Heartwarming cocktail recipes from local experts

That chill is finally here and it’s time to wrap up with a woolly blanket and a cocktail with a little kick to warm the soul.

We talked to some of our favourite cocktail connoisseurs right here on the North Shore, at CarbonSix Distillery and Regatta Bar & Eatery. Read on for some hot cocktail ideas.

CarbonSix Distillery – Rufus & Val                 

CarbonSix mainly produces gin, rum and vodka. As well as their own brand Rufus and Val produce on contract for other famous New Zealand liquor brands at their North Shore distillery. They just cannot be stopped from distilling!

“It’s more a passion,” Rufus says. “We just love creating interesting spirits.”

His favourite is the Takapuna Black Gin, while Val is partial to a drop of the Takapuna Honey Oak Rum.

So what’s new at CarbonSix? 

“We recently released a range of gin liqueurs,” Rufus says. “You can put into your dessert, you can make cocktails out of it. One of our top ones is the Sour Apple Gin Liqueur. People also love the Coffee Gin Liqueur and Choco Coconut Gin Liqueur.”

“It’s so simple to make cocktails out of them,” Val says. “You can just add a gin liqueur and top it up with sparkling water. Because all the flavour’s in the gin, it comes out in the cocktail beautifully.”

Speaking of cocktails – Rufus and Val have shared two of their favourite tasty cocktail recipes to warm the heart on a winter evening.

Apple Pie Rum Cocktail

This Apple Pie Rum Cocktail is the perfect drink for a cosy winter evening, with spiced rum and fresh apple juice melding together to create a delicious taste experience. The vanilla essence adds a sweetness that will make you want to savour every sip.


  • 45ml of CarbonSix Spiced Rum
  • 90ml of fresh apple juice
  • 30ml of soda water
  • A drop of vanilla essence
  • Ice


Combine all ingredients in a glass and fill with ice.

Sour Apple Gin Cocktail

This Sour Apple Gin Cocktail is a refreshing, tangy drink perfect for winter nights. Made with CarbonSix Dry Gin and CarbonSix Sour Apple Gin Liqueur, its delectable apple-infused sweetness will have your taste buds dancing the evening away.



Muddle the apple in the shaker first. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake.
Double strain into ice-filled glass. Garnish with green apple slices.

Regatta Bar & Eatery – Andy

Regatta is one of Auckland’s hot spots for a classy beverage, with its prime seaside location and delightful cocktail menu.

Owner Andy Ruzich says he’s also a big black gin fan, and his top winter cocktail is made with another Kiwi gin, Scapegrace.

Storm Cloud

This is a Regatta-inspired contemporary cocktail. Well-balanced acidity with notes of vanilla and a velvety mouth feel. Sip from the warm side of a floor-to-ceiling window while you watch the storm clouds roll by. A true escape from the winter blues.


  • 45 ml Scapegrace Black Gin
  • 15 ml St. Germain Elderflower
  • Juice of one lemon (approx. 30 ml)
  • 1 egg white
  • 15 ml ginger syrup
  • Bitters


Add all ingredients to a shaker and dry shake. Add a big handful of ice and shake again. Fine strain and garnish with a couple of drops of bitters.

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