QT Queenstown's director of food and beverage Gethin Curtis has a drink for every continent.


From Europe, I chose a negroni, one of my all-time favourite cocktails made with equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and gin. I personally like it made with Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and Plymouth gin as they combine to give a slightly lighter, less vanilla-heavy drink which still lets the Campari come through, compared to a combination of a London Dry gin and a vermouth such as Antica Formula Carano Vermouth. The great thing about any well-made negroni is the versatility; we have a whole page dedicated to our negroni list in the Reds Bar cocktail menu; it seems apt to be drinking one in a sunny plaza alongside some snacks or ordering a well-deserved negroni at 3am as a bartender's post-shift drink.

Tough choice for this one but I would go for a rum old fashioned, taking the original American idea and pairing with Caribbean rum. The debates regarding this are just like the debates surrounding martinis; endless and entirely down to taste. I like to make a rum old fashioned using El Dorado 15 Year Old, Angostura Bitters, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters and sugar syrup. I love the way the chocolate bitters and the rum enhance each other's characteristics: finished off with a orange twist, it's a great combination.


I enjoy the simplicity of a caipirinha. Depending on the type of cachacas you use, you can vary the end result. The range of cachacas available means that you can really experiment until you find a favourite. Because the simplicity is what first attracted me to this drink I would go for Sagatiba Pura to give a clean, refreshing example. If you did want to try a little twist on it you can add some fresh feijoas when they are in season, alongside the lime.

My first thought was a riff on the catalunya that we do here in Reds bar. Take the marvellous Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc and a great gin like the A Mari Atlantic Ocean Gin and combine them with apple juice, mint, elderflower cordial and plenty of fresh fruit like grapes, apple and cucumber and you'll end up with a wonderfully refreshing spritz-type affair to sip on while overlooking the savannah.

For this continent, I have picked one of the first cocktails I ever devised, the South East Asian mojito. A combination of rum, lemongrass infused vermouth, coconut, chili, lime and coriander. It has the flavour of some wonderful cuisines and is a really intriguing conversation starter. It came about from a love of coriander and making far too many mojitos in a past workplace.

A South East Asian Mojito, as made by Gethin Curtis, of the QT Hotel, Queenstown. Photo / Supplied
A South East Asian Mojito, as made by Gethin Curtis, of the QT Hotel, Queenstown. Photo / Supplied

The end result is essentially an alcoholic Thai green curry in a glass. I've had it on most of the lists that I have put together, it is also on the list at Hot Sauce in QT Wellington.

The first drink that came to mind was The Wilding Pine; it's very reminiscent of autumn in Queenstown with the smell of the first fires being lit before winter sets in. Basically a gin sour made with The Source, Lillet Blanc, Bittermens Scarborough Bitters, lemon, pine needle syrup and egg white. The glass is lightly smoked with a pine sprig, then garnished with a fresh sprig to compliment the smokiness.

I can't look any further than a drink that my nan used to make. Winter Pimms would be perfect in the climate of Antarctica, just Pimms, Stones Ginger Wine, apple juice and winter spices gently simmered in a pan till warm. It's perfect for a cold evening garnished with a slice of orange and cinnamon stick.