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Mix It Up: These Delicious DIY Cocktails Have A Local Link

This new range of premium mixer soda syrups from Barker's of Geraldine will enhance your at-home entertaining

Taking a beverage break is one of life’s small joys, especially from the comfort of home. Whether it’s a mid-morning refreshment, evening cocktail hour, or creating something a little special for a Saturday picnic, what we’re drinking has become something of a focus — even for the most amateur of mixologists.

While it's fun to swizzle, smash and shake, sometimes you just want a delicious drink without all the fuss, and Barker’s of Geraldine’s latest range is just the answer. With nuanced flavour pairings and top-notch ingredients, its new Premium Mixer Soda Syrups take all the guesswork out of drink making.

The locally made offering comes in six botanical flavours. Citrus is a hero of the range, with the aromatic Blood Orange, Lime & Bitters, the delightfully tart Pink Grapefruit & Lemon, and the very summery Lemon, Lime, Cucumber & Mint. There’s also the aromatic Spiced Ginger Beer, the sophisticated New Zealand Apple & Elderflower, and the Classic Indian Tonic. Add a splash to some soda or chilled water for a simple refreshment, or pair them with your favourite spirit.

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The beloved brand has ethical appeal too. Made in the South Canterbury town of Geraldine since 1969, the local business still uses glass bottles — which can be both reused and recycled, and look great on the drinks shelf — and its Premium Mixer Soda Syrups are bottled on the original Barker family farm. They contain no artificial colours and flavours, and there’s at least 25 per cent less sugar than the brand’s original range of fruit syrups. Appealingly for those looking to minimise their waste, each 500ml recyclable glass bottle makes around 17 drinks.

This allows for plenty of scope for creativity as you mix and match your way through summer, and to get you started here are some delicious cocktail recipes to try out.


Pink Grapefruit Spritz

Get creative with your next spritz.

30ml Barker’s Pink Grapefruit & Lemon Premium Mixer Soda Syrup
30ml Aperol
Sparkling water
Prosecco (optional)
Half slices of pink grapefruit & lemon
Mint sprigs
Edible flowers

  1. Half fill a balloon glass or wine glass with ice and a slice each of grapefruit and lemon.
  2. Add 30ml Barker’s Pink Grapefruit & Lemon Premium Mixer Soda Syrup and 30ml Aperol (or to taste).
  3. Top with sparkling water and Prosecco if liked and give a stir.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of mint and an edible flower.

For a delicious non-alcoholic option, leave out the Aperol and Prosecco.


Spiced Blood Orange Old Fashioned

A warming, spiced cocktail perfect for evenings.

30ml Barker’s Blood Orange, Lime & Bitters Premium Mixer Soda Syrup
30ml Bourbon
Sparkling or still water
Blood orange or navel orange slices
Cinnamon quills
Star anise
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. To rim the glass, mix a quarter of a cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon on a saucer. Pour a little Blood Orange, Lime & Bitters Premium Mixer Soda Syrup into another saucer.
  2. Dip the glasses first in syrup then in cinnamon sugar and set aside to dry for a few minutes.
  3. Add ice and an orange slice to a short glass.
  4. Add 30ml Barker’s Blood Orange, Lime & Bitters and 30ml Bourbon.
  5. Top with sparkling or still water to taste.
  6. Add a star anise and cinnamon and give a stir using the quill.


Classic Gin & Tonic

A traditional G&T never goes out of fashion.

30ml Barker’s Classic Indian Tonic Premium Mixer Soda Syrup
30ml Gin or non-alcoholic spirit (such as Ecology & Co London Dry)
Sparkling water
Cucumber ribbons
Rosemary sprigs
Lemon wedges

  1. Wrap one or two cucumber ribbons around the inside of a tall glass and fill with ice.
  2. Add 30ml Barker’s Classic Indian Tonic Premium Mixer Soda Syrup and 30ml Gin (or to taste).
  3. Fill with sparkling water.
  4. Add a sprig of rosemary to stir and squeeze in some lemon, then drop the squeezed wedge into the glass.

For more delicious cocktail ideas, head to Barkers.co.nz/recipes/drinks

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