In the summertime when the weather is fine, and lets face it, really, really hot… what better way to cool on down than wetting your appetite with a cocktail, or two.
We’ve put together the five best spots to embrace those piercing blue skies that often melt into those balmy nights and then some. Where long lunches are filled with cocktail-fuelled stories of summer love, loss and life.
Cocktails help to create a dream-life oasis where work is but a distant memory on the horizon and holidays seem like an everyday occurrence. Where the humble margarita can transform your Sunday, from foreboding, to fantastic and the coldest cobbler can heal even the most extreme sunburn. Summer is for cocktails and what better way to enjoy them than in five of the best spots to soak up the sun and drink yourself cool.
Fairly new to the Potts Point bar scene is The Butler. A French-colonial style bistro/bar that provides a foliage filled frame for the cityscape its rooftop encapsulates. You could be forgiven for thinking this little place of refuge is far removed from the bustling nightlife of the cross and for that reason creates a tranquil environment for sunset drinks. With a drink in hand, take your place on the balcony and let those last hours of the day wash over you. The French inspired cocktail list has something for everyone. From Espresso Martini’s (done three ways) to The Butlers take on a classic Side Car, sipping anything with this view is bound to cool even the most flustered of guests.
What To Drink: Vic St Cooler - Ketel One Vodka with peach liqueur, lemon, rosemary syrup, fresh mint & peach bitters topped with soda and served tall.
An institution in the Surry Hills bar scene, The Winery has long been a sun soaked secret garden in the middle of the city. Boasting a large courtyard, dappled sunlight and greenery for days, the mornings easily turn into nights here. The cocktail list is sprightly and colourful, offering good summer choices with colourful names like ‘Disco Biscuits’, ‘Lychee Botanica’ and the ‘Betty Boop’.
And if - God forbid - you get sick of drinking cocktails there’s always an impressive wine and food list for you to peruse.
What To Drink: Good Thymes - Ketel One Vodka, Aperol, Thyme Liqueur, Mandarin.
A view that is very likely not to be rivalled in the Sydney drinking scene is that presented over the balconies of Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Sundays are the busiest but your vicinity to the water makes it incredibly easy to tumble onto the sand for a dip, should your drinking space become too crowded. Their cocktail list provides some seriously quenchable varieties inspired by the perennial summer that seems to accompany this venue. For quality sipping scenery, grab yourself a table near the balcony and watch the sun go down over the ocean.
For those who don’t like to leave the beach in summer but still appreciate a sundown beverage – this is the place to be.
What To Drink: Passionfruit Collins - Gin, fresh passionfruit pulp and lime.
Over the bridge there’s plenty of venues offering victims of wanderlust different avenues to get their fix. For one that provides plenty of Southern Californian vibes, this sun seeker destination fits the brief. With a strong focus on Mexican/American inspired cocktails and food, the venue provides a perfectly sun drenched courtyard to drink the afternoon-away in. Communal style, this courtyard makes for the perfect balance of party atmosphere and chilled-out comfort. Come here, when it’s hot, for a cool down that will take you into the night and well into tequila territory.
What To Drink: Chica Chipotle - Chipotle infused Reposado Tequila with Mezcal, lime, agave & a chipotle salt rim.
Now I know what your thinking… Low 302 – a summer bar? The answer is yes. This dark and moody drinking haven allows for lashings of warm summer breeze and excellent people watching from the front room. The comfy booths allow you to loose yourself in conversation while letting the last of the balmy summer nights wash over you. The Cocktail list is plump with house imaginings but Classics are welcomed and encouraged by the knowledgeable bar staff. If you want something done right, this is where you come, where one Margarita will send you straight back to that salty sea-air whence you came. Save this spot for after sundown and it will make a perfect end to the evening.
What To Drink: Chameleon - Mango infused mescal, citrus, house ginger beer, chilli, salt.
Words by Kate Hassett
Photo (Good Thymes) by Inia TeRangi