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The wellness craze has infiltrated all aspects of life as people are acutely aware of what they’re eating, drinking, ingesting and injecting into their bodies. It’s a sense of consciousness that spans from functional food and beverage to wellbeing workshops, retreats and even into our social lives.
No Ugly, the wellness company, has championed the conscious cocktail, with its range of better-for-you Gin Cocktails via their Collab with Denzien Gin from Wellington.
But this summer we’ll see another trend that’s ‘jumped the shark’ and made its way into our long lunches.
Now this isn’t about mixing your powders, pills or serums with your favourite martini. No, this sexy little cheek-plumper is far easier to make than first imagined and is only made possible thanks to No Ugly’s new Collagen Drink, No Ugly Skin.
Aaron from No Ugly caught up with Oli, the talented mixologist behind the bar at Auckland’s Prego restaurant for a Q&A about what inspired him to create what could be this summer’s sophisticated soiree starter.
Aaron from No Ugly
Tell us about your work
Oli from Prego
This is my first hospitality job that I have worked, I have learnt all my skills from the Prego team over my 2 and half years working here.
What do you love about hospo?
Meeting new people every day and learning new skills like making cocktails and coffees I find very interesting, all great skills to use in other jobs.
Skills; coffees and cocktails. Patterns and artwork in the foam coffee. Social skills at the bar – making sure people have a great time.
What do you love about Prego?
Working at Prego is amazing because the team all works so well together also because of the reputation of being an outstanding restaurant you get to learn everything you need to know about hospitality at high level.
Best service possible – putting am smile on people’s faces. Remembering people’s name.
Best product – after 34 years the product and delivery is consistently at the top of its class. Prego is an institution.
Brandon pushes the ‘knowing people angle’…. He works hard to know everyone and everyone knows him.
What inspires you when making cocktails?
Having a good time knowing the customers are enjoying the cocktails your making them, makes the hard work very rewarding.
How did you come up with the recipe for the Collagen Cocktail?
When I was asked to make a cocktail using the skin collagen I saw the pineapple flavouring and thought that it would work well fruity summery cocktail, so decided to do my take on a Pina Collada Daquiri.
How has it been received?
All the feedback from the Prego customers and regulars has been great, knowing a cocktail that I have created is being enjoyed is very rewarding.
What’s the recipe and how do you make it?
First of all I get half a lime muddle that with a bar spoon of sugar add 45 ml of Ron Flor de Cana white rum 15 ml of Malibu shake and dump in a double old fashion glass and top up with the Skin Collagen tonic.
Sounds delicious. When are people ordering it?
Before they eat mainly. Lots of ladies who are in for a long lunch seem to be ordering plenty, even after lunch. Especially on a Friday.
Fantastic thanks Oli. Sounds like I’d better book a table before Christmas.
Yeah but we don’t take bookings. People are starting to queue at 12pm these days so you’ll have to sweet-talk Brandon!
Prego is at 226 Ponsonby Road and is open Monday – Sunday 12-12pm. No bookings necessary.
No Ugly Skin is also available at most cafes, New World’s, Farro Fresh and www.nougly.nz