Cocktails are usually reserved for luxe nights out with the girls or romantic evenings on the town. But with prices so consistently high, quality is not something we want to gamble with. We have searched through the espresso martini pros to the gin kings of Brisbane, collating a list of the best cocktail bars on offer, in no particular order. Skip the indecisiveness next time you’re heading out – we’ve got killer cocktail recommendations and locations at the ready!

Longtime | Fortitude Valley

We have a special spot in our hearts for Longtime. Inspired by the heat, pace and flavours of South-East Asian cuisine, these guys are doing so much right. This bustling atmosphere is created with the seductive sounds of sizzling, clinking and happy chatter. We’ll toast to that! Their tightly curated list of traditional Thai cocktails is paired with an award-worthy wine list, so you won’t be fazed by the cuisine’s heat.

Cocktail Recommendation: We can’t pick just one! Their menu regularly changes, but right now we love the Clover Club.

 

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Eleven Rooftop Bar | Fortitude Valley

Eleven stories up, you’re guaranteed stunning views, a fresh breeze and a killer evening. You get all of this and more at Eleven Rooftop Bar, perched above the nightlife hub of Fortitude Valley. With a Middle Eastern and Indonesian muse, this inspired rooftop bar brings the best of these cultures to Brisbane. With a tranquil space boasting vibrant textured pillows, warm-glowing festoon lights and drink stools galore, you won’t find a more comfortable, cultured cocktail venue. Cocktails are their forte, with the talented bar staff able to make any number of concoctions your may request. This is the perfect spot for private functions, classy nights out on the town or just post-work drinks.

Cocktail Recommendation: Aperol Spritz

 

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Mr & Mrs G Riverbar | Brisbane CBD

This fully-stocked cocktail and tapas bar has made a serious name for itself. Situated on Eagle Street Pier, Mr & Mrs G is renowned for impeccable service and an insane cocktail menu. Mixing with only the best alcohols and liquors, their original menu is not to be overlooked. With some of the most memorable cocktails names we’ve come across to date, we are more than a little intrigued with Nordic Breakfast, Dr. Feelgood, Monsieur Potts and Sparrow’s Kraken Vol. 3. If you’re after a larger glass, you can’t go past the mulled wine or sangria. For the pinot lovers out there, don’t fret! There is an extensive wine list of champagne, sparkling, white, red, rose and dessert wines to choose from. Paired with some bar nibbles, you’ve got yourself a pretty special night out.

Cocktail Recommendation: Sparrow’s Kraken Vol. 3

 

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The Gresham | Brisbane CBD

The Gresham is well known for having the only heritage bar licence in Brisbane. With a bar staff of seasoned professionals ready to wet your whistle, these guys are all about pleasing. Their cocktail menu is a beautifully blended concoction of flavours, smells and textures. These are well-mixed drinks without the fuss of fluff. Using simple ingredients, strong flavours and interesting combinations, the Gresham favourites are favourites for a reason.

Cocktail Recommendation: Raspberry Beret

 

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Dutch Courage Officer’s Mess | Fortitude Valley

It is no surprise that Dutch Courage is nominated for Australian Gin bar of 2017 and 2018, with over 130 gins on offer. Their humble bar staff are always ready to guide the beer drinkers in the right direction. This plantation-style bar is a go-to for quality drinks. Priding themselves on hard-to-find international spirits, a Moroccan inspired cuisine, and most importantly, encouraging customers to find the courage to try new things, we seriously love these guys. P.S. we really appreciate a solid flavour description alongside cocktail ingredients so kudos DC!

Cocktail Recommendation: The Bramble

 

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Lychee Lounge | West End

This West End favourite of fifteen years has made some big changes, and we love it! With an exciting, newly curated cocktail menu by award-winning mixologist Michael Wu now on offer, we are very keen to get in and try everything. If nothing tickles your fancy, ask for a custom cocktail or favourite classic and the bar staff will happily oblige. With a rustic, quirky vibe, the bar’s design, created by a local artist, has chandeliers, fish scaled walls and a dome ceiling. You know, just casually.

Cocktail Recommendation: Espresso Martini 

 

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Maker Bar | South Brisbane

These guys are seriously off the grid. Without a website or a Facebook page to satisfy the curious, Maker Bar thrive on word of mouth and a tight-knit Instagram account. They give petite a new meaning. This cosy enclosure can be easily missed if you don’t know where to look. Tucked into Fish lane next to Julius Pizzeria, this little black box has no shortage of intimate elegance and prestige. This is one the men will love, so skip the girl’s night this week and take your partner out for a surprise he’ll love.

Cocktail Recommendation: Hard to choose – their menu updates so often! However, The Clover Club is pretty good.

 

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Elixir | Fortitude Valley

This hidden tranquillity amidst the flurry of Brisbane City, Elixir is your post-work drink spot. With wooden décor flush with greenery, day beds and twinkling lights, relaxation is inevitable. Most importantly, they offer an unforgettable cocktail experience. With a serious array of combinations on offer, you’ll have to close your eyes to choose! Then again, the names are half the fun when ordering a cocktail so on second thoughts, pick between a Southside, Violet Crumble, Bonsai Bloomer or a Tropical Affair (drooling).

Cocktail Recommendation: Violet Crumble

 

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The Laneway | Brisbane CBD

Tucked into a corner of Spencer Lane, The Laneway is more than a simple bar. It is a cocktail experience. With home-grown herbs and honey, (yes, apparently a rooftop beehive is possible) you are guaranteed the freshest ingredients in their crisp cocktails. Known for their cocktail courses, these guys are expert mixologists ready and waiting to knock your socks off. Ask for one of their curious concoctions if you’re feeling adventurous!

Cocktail Recommendation: The Jam Session

 

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Cobbler Bar | West End

With an impressive selection of over 400 whiskeys from around the world, Cobbler Bar is a haven for whiskey enthusiasts. But it’s what they can do with the whisky that really counts. Their extensive seasonal cocktail list is an artful mix of flavours and tastes. Did we mention you can BYO food?! It’s moody, it’s dark and it’s sensual. Everything you need while sippin’ whisky.

Cocktail Recommendation: Pink, Neat and Bittersweet

 

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Savile Row | Fortitude Valley

You’ll be transported to London once you walk through the curtains of Savile Row and pass under the glowing chandelier. Boasting a large selection of spirits, they know exactly what they are doing with their crafted cocktail menu, showcasing seasonal experimentations. These fellas are big on customisation, so ask for anything you need to make your experience unforgettable.

Cocktail Recommendation: Gin Sour

 

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Canvas Club | Woolloongabba

With the motto “there can’t be good living where there is not good drinking”, The Canvas Club is at the top of their game. Going for impeccable and personable service above anything, their cocktail menu perfectly compliments their food offerings. Using fresh ingredients with a quirky twist, you’re sure to have a laugh at the Lord Snow of Winterfell, Kung Fu Hustle or Thrilla in Manila cocktails. Creativity? Down-pat.

Cocktail Recommendation: Oh Bee-Have

 

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Feature image: Eleven Rooftop Bar