An important part of our new adventure in Vanuatu is for each of us to do something we love. But the new must be different to what we have done.

As for Darleen, she loves to cook. But Darleen has never cooked commercially. That is a big change and comes with a whole lot of new and different pressure for her.

As for me, I am evolving from an accountant to a Mixologist – a person who is skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks.

My life as a drinker has been very boring. Eating was not much better. I have only just started to drink coffee and beer!

As far as alcohol goes my range had been limited to champagne, red and white wine. And my interest in wine has been simply as a consumer. I have not learnt about different grapes, regions, age of wines etc. My experience has been – purchase wine … consume wine.

Corks Jan 2016

As you can see from the photo, I collect corks – they have been enjoyable years.

I wasn’t adventurous in the way of cocktails. This changed when I met Darleen in my early 40’s. She encouraged me to widen my range and try the odd cocktail. This has been an experience for me, getting used to different alcohol flavours. If you get the chance ask Darleen about my “pucker face”. Not a good look!

Now that you have that info about me, my future as a Mixologist should be entertaining, and the adventure has started.

For Christmas Darleen gave me a cocktail mixing set and an apron with “divi’s” logo on it. I know you have not seen the logo yet, it is coming … and it looks awesome (unbiased opinion of course!!!).

On the 13th Dec 2015 I attended a one day introductory Bar & Cocktail course in Brisbane. There were about 20 attendees, and we each had to tell our story while we introduced ourselves. I was the oldest in the room, but I had the best story! It was odd to be sitting in a classroom situation, with a room full of people I didn’t know, learning new stuff at 49 years of age.

The day was lots of fun. One of the best pieces of information I took from the day was an App for my iPad called Cocktail Flow – check it out (

My first real Mixology test was a family function on Wednesday 23rd December 2015. Sally (sister) and her husband Wayne arrived from New York, via New Zealand. Sarah (Wayne’s sister) was up from Sydney, and Mum (Jennifer) and Graeme were all over for dinner and they were my first “guinea pigs”.

Before my family arrived, I chose three cocktails. I wanted to make sure I had all I needed: alcohol, mixers and garnishes. I felt it was important the cocktails presented well. The three cocktails chosen were:

  1. Blue Lagoon – a delicious blend of citrus and vodka over ice.Blue Lagoon
  2. Rose Drop – a stunning cranberry and citrus vodka adventure.
  3. Banana Daiquiri – the smoooooth creamy treat you know and want now …!

A late addition was the Jack Frost – a fabulous blend of Coconut & Citrus.

Jack Frost

I enjoyed the Jack Frost the most, and thought it presented the best, especially the coconut around the rim of the glass.

I felt a good time was had by all.

My next challenge was Christmas Day at Mum’s. The cocktails chosen:

  1. Apple Martini (family tradition for Christmas Day)
  2. New Yorker
  3. Pina Colada

To maintain my momentum as an emerging Mixologist, we have started a weekly cocktail hour between 6-7pm one midweek night. Last nights was “Ocean View”.

Ocean View Cocktail 19 Jan 2016

Hope I can make it for you at our Vanuatu paradise – divi’s (Bar – Tapas – B&B).



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


So you may ask … WHY?