Te Puke, Eastern Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand.
Population: 8,000, Orchards: 70+, International Bragging Rights: 1, Traffic Lights: 0, Family Members: 9, Town Name Mispronounciations: approx. 15 an hour.
When thebar.com got in touch about putting a twist into one of my favourite cocktail recipes, I knew exactly what I had to do. And flying nearly 12,000 miles (11,703.583 to be exact) to do it didn’t seem like too much of a stretch at all.
The small town of Te Puke not only hosts some of the people most precious to me in the world, but is proud to boast the title of Kiwifruit Capital of the World. The unique volcanic ash soil and climate make this area perfect for growing all kinds of super foods that are exported all over the world – in fact when Captain Cook discovered New Zealand, he named the area the ‘Bay of Plenty’ because of the lush vegetation.
Reaching back even further into New Zealand history, Around 1350, the Te Arawa canoe is said to have landed at Maketu after sailing from Hawaiki. The canoe was under the command of chief Tama-te-kapua, and he was responsible for many of the original place names of the area. Māori ventured up the rivers and streams and built many pā in the area because of the rich food sources and fertile lands. Te Puke actually translates as ‘the hill’. Fast forward to modern times, and New Zealand is fairly well synonymous with the Kiwifruit berry – in fact a certain blogger even plays on it with her travel blog branding.
A classic Moscow Mule is one of my favourite summer cocktails to make at home (not to mention order from professionals) so when we spotted the recipe on the exhaustive list of beverages featured it was deal done. The next step to add a little bit of local Kiwifruit magic was even easier, as I would arrive in New Zealand just at the end of harvesting season and the family fruit bowl never runs empty of these vitamin C packed spheres.
The addition of half a blended actinidia deliciosa (the aptly descriptive Latin name for Kiwifruit) to each glass really brings something special, and will always evoke home for me.
Packing a cool bag full of ingredients and determined to catch a few rays of sunshine, we decamped near the world famous (at least in New Zealand) gigantic homage to Kiwifruit – a 20 metre high fruit slice that dominates the surrounding area.
It was an awesome memory to have made on my trip home.
But the best thing of all? You can easily recreate my little piece of New Zealand sunshine without having to travel all that way.
- 1/2 A Kiwifruit (we used Golden Kiwis for a touch of sweetness)
- 50ml Smirnoff No. 21® Vodka
- 125ml Ginger Beer
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- 1 dash Lime Juice
- Blend the kiwifruit to a smooth consistency.
- Pop ice into a cocktail shaker and then add Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, ginger beer, angostura bitters and lime juice.
- Add kiwifruit mixture and quickly shake.
- Add ice to a glass, pour in cocktail mixture and top up with ginger beer.
We used New Zealand ingredients, but helpfully each of the cocktail ingredients are orderable through thebar.com which has a veritable larder of brilliant recipes that you need to check out. We trialled a few more of their recipes at Halloween last year, and they were delectable.
** Pin Me for later **
This post is a collaboration with thebar.com, but all thoughts and wandering sentences are very much my own. They kindly sponsored this post in order to keep our travel fund topped up for future fun and blog posts coming.