At some stage of your Summer vacation, a chilled-out drink at a local bar beckons as the ideal end to a day spent sightseeing, shopping or whatever other adventurous activities are on the schedule.
Sit back with a cocktail, drop of vino or icy cold beer and contemplate what the rest of the world is doing as you soak up holiday vibes at some of our favourite bars around the country.
Bar Uma, Perth.
Perth Bars to Stop By:
Celebrating all things Peruvian from the cocktail list to bar bites, Bar Uma on Adelaide Terrace in Perth is an ideal spot to unwind after a day spent exploring the city. This contemporary and innovative bar is the sister venue to Uma Restaurant– both housed within Pan Pacific Perth Hotel – making it the perfect drinking destination before heading to the restaurant for dinner.
Sip on cocktail classics such as a Mai Tai or go for something more creative like the El Capitan – Pisco, Maidenii sweet vermouth and orange bitters – while snacking on house-baked egg yolk bread with whipped feta, roasted garlic and toasted buckwheat oil.
Styled after a New Orleans jazz bar and a landmark on Perth’s live music scene, Universal Bar on William Street in Northbridge invites kicking back on the upstairs terrace with a drink poured by some of the city’s finest bartenders.
The beer and wine list is certainly not to be passed up, as is the inventive cocktail menu – perhaps try the Naked Barman, with Ketel One Citroen vodka, passionfruit liqueur, orange, pineapple juice and vanilla; paired with a pulled pork pizza, topped with red onion, pineapple mozzarella cheese, chipotle mayo and Napolitana sauce.
Gin Palace, Melbourne.
Bar Hopping in Melbourne:
Inner-city laneway institution Gin Palace on Russell Place is the place to go for all things juniper in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Take a seat in the Palace’s hidden nooks and alcoves and feel the outside world slip away as you sip your first martini of the night and become part of the bar’s vibe without even realising it.
With a selection of more than 200 gins on offer, this hotspot has a cool and funky ambience with comfy couches and armchairs blending seamlessly with framed wall prints and opulent furnishings to create a haven away from city hustle and bustle; where you can taste test cocktails like London Calling – Plymouth gin, Cointreau, lime juice Angostura orange and aromatic bitters and lime.
Loop Roof, Melbourne.
One of the few Melbourne CBD rooftop bars that caters to weather conditions all-year-round, Loop Roof on Meyers Place is open to the stars and night sky during warmer months, with a subtle misting system keeping temperatures cool during Summer. Luscious gardens, panoramic city views and innovative cocktails are on the menu at this funky, yet sophisticated drinking establishment.
Order a Sunshine Sling cocktail with Memo Gin, apricot, honey, lime, thyme and smoked apricot bitters to go with bar bites such as mushroom wings with corn and salsa verde; or wrap your hands around a Big Loop Burger, with smashed beef patty double cheese, double bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and Loop sauce.
Grape Therapy, Brisbane.
Bars to Visit in Brisbane:
Leather Chesterfield lounges, gold-rimmed mirrors and wine filled shelves in all directions set the scene for a taste of decadence at Grape Therapy City bar on the corner of Adelaide and Macrossan Streets in Brisbane. A weekly changing wine list mixes it up with specially selected boutique local producers and international picks, along with a large collation of back vintages and museum stock.
Complement a glass of French champagne such as Piper Heidsieck with tapas tempters like pork and pistachio terrine served with crusty bread, Dijon mustard and pickles; or a cheese and charcuterie selection with lavosh crackers, quince paste, olives and sun-dried tomatoes, as you kickback after a day exploring all Brisbane city has to offer.
Proud Henry, Brisbane.
Boasting more than 250 gins and a boutique wine list to entice all palates, Proud Henry Brisbane on Wickham Street in Fortitude Valley delivers an oasis to escape the city hustle and bustle. High pressed metal ceilings, an historic cellar and cosy courtyard provide a variety of intimate spaces to chill out with friends, under the watchful eye of the bar’s resident peacock – Proud Henry.
Once through the aqua blue façade and into an interior of exposed brick, timber and moody lighting, settle in for a spot of holiday relaxation with an Aly in Wonderland cocktail of Gordon’s pink gin, cherry herring, lemon juice and egg white, over ice. Tasty bites like salt and pepper calamari, satay chicken skewers and san choi bow lettuce cups will keep hunger at bay.
Darwin Drinking Spot:
With a history dating back to 1940, Hotel Darwin on Mitchell Street is an ever-popular city icon and watering hole. Escape Summer humidity and head to this well-loved pub for an icy beer, with more than 10 labels on tap; as well as favourite cocktails and a large selection of wines by the glass, to enjoy alongside live music and gaming facilities.
Perhaps grab a Territory tasting plate to share with saltbush seasoned emu fillet, lemon myrtle fried croc tail and grilled pepper leaf kangaroo served with a bush tomato relish; or wild-caught local barramundi, chips, salad and housemade tartar sauce. Pizza lovers can pick up a slice of The Caveman – shredded ham, bacon, pepperoni, honey Dijon mayo, mushrooms, olives and mozzarella.
The Denman Hotel, Thredbo.
Must Visit Bar at Thredbo:
Finish a day’s adventure at Thredbo by sliding up to the Apres Bar at The Denman Hotel and unwind with a drink or two. Just a flight of stairs away from the village square, Apres is loved by seasonal locals for a warm ambience, where heavy timbers, comfortable lounges and softly glowing lights add a welcoming vibe to an impressively stocked bar.
Bunker down from mid-afternoon to well into the evening, with a top-shelf tipple or a glass of Moet while toe-tapping to live music; or grab a quirky cocktail like The Tale of Cock-a-Doodle – Espolon Blanco Tequila, Aperol, blood orange syrup, lime and grapefruit juice, topped with pink salt rim – while grazing over shared tapas plates.
Adelaide Wine Bar:
Contemporary Art Deco-themed Maxim’s Wine Bar & Function Centre on The Parade in Norwood, is fitted out with colourful lounge seating and sultry lighting, creating an enticing ambience to chill out after a hard day of holiday fun. Maxim’s hosts a variety of corporate functions and special occasion events, so best to check first if there is an event being held on the night, before dropping by.
Indulge in a glass of fine wine, beer or cocktail from an extensive repertoire, like a glass of Clarence Hill Cabernet Sauvignon or Barossa Valley Estates Entourage Chardonnay; while grazing from an antipasto, cheese or fruit platter.