Shaker, Maker & Seat Taker - Dan Felsing of Crumpet

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Welcome to Highball’s Shaker, Maker and Seat Taker, a quick, little Q&A where we delve into the likes, faves and go-to’s of Wellington bartenders, Kiwi spirit makers and local barflies. 

This week, we natter to Dan Felsing of Crumpet, the Parisian-esque wee cocktail bar cosied up next to The Opera House, which just took out Felix Wellington Hospitality Awards for Best Cocktail Experience. 

“This bar has been open for about eight years now,” says Dan. 

“It’s been nominated about five times in this category - for the last three years in a row, actually! And this is the first time we’ve won it, so that was a pretty good feeling.”

Needless to say, it was a night to kick up the heels. Join them in the celebrations - pop in and raise a glass for Crumpet’s well-deserved win (but read up on Dan’s recommendations before you do).

Shaker’s role

General Manager/Bartender at Crumpet

Fave NZ spirit 

Darling’s Apple Brandy. It’s the first of its kind made in New Zealand, and it’s made right here in Wellington, in Lower Hutt. It’s made by the same guy who makes Steel Press Cider, and goes really well with pineapple ginger beer. 

Go-to summer cocktail

Daiquiri. Actually, it’s just hands down my favourite cocktail for whenever. 

Go-to non-alc

Definitely Fanta. 

Go-to aperitif

Aperol Spritz (try it with Fanta!)

Fave Welly bar

Ooh. I can get in a bit of trouble here… there’s so many. I’ll say Havana.

Fave cocktail food pairing

Olives, stuffed - I don’t care with what! 

Keep an eye out for…

Low ABV and non-alc spirits and cocktails.

Music to bartend to

It has to be any kind of ska. 

Best cocktail ever consumed

A Rapscallion from Hawthorne Lounge [on Tory Street in Wellington] by Mika, who used to work there. He was a great bartender, and the nicest, loveliest guy. When you get a fantastic cocktail made by someone like that, it just elevates the experience.

Where to go: Crumpet, 109 Manners St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

JoAnne Carr