Where to go for The City's Best Cocktails
From timeless classics and revered favourites to contemporary twists and bespoke creations, pull up a barstool and sample the best cocktails shaking and stirring up The City’s bar scene.
Sure, its wall of whisky makes this Heritage bar one of the most Instagrammed in The City but tear your gaze to its cocktail list and prepare to be dazzled. The Gresham’s original creations include the Holy Grail with Japanese whisky, cherry and Jägermeister and the Trenchcoat with spiced rum, coffee, cream, macadamia nut and wattleseed. On a health kick? Try the Juice Cleanse with its concoction of lemon, carrot, turmeric, celery, agave, aquafaba and kombucha spiked with gin.
Tucked down one of The City’s oldest laneways is one of its cosiest cocktail bars. Slide your seat up to the bar or glide into a leather booth and pore over the illustrated menu of signature pours. Battle The White Tiger’s blend of Japanese gin, pear, roquette, chestnut and soda, tango with the Irish whiskey, cognac and vermouth in The Dancing Thief or succumb to The Trickster’s smooth rum notes.
Image source: Death & Taxes
Influenced by the pintxo bars of San Sebastian, Alba pairs its signature cocktails with Basque-inspired eats and a cool laneway vibe. Its cocktail list changes with the seasons to keep everything fresh and local. Toast the warmer weather with Professor Unreasonble’s blend of sherry, strawberry, finger lime and tonic or take a walk on the wild side with the Arrogant Ambassador’s whiskey, fennel, ginger and soda. The bar team love a mystery box challenge and are more than happy to whip up something unique.
Elevate your cocktail game with one of the best views across The City. Sixteen Antlers’ impressive rooftop space is matched only by a drinks list that spans signature cocktails, classic mixes and refreshing mocktails. Recline on a luxurious lounge or gaze out across King George Square with a citrus-heavy, alcohol-free Sourdive, an elegant gin-based Elderflower Southside or a tart and terrific Cherry Martini.
Image source: Sixteen Antlers
Perched over the Brisbane River, this Howard Smith Wharves favourite is a quintessential City bar: water views, relaxed vibe and cocktails made for sipping and sharing with friends. Experience summer-in-a-glass year-round with a zesty Aperol Spritz, grab your girlfriends and split a carafe of Pimm's Cup, welcome the weekend with a Bellini or a Rubino or embrace the great Italian ritual of aperitivo with a Negroni.
Image source: Mr Percival’s
It’s getting hot in The City so take yourself to Riverbar for cooling river breezes and icy cocktails. Beat the heat with a Seasonal Slushie or try the Espresso Martini made on 42 Below Vodka. Get the gang together and spill the gossip as you split a jug of Lychee Mojito or Rose Garden Sangria.
Image source: Riverbar & Kitchen
This riverside bar is so confident it has The City’s best cocktails, it’s even named them so. Sample a Best I Ever Had and judge for yourself whether the gin, elderflower, lychee, lemon, cucumber and mint concoction is worthy of the title. In addition to classic cocktails, house specials and aperitivos, Bar Pacino also serves up a monthly cocktail special.
Image source: Bar Pacino
Shift your gaze from the gorgeous Brisbane River and witness Mr & Mrs G’s talented bar team mixing exotic new cocktails and firm favourites. Enjoy a Rendezvous with shiraz-steeped gin, maraschino, coconut, lemon and orange marmalade or stay cool with a
Coolcumber, blending gin with lemon, cucumber and grapefruit bitters. If the inventive cocktail list fails to tempt, ask one of the bar team to whip you up a custom creation.
Image source: Mr & Mrs G
Get Hook-ed on dude food and cocktails at this Gresham Lane burger joint. Wolf down a cheeky cheeseburger or load up on loaded fries while you wet your whistle with a matching cocktail. The Pickleback’s intriguing pairing of whiskey and pickle juice grabs as much attention as the brilliantly named Nothing Good Happens After 2:00 – a blend of vodka, tabasco, lime and ginger beer – or the I’m George Constanza with bourbon, blackberry liquor, lemon, mint and blueberries.
Image source: Red Hook