Classy cocktails (and wine)
- Foxtail Lounge – Foxglove on the waterfront by the East-by-West ferry. A cute little cocktail bar in the upstairs northern corner with fabulous sea views and very pleasant tapas and platters. Entry is via wardrobe from the main upstairs bar (which door will you choose to exit?). Late afternoon onwards. Sometimes hired out for functions.
- Dragonfly – Courtenay Place near Reading. A bamboo’d rear bar serving interesting cocktails with Asian flair, ingredients made in-house and a long list of tasty shots for those wanting something smaller. Evenings Monday to Saturday.
- Boon Brothers Crumpet and Cocktails – Opera House foyer. Slightly hipster with youngsters who will create cocktails based on your preferences and a flavour tasting wheel (no cocktail menus). A treat any time of day really. From 1pm 7 days.
- Hanging Ditch – Leeds Street beside Goldings Dive Bar. Bottles hanging in a forest of bungy cords above the bar, and a small but interesting cocktail menu. Changing often, and incorporating local products (like Fix and Fogg peanut butter), you’ll always find something interesting here. Tues to Sunday, 3pm til midnight.
- Black Sparrow – Speakeasy bar in the bottom of the Embassy Theatre, Kent Terrace. Cocktails themed to movies or Roald Dahl. Fabulous re-use of the old theatre tiles to create the speakeasy feel. 6pm til late 7 days.
- Poquito -11 Tory Street. A Spanish tapas and wine bar, with nicely presented cocktails and live music later in the week. From 4.00pm Tuesday to Saturday.
- Hot Sauce – Korean Lounge Bar at the QT Hotel. Quality hawker street food-style bites and all manner of interesting cocktails and drinks. From 4pm 7 days.
- Forresters Lane – in Forresters Lane just off the corner of Tory and Courtenay. Owned by the Chow group, and delivering interesting cocktails and stylish bites in a contemporary bar setting. From 5pm weekdays and 6pm weekends.
These three are owned by the same group so you will notice some similarities:
- Hawthorn Lounge – Upstairs on Tory Street above Pan de Meurto. Echoes of a gentlemans club from days past, lovely dark décor with card tables, marshmellows in front of the fire, and superb staff. Evenings Tuesday to Saturday.
- C G R Merchant and Co (Coffee, Gin and Rum) – Upstairs on Courtenay just past the Malthouse (a subtle entry). Think the Rum Diaries movie, and their own rum and gin infusions and rum salted caramel cookies (don’t skip the salted caramel rum either). Fantastic value cheeseboards. Evenings Tuesday to Saturday.
- Cuckoo Cocktail Emporium – In the rear ground corner of Foxglove on the waterfront. Quirkier than Hawthorn and CGR, with retro op-shop style furniture and décor, but with the same superb service. Day and night Monday to Saturday (noon opening Saturdays).
And the only true winebar in the city:
- Noble Rot – in Swan Lane, mid Cuba. A massive range of quality wines from all over the world, served with tasty quality plates. Four owners, including three who have done wine courses, and one ex-head sommelier from Hippopotamus Hotel. Monday and Tuesday evenings, Wednesday to Sunday lunch til late.
And the only true whisky bar:
- Hugos Whisky Lounge – Upstairs in The Establishment (best entry off Blair St). Huge whisky menu and knowledgeable staff in a relaxed gentleman’s club-style environment. Tuesday to Saturday evenings.