Christmas 2022 // Christmas Negroni

A festive twist on our all-time favourite Italian, the Negroni, this Christmas adaption simply swaps out a traditional gin for the Australian Christmas Gin by local favourite, Four Pillars.

Nothing says Christmas quite like distilled Christmas pudding gin that’s been aged for 12 months in 100-year-old muscat barrels. Bottoms up!

Our tip // If you’ve had a few of these Chrissy Negroni’s and want to try something different, simply top the Australian Christmas Gin with ginger beer for a refreshing tipple.

Recipe and image via:










Christmas Negroni


30ml Four Pillars Australian Christmas Gin
30ml Sweet vermouth (rose vermouth if you can)
30ml Campari


Add gin, Campari and vermouth to a short glass over ice
Stir well and garnish with a wedge of orange






Christmas 2022 // Recipes from our kitchen to yours

The festive season has certainly crept up on us this year! If you’re still planning your Christmas menu, never fear, our culinary team are here to share their tips and favourite recipes in the hope that they bring a little cheer to your table this Christmas.

With his English roots it’s little wonder that Head Chef, Chris Henderson, leans towards the traditional when it comes to festive food.

“When it comes to Christmas snacking, you can’t beat Eccles mince pies. Straight from the freezer and into the oven, these little delights are perfect mid-afternoon with a cheeky glass of mulled wine”

As for those post-Christmas leftovers, Chris recommends whipping up a delicious turkey, ham and leek pie. Accompanied by a simple grilled baby gem lettuce salad, you’ve got Boxing Day lunch sorted in a flash.

On the sweet side, our super-talented Pastry Chef, Jean, recently baked up a storm for an incredible Christmas-inspired dessert table for a client’s End of Year celebration. While each and every dessert was simply exquisite, we asked Jean to share her recipe for the crowd favourite, her lemon curd trifle with Italian meringue.

Happy baking!



Eccles mince pies


7 sheets puff pastry
1 egg white, beaten lightly
1 1/2 tbs white sugar

Fruit mince
1 cup (150g) raisins
1 cup (160g) dried currants
1 cup (160g) sultanas
1 slice (35g) dried pineapple
2 tablespoon glace cherries
1/4 cup (40g) blanched almonds
1 apple (200g), grated
1/2 cup (110g) lightly packed light brown sugar
50 gram butter, melted
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
1/4 cup (60ml) brandy
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice


1. Make fruit mince. Process dried fruit and nuts until coarsely chopped. Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 days, stirring daily.
2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line three oven trays with baking paper.
3. Cut each pastry sheet into nine squares. Top each with heaped teaspoons of mince; brush pastry edges with egg white. Gather sides of pastry together to encase filling; turn pies upside down onto trays. Gently flatten pies; cut two slits in top of pies. Brush pies with egg white; sprinkle with sugar.
4. Bake pies 15 minutes or until golden brown.



Fruit mince will keep for at least a year in an airtight container in the fridge. If you’re looking to save time, you can use ready-made fruit mince.


Leftover turkey, ham and leek pie filling


300g leftover turkey, chopped
250g leftover ham, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
200ml milk
300ml turkey gravy or chicken stock
10g parmesan cheese
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
Good grating of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to season

For the roux:
30g butter
30g plain flour


1. Gently fry the leeks in butter for about 10 minutes, until softened.
2. To make the roux, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Lower the heat and gradually mix in the stock or gravy until combined and smooth. Next incorporate the milk, stirring continuously. Simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
3. Stir in the parmesan, followed by the lemon juice and zest, nutmeg, salt and lots of black pepper.
4. Add the leeks, ham, turkey and parsley, mix well and the filling is made. Leave in the fridge to chill.
4. You can either serve this as a pot pie with a puff pastry lid, or make it a traditional pie with shortcrust base, sides and lid.



Lemon curd trifle, Italian meringue


Raspberry jelly
1 packet of raspberry jelly crystals
1 punnet of raspberries, washed
1 pack sponge fingers (omit to make a gluten free version)

Lemon curd
170ml lemon juice
270g sugar
4 eggs
140g unsalted butter

Italian meringue
150g caster sugar
37g glucose syrup
100g egg white


Raspberry jelly
1. Dissolve jelly crystals as per packet instructions
2. Pour the jelly into a glass trifle bowl. Add the sponge fingers and allow to soak up the jelly
3. Scatter the fresh raspberries over the jelly and allow to set

Lemon curd
1. Chop the butter into small cubes, set aside to soften
2. Place the lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of water
3. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens or reaches 90°C
4. Remove from the heat and add the softened butter. Allow to sit for a minute, then whisk the butter into the lemon mixture using a hand whisk
5. Strain the mixture and allow to cool. Then pour over the set raspberry jelly

Italian meringue
1. Place the sugar into a saucepan and add 3-4 tbs cold water, mix together – the sugar and water should resemble wet sand. Add a little more water if required
2. Clean any sugar granules from the side of the saucepan before adding the glucose syrup
3. Place the saucepan on the heat and bring to 118°C
4. In the meantime, whisk the egg whites to a soft peak. When the sugar reaches 118°C, slowly pour the hot sugar onto the egg whites
5. Once the sugar has been incorporated, continue to whisk the egg white mixture until cooled
6. Spoon the Italian meringue onto the lemon curd
7. Blow torch the Italian meringue until the peaks are golden brown


Autumn Winter menu inspiration

It may be cold outside but it’s heating up in the kitchen with our sensational Autumn-Winter menu, championing local in-season produce.

We asked Head Chef, Chris Henderson, what seasonal produce he is loving in June and fennel is at the top of his list.

“Fennel is great at the minute. We’re using it in our salads everyday right now. Our pork belly entrée dish features an apple and fennel puree – it gives a great aniseed hit”

Naturally, we’re loving every dish on our Autumn-Winter menu, but with so much variety to choose from, which ones should you serve at your event? We asked Chris to design a ‘Chef’s selection’ menu as inspiration for those with upcoming events at Zinc. Of course, fennel features in the side dish and even the dessert!

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Pork rillette crostini, piccalilli, baby chives
Shucked oysters, lemon and caviar
Scorched cucumber, gin yoghurt, Yarra Valley Caviar

Cured Kingfish, Riesling jelly, apple & cucumber, lime mayo

Roasted eye fillet, capsicum, charred broccolini, red wine pepper sauce

Side dishes
Roasted chats, rosemary & thyme salt
Honey roasted carrots, toasted fennel seeds & sesame

Negroni panna cotta, caramelised orange & fennel, candied buckwheat