We recently caught up with Alexandra Hyndman – Emporium Eatery and Bar. She spoke to us about what her favourite cocktail on Emporium's menu was and her favourite bars from around the world....
My name is Alexandra Hyndman ive been bartending for about 15 years mainly in NZ, spent time in Wellington where there are some great funky little bars and a great bar culture, Palmerston North mainly more mainstream bars and Restaurants, was the manager of Fish cocktail bar. I moved to Napier 6 months ago as I wanted to be in one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions and such a great food and wine scene, I was lucky enough to secure a job in Napier’s best cocktail bar and haven’t looked back.
My favourite cocktail on our current menu is the Espresso Martini made with 42 below Manuka honey, it’s a bit of a classic and a bit like a Gin Martini, when it’s made right it’s a beautifully well balanced drink, the sweetness offset by the bitter coffee flavour, perfect as an aperitif or a after dinner cocktail. Also the Barrel aged Negroni is a must try.
In my opinion what makes a world beating bar is the staff, you can have the best cocktail list in the world but if you don’t friendly and engaging staff to sell these drinks you’ve got no chance. The staff need to engage the customer, convince them to step outside their comfort zone and try something a little different. The whole ambience of a bar has to be right, from quality drinks made with quality ingredients, great food, fantastic staff and in even more of a perfect world the coffee machine in the waiters section…….
My favourite bars around the world are Dirty Martini Covent garden, I lived in London for a short while and found this place, it was great, if I wanted a bit of a party with great drinks. 1806 in Melbourne is also amazing, really showcasing the history of the cocktail and it’s great to drink some of the old classics, with not an ounce of juice in sight, and in Wellington NZ the Hawthorn Lounge is another fantastic place for quality classic drinks.