With the silly season in full swing, we take a look at Brisbane’s best cocktails that we’ll be sipping this summer.
There is no denying that when we treat ourselves to a cocktail that most of us opt for the beverage with wow-factor (for obvious reasons).
But it seems that as consumers are exposed to a bevvy of quality spirits and have greater access to industry education online, we are starting to think more about what’s actually in our crystal cocktail glass rather than what it looks like.
Over the past decade, we’ve seen a shift in the spirits industry, as once upon a time cocktails were created in a bid to hide the taste of unpalatable spirits. But through education and experimentation, today's consumers are thirsty for cocktails that are proudly stripped back to two or three ingredients and how they showcase a new wave of expertly distilled spirits.
Here’s our pick of Brisbane's best cocktails worth splashing your cash for this summer.
Red Hawk Down from Savile Row
One of newest additions to the Brisbane’s epic line-up of cocktail bars is none other than Savile Row. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting this hidden spot, it’s time you move it to the top of your hit-list. Head to the orange door on Anne street and don’t look back! As you step into this venue, you may expect to find a small room with a few tables and a bar. But once you walk through the door, it’s clear that the bar design has been thoughtfully planned out to maximise the space and excite guests with a floor to ceiling bar fully stocked with top shelf spirits. The impressive cocktail list boasts 20 different styles of cocktails and is unlike any other list I’ve seen before. The ingredients and explanations of each cocktail are enough to have you almost tasting the cocktail before it’s served. If you’re a matcha (green tea powder) lover, do not go past the Red Hawk Down. The ingredients may throw you off at first, but this concoction is the perfect combination of sweet and slightly-bitter flavours, resulting in Matcha ice cream in cocktail form. It’s a yes from me, every time!
Bloody Mary from The Apo
When Sunday calls for a little hair of the dog, look no further than The Apo’s fiery Bloody Mary to kick you into gear. The Apo is known for serving up some of Brisbane's best cocktails, but their take on the Bloody Mary is something special. Beware, however, as this bad boy ain’t for the faint-hearted and is sure to give you just what you need to start your Sunday session off the right way.
Blazer from Laruche
There is no question that Laruche has a reputation for serving up some damn fine cocktails that give you a buzz that equally matches the pumping disco tunes. But, if you haven’t had a Blazer from bartender Danny, you haven’t really had a true Laruche experience. You’ll have to dig deep into your pockets for this one, but trust me when I say that the wait and the show that comes with creating the cocktail is definitely worth it. If you’re keen to experience a Blazer, I suggest arriving a little earlier, ahead of the party rush, so you can pull up a chair and have a chat with Danny. Don’t be surprised if you can’t get your hands on one when the bar is busy and the beats are bumping, as it isn’t even on the menu and can only be shaken and poured by Danny himself!
Your Mandarin Is Lousy from Cobbler
With over 400 whiskies on offer, it’s hard to knock back a drink that isn’t stiff and poured over ice at West End’s award-winning bar, Cobbler. However, when there is Hendricks gin involved, we can’t possibly say no to a cocktail. Your Mandarin Is Lousy is the perfect fresh beverage to give your Sunday session the right amount of kick. Mixing Hendricks Gin, Génépi, mandarin & fennel, lemon myrtle tincture, melon and citrus, this is one drink that screams summer.
The Adversity from The Drawing Room
The Drawing Room is a hidden lounge bar inside of the city’s popular bar, The Gresham. The team behind The Gresham explain that Adversity is something Queenslanders have long endured throughout some of our history's worst floods, including the floods of 1974, 2011 and 2013. But some may have forgotten the terrible flood of 1893 when Brisbane and surrounds were barely equipped to handle such hardship. This elegant recreation of the classic Martini is made up of West Winds Gin Broadside, which has been cut with Margaret River sea water, the Australian Maidenii dry vermouth & a lime-saline solution, all to represent the devastating flood waters we've endured & strived through!
Southside from Tomcat
The Wickham St venue located next to Prohibition is one the Valley’s best-kept secrets. And no, Tomcat is #notastripclub! Once you enter the small doorway and make your way up the stairs, you’ll find yourself in a bar with plenty of nooks and crannies for you and your mates to get cosy or play a game of pool. However, it’s the hidden bar inside of Tomcat that really scores the brownie points. Once you find the painted mural of Bill Murray, head through the ‘secret doorway’ and you’ll find Tomcat’s Boiler Room, which is brimming with top-shelf spirits and manned by some of Brisbane’s most exceptional mixologists. With a cracking menu and some crazy talent behind the bar, it’s worth saving your pennies to try a few different beverages. If you are after a fresh cocktail, the team do a mean Southside cocktail that never fails.
Nutella Espresso Martini from Corbett & Claude
With one list for special cocktails and another for twisted interpretations of the classics, it’s no surprise that Corbett and Claude are known for having some of Brisbane’s best cocktails on offer. In the Style office we’re all a little reliant on espresso to get us through our deadlines, so when it comes to our favourite Espresso martinis, naturally we don't make the decision lightly. However, Corbett and Claude’s Nutella Espresso Martini would definitely sit very high on our list of the best. Unlike most Espresso Martinis, The C&C version is shaken with vodka, Frangelico, espresso, Nutella and finished with crushed hazelnuts. This is a must-try for any Nutella lover with an espresso addiction!
Flamingo from The Waterloo Hotel
The Waterloo Hotel is practically an institution on the Valley’s food and drink scene and although they only have a tight selection of cocktails and cocktail jugs on offer, nothing beats a cheeky cocktail with your Friday lunch. The Flamingo is a Waterloo signature cocktail and makes for the perfect pairing with some salt and pepper squid on a Friday to get your buzzing ahead of the weekend.
Feature image: Darling & Co