Chris Barber and Bec Kay, the team behind award-winning Koakoa Limoncello and Bond Store gin and vodka, based at Paraparaumu Beach, are working alongside bars and restaurants to encourage people to get out and support New Zealand's hospitality scene.

"As bars and restaurants start their Covid-19 recovery, we are asking ourselves 'how can we help them?' Barber said.

"It's heartening to see so many business owners being innovative.

Liquor retail is also recovering, however, we know it's still a challenge out there, as many people remain cautious with their spending.

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"Central Fire Station Bistro in Napier recently created their take on a Lemon Icepick, using Bond Store Vodka infused with Earl Grey Tea, and Koakoa Limoncello.

Bond Store gin and vodka.
Bond Store gin and vodka.

"Doing something special like this adds an extra touch to winter menus as people get used to dining out again."

Julian Pfuelb, of Central Fire Station Bistro, said they wanted to create something unique to match the season and their re-opening.

"The Icepick is one of our classic drinks. We wanted to take it a step further and add more lemon, which is one of the flavours found in Earl Grey Tea.

"Tea infusions are becoming more and more popular, and Earl Grey infused vodka is a perfect marriage with Limoncello."

Barber and Kay are committed to supporting their clients during the hospitality sector's recovery.

"It's been fantastic to see so many Kiwis supporting our bars and restaurants, and see popular restaurants like Ponsonby's Farina, using our gin since re-opening.

"Hopefully, with the increase in domestic tourism, we'll see conditions continuing to improve over coming months."

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Koakoa Limoncello and The Bond Store gin and vodka is found in 55 cafes, restaurants, and bars around the country and 50 liquor stores including Liquor King, Big Barrel and Super Liquor.