Brisbane boasts some of the most impressive Aussie bartenders and mixologists around, so why not order something a little left-of-centre next time you saunter up to the bar?
This year has seen basic spirits and liqueurs completely redefined. The martini is no longer just a martini (and it’s not just an espresso martini either). Vodka is no longer just vodka. A whiskey sour is no longer just a whiskey sour. Bartenders are liaising with suppliers the way chefs have always done – getting their hands on fresh produce and artisanal ingredients.
An emergence of complex and delicately flavoured drinks made with handcrafted syrups and freshly extracted juices has transformed the cocktail menus of yesteryear. Bars across Brisbane are offering switched-up 2.0 versions of everything you’re used to – and, trust us, they’re worth trying.
We’ve done all the legwork for you on where to go and what to order for a taste of the new and improved Brisbane cocktail scene (it was very laborious and we didn’t enjoy it at all …).
If you’re keen to let the evening beGIN
Gin is the new vodka, there’s no doubt about that. Gin really is your go-to gal in terms of cocktails. Across Brisbane, mixologists are infusing gin with herb and spice flavours and mixing combos that are sure to knock your socks off.
The Cherry Bombshell has earned its place on the cut-through cocktail menu at Libertine. Mixed with Haymans gin, TMD Quantong, berry jam and cherry bitters, it’s a guaranteed good time.
With Plymouth gin, elderflower liqueur, falernum syrup and topped with Chandon sparkling, you can’t go wrong with the South East Spritzer from Elixir.
Order a Sensei martini for a kaleidoscope of flavours and tastes. With Haymans gin, French apple liqueur, cloudy apple juice and wasabi & cucumber syrup, it’s a clever twist on a classic.
If you’re after RUMbelievable flavours
Rum is coming into its own this year. Paired with delicate and well-balanced ingredients, the depth and flavour of both white and dark rum makes for some insanely creative (and insanely delicious cocktails).
Blackbird offers modern takes on the classics, and the entire menu is really worth sinking a straw into. The Tahitian Daiquiri is our pick. With kaffir lime-infused Bacardi, peach and pineapple, this tantalising concoction is finished off with a lime sorbet served in the glass.
The Ginger Ninja is made from Pampero Añejo rum combined with orange bitters, spiced apple honey and muddled ginger. This cocktail is a straight-up flavour explosion in your mouth and definitely worth trying, especially if you’re not usually a rum person.
Combining 15-year-old Havana Club rum, Ron de Jeremy spiced rum, Clement Creole Shrubb Liqueur d'Orange and lime, the Caribbean Hedgehog from Super Whatnot is the perfect cocktail to get the night started.
If you know Saturday night is going TEQUILA you
If you’re a fan of all things agave, be sure to give these babies a red-hot go.
NB: The state you end up in after a few of these is 100 per cent not our fault.
With Don Julia Bianco tequila and maraschino cherry liqueur stirred with fennel, orange marmalade and lime, the Breakfast in Jalisco will satisfy all your tequila cravings.
The Downhill Johnny from Soleil is tequila done differently. Made from Patron Silver and amaretto liqueur, agave syrup, rosemary and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, it typifies everything the Brisbane cocktail scene is morphing into.
If you haven’t already discovered egg-white cocktails, there’s no better time than right now. The Death Flip cocktail from Lychee Lounge is ambitious – but somehow it works perfectly. With Olmeca Altos tequila, Jägermeister, chartreuse, a whole egg and fresh grated nutmeg – it somehow just works.
If none of these tickle your fancy (umm … are you even human?) you can always head to Maker at South Brisbane and let the experts mix up something unique to suit your tastebuds.
Feature Image: Blackbird