'Twilight Sparkle' by Gotham Cafe.

Fancy a ‘pie in the shake’, an iced banana drink topped with pancakes, bacon and banana chips or a dual coloured fruit slushie that will freeze the brain? These are just some of the crazy and delectable drinks up for grabs when New Zealand’s only cold drink challenge kicks off in Lower Hutt this month.

The “Cool As” Summer Refresher Drink Challenge, into it’s fifth year, will see 15 hospitality operators including cafes, restaurants, bars and a bakery in Lower Hutt create their own limited edition signature summer refresher drinks for people to enjoy over two weeks. Customers will be the given the chance to vote for their favourite drink by ballot or on “Cool As” Summer Refresher’s Facebook page, with the winner declared at the end of the challenge which takes place from 16 – 31 January, 2020.

The challenge, founded by the Hutt City Council as a way to inspire local cafes to be creative and attract people to the Lower Hutt CBD, has grown in popularity since it was launched in 2016. It was also the direct result of the successful Sweet As Hot Chocolate Challenge™, in which Central Hutt cafes create signature hot chocolates for customers to taste and rank over three weeks in winter.

Council’s CBD Development Manager and organizer Cyndi Christensen says the challenge has a significant impact on

‘Scoff a Banoff’ by Tūtaki Cafe

the local economy, driving huge sales in participating cafes and increased foot traffic in the CBD.

“Last year there was also a 19% increase in votes – from 1100 in 2018 to 1344 in 2019 which shows people are really taking advantage of the signature drinks on offer.  It’s wonderful for the Hutt City because it helps create a sense of community, and brings new people into the cafes. There are hospitality operators who are participating for the first time because they have seen the impact the challenge has had on businesses,” said Christensen.

There is no restriction on entries for the challenge – they just need to be cold and refreshing. To find out more about the challenge visit the “Cool As” Summer Refresher’s Facebook page

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