Nor-westers and apricot brandy

By Daniel Collins 09/01/2010 2


I just returned from an important excursion north to Woodend this morning. I was running out of apricot brandy, a crucial ingredient for periodistas. Apparently the Kiwi palate hasn’t acquired a taste, so liquor stores don’t stock it, let alone know it exists. The Prenzel store had one last bottle.

And as I drove there and back, I crossed the Waimakariri River. It was flowing high and muddy. It’s blowing a nor’wester at the moment, which for the uninitiated means warm winds that have had their moisture stripped from them by the Southern Alps. This moisture, originally from the Tasman Sea, fell as rain 100-200 km west, in the headwaters of Canterbury’s rivers, and is the reason the Waimak is running high and muddy.

Even though it may be hot and sunny well east of the main divide, its rivers can still flood. ECan has issued a flood warning for the Waitaki and Rangitata Rivers. And from the Ecan website:

“For the third time this week, as a result of heavy thundery rain along the Main Divide, the major alpine rivers of Canterbury will be flowing bank to bank. People are advised to stay clear of the beds of the Waiau, Hurunui, Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers Sunday through Monday morning.”

This kind of weather is more conducive for mojitos than periodistas, but if you want the recipe: 3 parts dark rum, 1 part triple sec, 1 part apricot brandy, 1 part lime juice, and 1 part basic syrup; iced and strained into a cocktail glass; optional garnish of lemon or lime peel.

Update: Winds in Christchurch seem to be a bit more nor-easterly, but the isobars over the South Island are as crooked as the Büyük Menderes River.


2 Responses to “Nor-westers and apricot brandy”

  • “Periodista” is Spanish for “journalist”, and when I first read this I thought you were suggesting that we were the ones for whom apricot brandy is a crucial ingredient. Which is a romantic notion. 🙂