Forget your mojitos and whiskey sours, there’s a whole new breed of interesting and exciting cocktails being made around our city. Here’s our guide to where you can get the best tall, short and everything in-between cocktails in Auckland:
We were worried when Smith shut a few years back, but in its place blossomed Xuxu, a sort of sister bar to Café Hanoi. We’re not going to lie – the menu’s bloody hard to read… BUT they do a mean Bloody Mary (a rare thing in this city), and the Dark & Stormy is bold and fresh – dark spiced rum, with fresh ginger, ginger beer & blueberries.
3 / 175 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, 1010
Mea Culpa on Ponsonby Road been around for a while now, and has always been the go-to for amazing cocktails. Even with a lot more competition, it’s still at the top of its game. The cocktails are smashing, the menus constantly changing, and watching the masters at work is fantastic, though service can be a tad snobby at times… though maybe that’s part of the charm.
Housebar (tucked away upstairs at Hotel DeBrett) isn’t big, but it’s mighty elegant. A small but perfectly formed list of cocktails awaits, of which you should definitely try the Four Seasons (made with the superb Hendricks gin, Pimm’s and ginger wine), of the Twisted English Martini, which tastes of apple and cucumber. Fantastic service too.
48 Tyler Street , Britomart, Auckland, 1011
This awesome little bar in Britomart is such a better use of the space than the pretty non-descript café that was here previously. You can Sake your heart out here, or try out any of their fabulous long list of cocktails, the best ones featuring Shochu, a distilled Japanese liquor. Our recommendation – the Earl Grey Martini, or is you’re after something a little more fun, the Tessen is lovely (shochu and Japanese plum wine topped up with bubbles).
More restaurant than bar, but easy to sit outside if you’re not eating. It’s the quirky names that first get you. Fancy a Mr Asia? Or a Femme Fatale Social Club? Our pick is the White Lady Boy, a delicious mix of gin, Cointreau, lemongrass and fresh lime. East meets West to perfection…