of Pack & Company, the group behind Shaky Isles, Snapdragon, The Commons, La Zeppa, The Roxy and Everybodys) and media man Jeremy Wells, who along with Clarke, have all visited New York and been inspired by neighbourhood bars in areas such as Brooklyn.
Bar manager Clarke has designed an extensive drinks menu which, along with oreo shakes and refreshing iced teas, includes twists on classic American drinks such as the Rhubarb Ginger Daisy - it's the perfect holiday spritzer. The bar opened this week and includes create-your-own-meatball dishes made by chef Croydon Cole, ex Euro.
Rhubarb Ginger Daisy
• 3 wedges fresh ruby red grapefruit
• 40ml Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
• 25ml ginger-infused rhubarb jam syrup
• Dash of New Orleans bitters
1. Build in a tall glass over hand-cut ice and top with soda water.
2. Swizzle then garnish with fresh mint, a rhubarb strip and edible daisy flower.
• Bedford Soda and Liquor, Shop 10, Ponsonby Central, 136-138 Ponsonby Rd. Ph (09) 378 7362, bedfordsodaliquor.co.nz.