Gavin Liddle & 1908 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Hayden Wood

As Bar Manager at the eclectic Auckland restaurant and cocktail destination Beast & Butterflies at the M Social Hotel on Princes Wharf, Gavin brings a creative & scientific approach to Pacific fusion flavours in his cocktails. His small, sophisticated list compliments the food menu while offering his customers new and interesting combinations as a testament to its place as the standard bearer of the New Zealand cocktail scene.

Gavin chose 1908 as the prize year from the Heering heritage. A year when New Zealand scientist Ernest Rutherford received the Nobel Prize for chemistry and the Sazerac was immortalised in print for the first time.

Hailing from Scotland, Gavins love for Cherry Heering has come a long way since discovering it in his parents liquor cabinet as a young man. Cherry Heering is the bottle that I remember seeing first in my parents drinks cabinet, I remember opening it and thinking it smelled like the best sweet Id ever come across. 

When I was a young and naive bartender I mixed Cherry Heering with Coke and thought Id invented the greatest drink the world had ever seen!

Gavin took the opposite journey to Ernest Rutherford by leaving the UK and settling in New Zealand and it was there that he began honing his cocktail skills where his analytical skills and emphasis on the right chemistry in building his drinks offering came to the fore. 

His latest effort, inspired by the Sazerac, which was first noted in print, also in 1908 is a lot more sophisticated but it is the chemistry of his bar team that Gavin feels is just as important as the combination of flavours in his cocktails. It may sound as if Im being a little righteous, but I feel that the industry would be improved if it was more of an even playing field for female bartenders. I think it can be a little bit of a boys club, although it is getting better – female bartenders are getting more and more global recognition and the awesome work of people like Speed Rack(Female exclusive bartender competition in UK and Canada) are making it a more appealing industry for ladies.

During the recruitment process for Beast & Butterflies I was surprised at how few female applicants we had for the bar positions compared to the floor at the restaurant. The female applicants I approached were already happily in higher positions or on better pay rates than I could offer, but since we have started, several waitresses have expressed an interest in learning the tricks of the bar trade, which I am encouraging massively.

Another important area where Gavin sees great strides being made is the current sustainability trend amongst bars worldwide. Its probably a well-worn tale by now, but I like the fact that bartenders are becoming more aware of sustainability. Im in agreement with Simon Difford that sustainability doesnt necessarily mean we have to be making syrups and cordials out of eggshells and lime husks (although, I dont see too much wrong with that) but its good that we are becoming more aware of how we can control and minimise the waste that we do create. The current rejection of plastic drinking straws is the best trend thats happened since I became a bartender! Ive never understood why there were no decent alternatives, ever since I was a glassy in a nightclub and had to sweep them up and bin them in their hundreds every night. 

The Auckland bar scene prides itself on innovation and in the spirit of Ernest Rutherford, Gavins fusion of flavours manifests itself in a beautifully designed and eclectic cocktail list. The combination of local ingredients, international experience and the right blend of staff is, like Professor Rutherford all those years ago, making a splash on the global scene.

Gavins attitude to inclusiveness and sustainability is helping to keep New Zealands cocktail voice a loud one in the global community and nothing shouts louder that a modern eclectic re-interpretation of a heritage brand like Cherry Heering.

ALPHA/BETA  Cocktail

20ml Cherry Heering

20ml Canadian Whisky

5ml Orgeat Syrup

1 dash Absinthe

1 dash Peychauds Bitters

45ml Champagne

 Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, except for champagne, and stir with ice. Strain into chilled glass and float cold champagne on top.

 Garnish: Lemon twist and cherry

 Glassware: vintage cocktail glass/coupe/Nick & Nora glass



Darren Mynes & 1941 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Hayden Wood

Hailing from Dublin with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Darren began his bartending career in New Zealand in 2012. With his engineering thought process he’s motivated to break down and de-mystify the cocktail scene (an enigma in itself) and make it more accessible to his customers at the iconic Longroom Bar in Ponsonby, Auckland.

No doubt a tough year for Cherry Heering sales globally, Darren chose 1941 – Alan Turing’s invention of the machine that solved the enigma code, which took years off the second world war and saved countless lives. His inspiration is Turing’s mathematical mind. Using an inspired process to that of the creation of the invention that solved an unsolvable code, Darren uses a similar methodology in designing his drinks and developing a sustainable bar culture in Auckland.

His first introduction to Cherry Heering was a version of the classic Raffles Hotel Singapore Sling at Monsoon Poon in Auckland. As we know, the Singapore Sling includes; Gin, Cointreau, DOM Benedictine, Grenadine, Bitters, Pineapple and Lime juice plus soda and let’s not forget Cherry Heering. There is a whole lot going on in this drink. “I think there is a way to approach drinks in a deductive way – break down each element to achieve great results and we can do this with the Sling.”

This analytical approach also manifests itself in Darren’s approach to sustainability. He is lucky to work in a venue with a full service kitchen which helps close the loop on produce. “It turns to a nightclub at the weekend. That in itself is quite a wasteful venue in terms of plastic straws for example.”

“So what we’ve done is we’ve taken all our waste produce, for instance our egg yolks, they go to the kitchen to make the hollandaise for the café during the day. All the rest of our waste goes to a worm farm that we have in the complex.”

We’re trying to promote bartenders to not put straws in drinks. We’ll serve the drink and if people want a straw they can ask for one and get one, but not just wastefully putting that plastic into the glass. Just small measures can make a difference because we go through 500-600 people in the venue at the weekend. So if we do that, we can turn down a just little bit of our footprint.”

“There is a bar, Sherwood, Queenstown, that basically have all their wines in kegs. So no glass bottles and all beers are on tap too. They just reduce all that sort of waste and recycling. I think for me the sustainable bar just stops that needless stuff that can get in the way and New Zealand is leading the charge on this. Take napkins for example – serving drinks on napkins is fine but most of them go straight into the bin. It’s not going to be repurposed – it’s just essentially – you’re putting something on the bar top that you’re going to throw straight in the bin. The same goes with the straws. It’s trying to find those things that don’t inherently affect the customer’s experience and make them environmentally friendly to help the planet.”

Another passion Darren has, is extending New Zealand cocktail culture to embrace lower ABV drinks using Aperitifs as the main ingredient. “For me the whole concept of aperitivo is it’s not really about the drinks, it’s more about the time of the day and being with your friends.”

We’re going to just sit down. We’re going to enjoy each other’s company with some food. And yes, there are some drinks there as well, and I think that’s the thing that I really like about it.

“A lot of times these rituals are solely around the drink aspect, where this one is more about gathering with people and approachable relaxed drinks are involved.”

Can a combination of Irish engineering excellence and Kiwi environmental awareness delivery relief, hope, in the midst of what is arguably one of our most waste heavy industries? That’s the crux of Darren’s style. He’s developing a sustainable approach within bar culture alongside offering lower ABV cocktails and he sees this as important as his analytical approach he takes to generating flavour profiles. Seventy-seven years on from Turing, perhaps this is a modern day cipher to the enigma code for hospitality sustainability.

ENIGMA Cocktail

“This cocktail is based loosely on the Remember the Maine, a drink with a similar inspiration. I use ingredient that would have been found in Europe at the time of WWII: Scotch, Vermouth, Yellow Chartreuse, Cherry Heering and then to bind the flavour a dash of Peychaud bitters.”

Makes 1 drink

45mls Bruichladdich Port Charlotte

20mls Sweet Vermouth

7.5mls Cherry Heering

7.5mls Yellow Chartreuse

1 Dash Peychaud Bitters

Stir with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled Coupe/Nick and Nora.

Garnish with orange zest.

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