AUTHOR: NITESH BHATIA OF ‘JUST WINES’
Cocktails are a fantastic way to get hens party festivities to a great start. Serving a special signature cocktail can also be a crowd pleaser when it comes to setting the tone and possibly breaking the ice among revellers that may not have previously met.
Champagne or sparkling white is traditionally associated with all things bride; you can put your own unique stamp on this favourite or go completely off script and serve something completely unexpected and completely delicious (of course, it goes without saying that responsible consumption is the only way to do it in style).
Here are three killer cocktail bar recipes designed to mark the beginning of a time to remember.
You can make this Italian cocktail using either Prosecco or the bride’s favourite Aussie sparkling wine. In Italy, they would make the nectar by marinating peaches in wine, but since a hen’s event requires a lot of work, we’ve simplified this part for you.
White peach nectar
Half fill a champagne flute with peach nectar
Slowly and carefully pour in the bubbly
Stir carefully. Serve immediately.
Recommendation: Tatachilla – Those Who Wander Prosecco, NV King Valley
KING VALLEY, VICTORIA
King Valley in Victoria is a great place to source prosecco, and ideal for a weekend away. It’s three hours’ drive from Melbourne with plenty of welcoming cellar doors that are heavily influenced by Italian winemaking with a geographical setting similar to the hills in northern Italy. In addition to prosecco, other wines to try while you’re in the King Valley are sangiovese, pinot grigio, nebbiolo, dolcetto, arneis and barbera.
THE STAR GAZER
Believe it or not, this combination of chardonnay, rum and sweet juice is a nice, soft, sip-worthy surprise (make sure you serve it with ice).
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 1)
30ml dark rum
Couple of drops of vanilla extract
15ml pineapple juice
Garnish: lime wedge
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
Shake and strain into a glass
Recommendation: Mon Tout Chardonnay, Margaret River
MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
If you’re wine touring in Western Australia, Margaret River is a must. The winemaking there has grown over the past few decades to become one of the most respected new world wine regions. In addition to chardonnay, cabernet merlot blend and Shiraz are the wines to indulge in while you’re there. The small, boutique wineries there are lovely to visit.
THE ROSÈ BOUQUET
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 2)
20ml dry vermouth
90ml grapefruit juice
1 rosemary sprig
Fill lowball glass ¾ full of ice and add the ingredients over the top
Stir, and serve with a grapefruit wedge and rosemary sprig
Recommendation: Bird Dog Rosè, Granite Belt
GRANITE BELT, QUEENSLAND
Yes, you read that right; Queensland has a unique, thriving little wine region three hours southwest of Brisbane. Granted, it’s Queensland, but not as you know it (it can get cold enough in winter to snow, but can also get sizzling hot in summer). It produces some of the most inimitable Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, Verdelho and viognier to be found. There are also plenty of tours, walking trails and foods to explore for a great hen’s weekend away.
Nitesh Bhatia is founder and CEO of Just Wines, Australia’s second largest online wine retailer dedicated to supporting Australian and New Zealand winemakers.
AUTHOR BIO - JUST WINES
ONLINE WINE RETAILER
Just Wines was founded in 2012 with a vision to revolutionise the online wine industry. Since then Just Wines has become the second largest online wine retailer in Australia based on product range – offering up to 6,000 wines from over 1,000 winemakers from Australia and New Zealand.