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A labour of love: Big Daddy’s

Metropol writer Nicholas Henare samples a few of the top tipples on offer at Big Daddy’s Liqour this month.

When I write about Big Daddy’s specials, I’m fortunate enough to sit down with him and try them. Each special is personally chosen by him to bring you exceptional value on an exceptional spirit. Trying the Chivas Regal American Rye straight is an experience and as Big Daddy believes: “Don’t judge something till you’ve tried it.” But just in case you want this as a cocktail, try 30mls of Chivas, 20ml of Campo Viejo Rioja, 20ml lemon juice, 20ml sugar syrup, 60ml of soda water and an orange wedge to garnish, over ice. It’s different but you will love it. This month also brings you Big Daddy’s special reserve, which is a stunning Kentucky bourbon from Big Daddy’s private barrel. Each beverage is an occasion to be shared with good friends.

700ml $99.99


Bruichladdich Classic Laddie: As smooth as pebbles in a pool, this one is clean and fresh with the oak and the grain in perfect harmony. It looks like sunlight on fields of barley, with a floral nose of buttercup, daisy and cherry blossom.


1L $99.99

Woodford Reserve “Big Daddy’s Barrel”: Big Daddy’s own special barrel of fine bourbon whiskey from the Woodford Reserve distillery, a perfect blend of Kentucky whiskey since 1812. Straight bourbon whiskey with over 200 flavour notes with bold grain and wood for your pleasure.


700ml $69.99

Grey Goose Vodka: Grey Goose is distilled in France using the traditions of the Maître de Chai. Using only two ingredients, single origin Picardie winter wheat and natural spring water, it is favoured by Vodka purists worldwide.


700ml $79.99

Twelfth Hour Dry Gin: Twelfth Hour Dry Gin is a small batch New Zealand gin with 22 iterations uniting global botanicals with makrut (kaffir lime). Clean and crisp on the nose, with a lingering finish, it makes a punchy gin.


700ml $56.99


Chivas Regal Extra 13yrs: Having tried this exceptional whisky, I’m adding it to my collection as should you. This is a 12-year whisky moved into an American rye cask for an extra year to give it an extra mellow blend. Think creamy milk chocolate with orange.


In your glass: Big Daddy’s liqour

A sophisticated tipple never goes astray. Metropol writer Nicholas Henare discovers the best drops at Big Daddy’s liquor stores this month.

The best martini I have ever had was at Seven Steak house in Minneapolis, and it took years to figure out how to replicate this amazing cocktail.

I mean how can you get it wrong? It’s just vodka or gin and dry vermouth, right? Wrong. Here’s the tip: Put your gin or vodka in the freezer along with your crystal drinking glass.

Freeze your shaker. Start with six parts vodka or gin and one-part dry vermouth. Place ice and alcohol in your shaker and do not shake it too long.

Pour into your ice-cold crystal glass and serve with a sliver of lemon peel or an olive. Now, a “dirty martini”: Just add a little olive brine and three olives. It is an acquired taste, but once you have a good one, you’ll be a convert. And if you use high quality ingredients, you can’t go wrong.


700ml, $69.99


Grey Goose Vodka: Grey Goose is distilled in France using the traditions of the Maître de Chai. They only use two ingredients – single origin Picardie winter wheat and natural spring water. Favoured by vodka purists worldwide, Grey Goose is the staple of many a great cocktail.


700ml, $69.99


Bowmore 12 Years: One of Islay in Scotland’s oldest distilleries, for 240 years it has been bringing the world a lemon and honey whisky with a peaty smokiness, dark chocolate flavours and a long and mellow finish. It’s a fantastic way to end a cool autumn day.


750ml, $79.99


Johnnie Walker Black: About 233 million bottles of this are produced every year – and there’s good reason why. It’s a great staple whisky from Scotland that most of us grew up with. Throw it together with ginger ale and you have a refreshing afternoon beverage. It’s at the top of bestselling whiskies since 1909.


700ml $89.99


Talisker 10 Years: This single malt whisky from the Isle of Skye was aged in American oak barrels for 10 years. A peaty little number with a touch of citrus. Warm with a pepper finish. Have a dram or two after a great autumn meal.


700ml $53.99

Roku Gin: The Japanese are known for their refinement. Roku is no exception. Roku is “six” in Japanese and stands for the six botanicals used in this stunning gin. Citrus, toffee and Juniper in a martini or just the gin with Fever Tree or East Imperial tonic and a slice of lemon and you have a quality cocktail in hand.


In your glass: Big Daddys

A sophisticated tipple never goes astray. Metropol writer Nicholas Henare discovers the best drops at Big Daddy’s liquor stores this month.

I catch up with Big Daddy’s regularly to see what’s new each week, and see first-hand the great pride taken in making sure that the world’s finest whiskies, gins, liqueurs, champagnes and so much more are brought to you.

A whisky-loving friend had doubts that Big Daddy’s collection could be as diverse as his taste, but his jaw dropped as we perused the stock at the Blenheim Road store. It isn’t just about surprising even the most elite of beverage connoisseurs, even if you don’t know your Laphroaigs from your Glenmorangies, a great drink awaits you at a great price so everyone can enjoy something special.

So as the Scottish say when raising a glass, Slainte!


Teeling Blackpitts Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Chatting with Martin Lynch from Teeling, he says inspiration came from gold medal winning Teeling single malt, triple distilled. Using smoked peat to dry the barley, this whiskey is for the connoisseur looking for a very peaty flavour.

700ml $99.99


The Macallan 12 Years Double Oak

This forms part of the Double Cask range which marries the classic Macallan style and the unmistakable sweetness of American oak. This is a fully rounded single malt in perfect balance, with flavours of honey, citrus and ginger.

700ml $129.99



The Glenlivit Illicit Still

Inspired by our origins and made how our liquid was first crafted in the early 1800s, this drop is aged 12 years to perfection. Bottled at 48 percent abv, this limited-edition malt has not been chill filtered, giving you an authentic taste of history.

700ml $69.99


H Lanvin & Fils Champagne 

Champagne, the best of bubbles. A pale, gold champagne colour with fine notes and continuous bubbles. Fruity and sweet with notes of plum and raspberry jam, warm brioche and honey. Fresh and soft on the palate and finishes with a lemon flavour.

750ml, $39.99


Kraken Spiced Rum

The Kraken is an imported rum from the Caribbean. Named after the sea beast of legend, the rum is strong, rich, black and smooth. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months, and with aromatic notes of cinnamon, ginger and clove. Excellent by itself, fantastic in an exotic cocktail.

700ml $59.99


In your glass: Big Daddy’s Liqour

Did you know that the word “whisky” means that it comes from Scotland, and “Scotch” and “whiskey” (with an e) generally means that it comes from Ireland? Every beverage has a story and each its own taste, colour and nuance – and it’s these nuances that make choosing your beverage something very personal.

I catch up with Big Daddy’s regularly to see what’s new each week, and see first-hand the great pride taken in making sure that the world’s finest whiskies, gins, liqueurs, champagnes and so much more are brought to you.

A whisky-loving friend had doubts that Big Daddy’s collection could be as diverse as his taste, but his jaw dropped as we perused the stock at the Blenheim Road store.

It isn’t just about surprising even the most elite of beverage connoisseurs, even if you don’t know your Laphroaigs from your Glenmorangies, a great drink awaits you at a great price so everyone can enjoy something special.

So as the Scottish say when raising a glass, Slainte!

Chivas Regal

Rich and sweet with concentrated notes of red stewed apples, homemade orange marmalade, honey, cinnamon and juicy sultanas, selectively finished in Cognac casks. The standard of any gentleman’s whisky cabinet.

700ml, $49.99


Glenfarclas 12 year single malt whisk

Matured in 100 percent Oloroso sherry casks this tastes of fresh and beautifully light sherried fruit with a spicy sweetness and a hint of sappy oak. Full-bodied with a spicy finish.

1 litre, $82.99


The Botanist Islay Dry Gin


This comes from the same distillery responsible for the Scottish Single Malt Bruichladdich. The combination of nine classic gin botanicals and 22 locally sourced herbs and flowers makes this gin a true exploration of the botanical heritage of the Isle of Islay.

700ml, $79.99

Laughing Club Gin


In 1928 at Raffles Hotel in Singapore the legendary raconteur Lord Geoffrey Reardon founded the Laughing Club. Now, the exclusive recipe he created has been brought back. Combining deep artisan water with exotic botanicals triple distilled in copper pot stills – this is like drinking silk.

700ml, $79.99




Knockando has been producing whisky in Moray since 1898 in the Strathspey whisky producing area of Scotland. From a small village surrounded by trees, this single malt 12-year-old isn’t complex but has a great fruit sweetness with notes of cinnamon and toffee.

700ml, $79.99


In your glass: Big Daddy’s Liqour

A sophisticated tipple never goes astray. Metropol writer Nicholas Henare discovers the best drops at Big Daddy’s liquor stores this month.


Chivas Regal 18 years

Chivas Regal was founded in 1786, with its home being in the Strathisla distillery at Keith Moray in Speyside, Scotland and is the oldest continuously operating Highland distillery.
Chivas Regal has been a market-leading Scotch whisky aged 12 years and older in Europe and Asia Pacific. This blended whisky has been the world’s fourth best seller since 2016 and the winner of numerous awards and accolades.
When you first get the waft of this whisky classic, an elegant multi-layered aroma of dried fruit, spices and buttery toffee touches the nose. And that first taste? Exceptionally rich and smooth. A velvety dark chocolate palate with elegant floral flavours and a gentle sweet mellow smokiness. The finish is rich, elegant, and long. A truly complex blend with 85 flavours in every drop. A fine addition to any whisky shelf.

700ml, $89.99



The Glenlivit 12 years

The Glenlivit is an exceptional whisky with vibrant aromas of summer meadows and tropical fruits, notably pineapple. With floral notes, there is also smooth and sweet fruit tones of fresh peaches pairs, vanilla, marzipan and fresh hazelnuts. The iconic whisky expression representing this iconic brand’s Speyside-house style.

700ml, $64.99





Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish gin

This fine gin has a lot of bang for buck. A great taste of oriental botanicals it has an exceptional gin taste that will get your guns going. Made in a shed at the edge of a lake by a small Irish town, this gin really is bespoke with a mix of great citrus and gunpowder tea. Drumshanbo…BANG!

700ml, $89.99






Fords London Dry Gin

Distilled in London at Thames Distillers, Fords Gin is a collaboration between eighth generation Master Distiller Charles Maxwell and Simon Ford at the 86 Company. A modern take on a classic, Fords starts with a traditional base of juniper and coriander seed and is balanced by citrus, florals and spices that are steeped for 15 hours before being distilled. Each creates the perfect, versatile base for any gin-inspired cocktail.


700ml, $59.99




Whitley Neill Floral

A London dry gin made with African botanicals including extracts from the Baobab Tree (known as the Tree of Life). It is made in a one-hundred-year-old copper pot still, and straight from the family recipe book – eight generations later. Try with tonic and a slice of orange on a hot summer day.

700ml, $54.99





Big Daddy’s Stores

Blenheim Road
280 Blenheim Rd, Riccarton
(03) 343 1523

Brougham Street
151 Waltham Road, Sydenham
03) 3665737

227 Linwood Avenue, Linwood
(03) 381 3660

205 Hills Road, Shirley
(03) 386 0528

60 Queenspark Drive, Parklands
(03) 383 2478

7 Halswell Road, Hillmorton
(03) 338 7733

28 High Street, Rangiora
(03) 310 8200


Sip into summer

Refreshing, thirst quenching and palate-pleasing – there’s nothing quite like sipping a cocktail on a balmy afternoon or evening. With a suite of fresh ingredients to choose from, body temperatures to regulate and socialising to be done – summer is an acceptable excuse to get inventive with your imbibements.



While classic concoctions will always have their place, why not flex your mixologist muscles and introduce some new tricks into your tipple repertoire. A chilli margarita is a spicy twist on an old crowd pleaser, while watermelon is a sweet and refreshing addition to modernis e a mojito, and replacing regular rum with gin creates a Light ‘n’ Stormy.

Exercise your right brain by experimenting with new ingredients, textures and colours and learn some new flavour combinations to add to your aperitif arsenal. Have you heard of sparkling shiraz spiked with vanilla ice cream to make a very grown up spider? What about a fruit salad punch, or substituting liquor altogether with an alcohol-free spirit?

Take advantage of the seasonal fruits, flowers and herbs and get creative with your garnishes. Whether it’s a slice of citrus with a sprinkle of berries and handful of fresh mint or twig of rosemary. Or, freeze some beautiful blooms in ice cubes, mix up a sweet, salty, spicy (or all three) rim dusting, or pop in some pomegranate seeds or passionfruit pulp.


World-first bubbles!

Just when you thought there was nothing better than bubbles, Champagne Lanson went and made bubbles better, with the world’s first fully organic and biodynamic champagne – Lanson Organic Brut NV.



Biodynamic farming is the haute couture of food production. Based on a set of farming principles developed in the 1920s, it is understood to conserve and energise the soil, producing healthier plants.

“Working closely with our growers in the Marne Valley in the champagne region of France, we have crafted our champagne to be fresh and vibrant whilst retaining the heritage style of Lanson and meeting strict regulations to be labelled organic and biodynamic,” says Champagne Lanson President François Van Aal, who flew in from France to launch the new Lanson Green Label Champagne within the lush surrounds of Amazonita, on Oxford Terrace.

Time-consuming and expensive, biodynamic principles are a significant step-up from simply being organic.

Lanson Organic Brut NV is produced using organic grapes grown exclusively on an estate vineyard at Verneuil, in the heart of the Marne Valley.

“Committed to organic and biodynamic cultivation for many years, the vineyard is dedicated to protecting the ecosystem and respects the balance between soil, plants and humans,” François says.

“As per the Lanson style, this wine doesn’t undergo malolactic fermentation with the long maturation period offsetting the high levels of malic acid in the champagne.”

In keeping with the new product’s commitment to sustainability, the bottles are light-weight, the labels are made of recycled paper and the champagne is also vegan-friendly and vegetarian.

Lanson Organic Champagne is only available exclusively in Christchurch and sold in two on-premise accounts and one fine wine retailer across the city.

“We are proud to be one of only two accounts in NZ to be selling Lanson Organic Champagne with the opportunity to share with our guests,” Amazonita General Manager Josh Peat says.

“The wine expresses fresh, fruity and elegant notes which we have paired with the best organic produce. Our canapés of Clevedon oysters, Mount Alpine cured salmon and organic tempeh enhance the minerality and long finish of the champagne.”

New kids on the block

We’re quickly heading into entertaining season, so let’s toast the new kids on the culinary block; some of the hottest tipples making waves in our southern spot.



  1. Pete’s Natural
    Pete’s Natural, a small family-owned business located in Motueka, is the first to market in New Zealand with a hemp seed-infused functional beverage. Its Hemp Manuka Sparkling beverage and Lemon Manuka Switchel have just hit the market after legislation changed in November 2018, allowing hemp seeds to be incorporated into foods. Not only rich in both omega 3 and 6, these seeds also contain high levels of antioxidants that support a healthy heart, healthy skin and reduce inflammation. Beverages are brewed using 100 percent New Zealand-grown freshly squeezed spray-free fruits, and natural ingredients. They contain no additives, artificial preservatives, concentrates, colours or flavours, and are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

  2. Roku Gin
    Roku is the premium Japanese craft gin created by the House of Suntory in Osaka, Japan, built in 1919. Adored by many, Roku has taken the New Zealand market by storm, known for its unique combination of botanicals. Roku in Japanese means ‘six’ which references the six Japanese botanicals used; sakura leaf, sakura flower, sencha tea, gyokuro tea, sansho pepper and yuzu peel. What we love most about Roku is its focus on achieving excellence and perfection, aligning with the Japanese concept of Shun. The botanicals used in its creation have been harvested in their prime season to ensure the utmost freshness and flavour.

  3. Legent
    East meets west as this first-of-its-kind bourbon melds Kentucky distilling tradition with Japanese blending excellence. Legent (pronounced ‘lee-jent’) is a unique innovation that starts as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon with the Beam classic family recipe and is aged in wine and sherry casks before being blended with more Kentucky Straight Bourbon, resulting in a perfectly balanced yet complex and layered whiskey. The super-premium bourbon is expertly distilled by Fred Noe, seventh-generation Master Distiller of Jim Beam and great-grandson of the man himself, and artfully blended by Shinji Fukuyo, fifth-ever Chief Blender of Suntory, the founding house of Japanese whisky.

Gin-tastic!: Curiosity Gin

Curiosity Gin is rebranding and relaunching with a new logo and bottle, but it hasn’t changed the Genièvre that Cantabrians have come to love so much.



Found in the finest of bars, the logo has been displayed at the distillery at 11 Sandyford Street for the past few months but the new bottles are more modern in design, and will be larger at 700ml.

“We went into making gin very quickly with the intention to learn as much as we could about the spirits market as fast as we could,” Curiosity Gin’s Antony Michalik says.

“One thing we have learnt is that almost every decision we made about the packaging in the beginning was wrong! They are the same fantastic gins, but now the bottles will look as good as the gins taste!”

Along with the new bottles, they are finally building the room for their new still. Those who have taken the tour will have seen the still assembled in place but not operating. “The new still gives us 10 times the capacity of the previous still and will allow us to start making whisky again at small scale,” Antony says.

“Speaking of whisky, we are looking forward to launching our first proper three-year-old single malt in December. It’s been a long wait, but the samples are tasting great and we can’t wait to have a product for whisky lovers to taste and purchase.”




Raise a glass

We’re quickly heading into entertaining season, so it’s time to raise a glass to the exciting new bevvies that are being made right here, in our own Kiwi backyard.


1. The Fermentist
Christchurch-based craft brewery, The Fermentist, is bringing the nation its first carboNZero certified beer, following product certification by Enviro-Mark Solutions for its Kiwi Pale Ale (KPA). The official certification forms part of the craft beer brand’s wider goal to be the first fully carbon neutral brewery in New Zealand by 2020.



2. The Mountaineer
From the makers of Mount Michael Wines, The Mountaineer is launching an inaugural Pinot Rosé and Pinot Gris alongside a beautiful second vintage Pinot Noir, to form its first-ever collection of quality, artisan wines.

Made by Jody Pagey, talented head winemaker at Mount Michael Wines, each drop in the new range has been carefully handcrafted to provide wine-loving Kiwis with an exquisite variety of Central Otago boutique wines at affordable prices, for all to enjoy.



3. Happy Booch
The Premium Liquor Co. and Good Buzz have partnered together to launch New Zealand’s first ever 100 percent natural, kombucha-infused, clean vodka, Happy Booch.

Available now from liquor stores nationwide, Happy Booch has been crafted to offer Kiwis an alternative alcoholic beverage that’s made from 100 percent natural ingredients, is naturally low in sugar and contains the added goodness of Good Buzz Kombucha.