Creativity and innovation at its finest
The craft cocktail scene in Australia is thriving. If you like intricate concoctions; barrel-aged cocktails; liquors and syrups, all made from scratch; or just colourful umbrellas, you’re in luck. This is the golden era of bartending and mixology.
Barkeepers all around the Australian Continent are as quality-minded, inventive, and obsessed as the best in London or New York. Something is going on here, it’s history in the making, and you can be part of it.
These are the best cocktail bars in every state in Australia (and New Zealand too!) Pick your favourite. Better yet, visit them all and enjoy the most incredible drinks you’ve ever experienced.
Did you know our unique range of glassware all have a 1 shot pour mark, perfect for the home mixologist and easy to make cocktails. The 1 shot pour mark is exactly 1 standard drink of Vodka or Whiskey at 40% alcohol.
Arbory Bar & Eatery, Melbourne
Start the night early with refreshing cocktails at Arbory, an outdoor bar on the banks of the Yarra River; you can’t beat the scenery. The wine list is indulging, the cocktails classy. Try a Summer Negroni made with blood orange gin or a Passion Fruit Margarita — rug up for wintery fun.
The adjacent Arbory Afloat which literally is a floating boar on the yarra river, is a lively experience also, but it's closed during winter.
Eau de Vie, Melbourne
The prohibition era in America inspired this place both in decor and offerings; it’s a time machine. The cocktail menu is covered with fun, eclectic art. Cocktails are inspired by Shakespeare, the Burlesque scene, Carnivals in Rio, and much more. You’ll have as much of a good time choosing your drink as you’ll do drinking it.
Trinket "Hidden" Bar, Melbourne
There’s a staff member whose sole responsibility is advising people to turn a giant key that opens the door to the main bar, and another who is keeping tabs on how many have gone through the wardrobe down into the "hidden" cellar bar below. What more do I have to say?
One of the best bars in the world, PS40 is a synonym with innovation. Their menu changes often and star bartenders from all over the globe have guest appearances throughout the year. If you don’t feel like drinking, PS40 offers a wide range of artisan sodas too.
Maybe Sammy, Sydney
Voted the Top 11th bar in the world in 2021, arguably Sydney's most acclaimed cocktail bar.
Jacoby's is the best Tiki Bar in Sydney. The tropical oasis is just fun to hang around; the ambiance is festive and loud. Cocktails, though, are dead serious and nothing like the overly sweet Tiki drinks of the past. The Señor Cherry tequila cocktail is smokey and sour, the Jungle Bird, with pineapple rum, and Campari is a bittersweet delight!
Heard of our smart pour drinkware? Read about our signature standard drink pour system here
The Gresham, Brisbane
The Gresham is a Heritage Bar with a history. The old building suits the impeccable service perfectly. A place with “An old-world charm,” they say, and you can see it in their cocktails. Try the Me Oh My cocktail made with Bacardi rum, crème de violette, honey, lime and coconut. The Gresham was named the Bar of the Year in 2018.
Boom Boom Room, Brisbane
Underground Japanese Restaurant & Bar with innovative beverage menu, showcasing cocktails expertly mixed by Brisbane’s best bartenders, wines sourced by award winning sommeliers and the finest beer, whiskey & sake imported from Japan. Descend the steps into Boom Boom Room and leave the world above behind. The perfect escape for your next celebration .
This award-winning restaurant is the best in Brisbane; food is spectacular, and the drinks are too. Blackbird Bar is inspired by the opulence of The Great Gatsby, the Roaring Twenties and the speakeasies of the Prohibition era. The expansive space boasts 180 degree river views and luxurious decor and offers the perfect ambience for after work drinks, Saturday night dance or celebration of any occasion. Try the Mrs. Brown's Pecan Pie cocktail: Woodford Reserve, pecan, maple syrup, citrus and egg white foam.
La Buvette Drinkery, Adelaide
This is a French Apéritif bar that feels like Paris. Wines abound, especially the natural and organic kind. Cocktails are clean and straightforward, from a White Lady to a Vieux Carré. La Buvette makes the classic cocktails come back to life.
Hains & Co, Adelaide
Inspired in nautical fare, Hains bar focuses on rum, gin and whiskey craft cocktails. The staff here goes to great lengths to find the best spirits around the world and make them sing in simple but delicious ways: A gin and tonic with a slice of red capsicum, for example. There’s a proper cigar menu too.
Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide
Eclectic, yet strangely familiar, this bar takes inspiration in the phases of the moon. There’s a magnificent Australian wine selection and lots of craft beer too. The cocktails are on another level: The Rhubarb Iced tea with vodka, and the Tequila and Smoked Lemonade are standouts.
Lot Twenty, Perth
A fine selection of bar bites, from dutch fries to baked ricotta gnocchi, are perfect pairings for the cocktails here. Their “Fancy Drinks” selection includes a Granny’s Apple Pie cocktail and a Tequila and Mezcal drink called Barney the Dinosaur.
Strange Company, Perth
It’s not strange that this place is regularly packed. Food here is meant to be shared and the wine list is extensive and creative: choose a bottle from either the Fruit + Structure category or the Bright + Crunchy one. They also list cocktails for their flavor profile. Try the Mezcal-based Million Dollar Riot from their Bittersweet collection of drinks.
Mechanics Institute, Perth
Craft beer, artisan wine and a cocktail menu that changes daily, that’s how committed the folks in the Mechanics Institute are with the drink culture. They make a mean Bloody Mary topped with a small hamburger, is this heaven?
A small Vietnamese restaurant with immersive ambiance and killer cocktails inspired in destinations like Singapore, Thailand, China, and of course, Australia. Try a Green Ant Sour, a Darwin Gimlet (with Aussie gin), or a Japanese Spritz with Midori and yuzu.
Wisdom Bar & Cafe, Darwin
Wisdom is a friendly, widely spaced bar in the heart of Darwin. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the espresso martini happy hour, and if you’re not, there are plenty of solid drinks to choose from. Live music and DJs keep the crowd energized.
Facebook @Wisdom Bar
Nirvana Restaurant, Darwin
This little Asian inspired eatery offers excellent food, thoughtful wines and superb cocktails. Local musicians set the stage for beautiful cocktails coming out the bar: The Nirvana Colada is made with 151 proof rum, and the Bloody Nirvana is seasoned with a secret ingredient. This bar is a good time guaranteed; by the way, if you’re a wine lover, you’ll find a nicely cured cellar.
Did you know the single pour line you see in restaurants and bars can be 1.5 to 2 times the standard drink?
Pablo’s Cocktails & Dreams, Hobart
Live jazz music and a Blood Orange Margarita, what could be better than that? Pablo’s offers a great ambiance both in their main room and their outdoor smoking area. A beautiful hideaway that takes you to the golden age of glam-bartending and good music.
Facebook Pablo's Cocktails and Dreams
Society - Salamanca, Hobart
Found in Salamanca, Hobart, this bar offers modern and vintage cocktails inspired in the seasons. The back bar is astounding: bottles from floor to ceiling — they use a ladder to reach the top shelve. Try the saffron negroni, a blackberry bramble, or one of their many non-alcoholic cocktails — craft drinks at their finest.
Gold Bar Hobart, Hobart
Yes, the bar, the walls, and even the ceiling are golden and sparkly. Cocktails are worth their weight in gold too. This speakeasy specializes in Australian spirits like Tasmania’s Splendid Gin or the Straight Batt Single Malt Tasmanian whiskey.
A slick, New York-style bar with dim lights, an impressive bottle collection, and perfectionist mixologists. Like in the movies, this bar in a basement serves classic cocktails with a twist. A Gin Jubile, for example, is made with Hidden World Gin, East Imperial yuzu tonic, lime, salt and Absinthe.
John & Mays, Auckland
This place is classy to the point that bartenders wear ties. Cocktails here take inspiration in the speakeasy era and the golden age of the mid-20th century. Try the beautiful Ponche de Leche cocktail or the First Class Sleeper, they both include a small snack, a tradition in this bar.
Crumpet is a nice, friendly bar with an energetic atmosphere. Tailored cocktails are a highlight, but there’s a new cocktail menu every month, so don’t be a stranger. Expect something like their Sbagliato Bianco: House infused pink peppercorn Suze with tangelo cordial, sweet vermouth and sparkling wine. Bartenders down in Wellington know their stuff.