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THE WELLINGTONIAN, AUGUST 4, 2011
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WELLINGTON CIVIC TRUST
Twenty-Five Years of Waterfront Planning
It's time for a stocktake!
Chair: Councillor Andy Foster
Panel: Di Buchan
Hear their different perspectives on the project
and have your say.
2.00pm Sunday 14 August 2011,
Te Raukura, Te Wharewaka O Poneke, Taranaki Wharf
A tale of many tipples
Stirrin' it up: Hippopotamus' head bartender Guy Jacobson loves the creative aspect of making cocktails.
Photo: EMMA BEER
By EMMA BEER
Ever fancied trying to drink a
Princess' Potion? Perhaps you
may prefer Villian Brews or a
Guy Jacobson, Hippopotamus'
head bartender, will be able to
shake one up for you.
The bartender has put a cre-
ative spin on the bar's menu, with
each being themed around classic
His first menu was Alice in
Wonderland and has been fol-
lowed by Winnie the Pooh and
more recently Brother's Grimm.
When Mr Jacobson started last
year, the bar was undergoing a
large refurbishment to become a
little more elegant and approach-
For a New Zealand bar it's
quite different. Somewhere like
London or Shanghai or Paris
you'd see a lot of bars that are
dressed up like this, but in New
Zealand you don't really get so
much of that.''
There was also a push on the
cocktail side of the bar, which
suited Mr Jacobson.
They really did just let me go
After studying theology in
Auckland he returned home to
Christchurch, where he worked in
bars for four years. He moved to
Wellington last year after
deciding he wanted more of a chal-
It kind of got to the point
where there was nowhere left in
Christchurch I felt I wanted to
work or could learn from.
So, the natural progression
was to move to Wellington,
because it's just such an amazing
hub of awesome bartenders and
Mr Jacobson said his previous
menus had been more simple,
with drinks divided into sections
according to their alcohol. How-
ever, he wanted to try something
I ended up with a list of drinks
that didn't really have any pur-
pose or direction of any sort. I
wanted to tie everything together,
give it a theme.
A lot of people make the Alice
in Wonderland comment about
the bar and that it's got a mad-
hatter tea party theme going on. I
took that and the first menu I did
was Alice in Wonderland. It made
it easy to separate all the drinks.''
He said the menu received great
feedback and was a good point of
interest for customers.
[It made us] a little bit more
memorable. The last thing I want
is my drinks or cocktail menus to
look like a wine list.''
Mr Jacobson said that at the
time he was also making more
serious'', unique combination
cocktails with obscure liqueurs
and spirits that many people were
not familiar with.
New Zealand cocktail culture
is that people tend to shy away
from things they don't know.
They always go for the things
they do know first, so by putting
that kind of spin on it, giving it a
name they could relate to, it might
be enough to persuade them to try
something a bit different.''
Anything with vodka and
berries was probably going
be 90 per cent of what was
sold, he said.
And otherwise I would
have gone crazy making the
same drink over and over.''
Mr Jacobson said he loved
the creative and historic
aspects of cocktail-making.
The menus took a long time
to prepare, and he was already
working on his next one.
I've already got 10 drawn up
for next time. Once you finish a
menu you start working on the
This is my career, this is my
chosen path of life.
But he said he understood not
everyone felt so passionately and
having fun with the menus was a
good way of remembering this.
It's a wee reminder that
cocktails aren't about that
[serious stuff] in general. It's
about socialising, having a good
time, relaxing, kicking back with
friends, enjoying the moment.''
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