King of Snake cocktail packs a punch

Which city bar makes Christchurch's best?

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 13:25 25/09/2013
King of Snake

KING OF SNAKE: Its spicy signature cocktail conveys the flavours of Asia.

Tequila Mockingbird
NEWLY-OPENED: Tequila Mockingbird boasts efficient service.
Clink
Cassandra McKnight
SUMNER: Clink Restaurant and Bar
Mojito
MOJITO: A popular cocktail, usually made with white rum.

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REVIEW: With the city's night life regenerating, Abbie Napier visited three bars to see what was going down. Two cocktails, a mojito and another beyond the standard fare, were ordered at each.

KING OF SNAKE

145 Victoria St

Open: Monday-Friday 11.30am- late, Saturday/Sunday 4pm-late.

Prices: Cocktails $14-$16, snacks $6.50-$20

Score: *****

King of Snake is packed on a Saturday night, buzzing with drinkers and a bevy of bartenders.

I can't go past the cocktail King of Snake. It was created as the signature drink for Indochine, owner Tony Astle's previous restaurant, and now the name of Astle's current business.

It comes in a lowball glass and really packs a punch. It is spicy, strong and full of heat, possibly generated by a hefty addition of ginger and chilli. A beautiful mix of flavours which conveys the flavours of Asia, although it is difficult to discern the base alcohol here as the heat of the drink numbs my palate.

King of Snake offers a cucumber mojito, a creative tweak on the traditional. A generous slug of 10 Cane Rum shines through and the freshness of the cucumber is a nice addition, allowing the mint and lime to make an appearance.

Service is attentive, personable, and very knowledgeable.

TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD

98 Victoria St

Open: Sunday-Wednesday 11.30am-1am, Thursday-Saturday 11.30am-3am.

Prices: Cocktails $14, small plates $6-$18

Score: *** 1/2

Tequila Mockingbird (cool name) has been on my must-visit list since it opened a few weeks ago. The theme is Latin-American housed in a cute heritage-style building in Victoria St.

Inside, the decor is all exposed brick, wooden tables and the odd painted skull decoration. Service is quick, efficient, friendly and knowledgeable.

The bartender is a fussy man. Glasses are checked for cleanliness and packed with ice to chill.

The mojito is first up, served in a tall glass. Initially it doesn't taste of much, but after 10 minutes (infusing!) the flavours shine through, revealing a good balance - although the signature white rum fails to shine.

It seemed only right to order something with tequila and the Silver Sour is a winner. Served in a martini glass, its pale yellow colour and layer of white foam entice. Tequila - complimented by strong vanilla and cinnamon - is the star. Beware the cinnamon shaker, however, as the cinnamon topping threatens to overpower.

CLINK RESTAURANT AND BAR

29 Wakefield Ave, Sumner

Open: Monday-Wednesday 5pm- 11.30pm, Thursday 5pm-1am, Friday 4pm-1am, Saturday 10am- 1am, Sunday 10am-11.30pm.

Prices: Cocktails $10-$17, snacks $8.50-$12.50

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Score: *** 1/2

Clink is a great place for an afternoon drink after a day at the beach. It specialises in cocktails and its courtyard has an abundance of heaters.

Despite the lack of clientele when we arrive, the service - although friendly and helpful - is a bit slow.

Clink's mojito is made with Herradura tequila instead of the traditional white rum. The substitution is not a good one. Tequila is a strong liquor and it easily overpowers the subtle flavours of lime, sugar, and mint.

The CG, Cointreau and Limoncello over crushed ice is a better marriage of flavours. Served in a lowball glass, it is strong and refreshing.

A more robust fence between the courtyard and the road would be a good idea; the traffic noise is quite loud.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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