In collaboration with VisitCanberra, we present Phillip Jones’ AKA The Martini Whisperer’s favorite spots for a tipple in Canberra.
We’re not only living in the golden age of quality booze made with innovation and smarts, but there has never been a better time to enjoy a fine cocktail in Canberra.
Inspired by great products, and embracing seasonality and ingredients, the city’s bar teams offer creative passion and some fine inspiration in a glass.
A good cocktail is always greater than the sum of its parts, but the location and atmosphere are equally important.
InBraddon, Zaab Street Food has led the way with an integrated cocktail and food program with cocktail creations to accompany the contemporary Laos and Thai cuisine.
Last time I was there I loved their take on the South of the Border—Espolon Blanco Tequila, mezcal, their own secret liqueur, lemon, lime, agave.
5 pm till late, seven days | 2/9 Lonsdale St, Braddon | zaabstreetfood.com.au
Hippo-Bar upstairs in Garema Place has been an industry leader in the city for years and its cocktails are always excellent.
Ask for the Old Smoke which contains a harmonious mix of smoked spiced rum, honey, lime and their house-made ginger soda.
5 pm till late Monday to Saturday | 1/17 Garema Place, Canberra City | hippoco.com.au
Just downstairs you’ll find Bar Beirut, where Soumi and the team have a fresh and fun take on cocktails. Ask for the Wasabi Martini—wasabi-infused vodka, muddled Lebanese cucumber, vanilla gum to get your night going.
5 pm till late Tuesday to Saturday | 25 Garema Place, Canberra City | barbeirut.com.au
On Northbourne Avenue, comfy White Rabbit offers high teas and some playful and delicious concoctions, such as the wonderlandcomplete with fresh strawberries, Frangelico, white chocolate liqueur, lemon and cranberry juice, and a chaser of mini cupcakes!
Open Wednesday to Sunday – see website for opening hours | 65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City | whiterabbitroom.com.au
Just over in the Sydney Building, Dear Prudence offers a Euro vibe and is the place to sip a Negroni and dream of faraway places.
6 p.m. late, Thursday to Saturday | Sydney Building, 100 Alinga Street, Canberra City | dearprudencebar.com.au
Upstairs on London Circuit, the award-winning Rocheford Bar is ever on point with cocktails and food to match served with unpretentious intelligence.
Ask for one of the team’s favorites—a delicious blend called the Lucien Gaudinfeaturing Ironbark Cascara Gin, Marionette Curacao, Okar Tropical Bitter and Dry Vermouth.
5 p.m. late, Tuesday to Saturday | First Floor, 65 London Circuit, Canberra City | barrochford.com
Finally, ever-classy Molly makes for one very fine Martini experience—let their expert team guide you into the mysteries of my personal favourite.
Just look for the wooden door to gain entry to this moody speakeasy.
4 pm till late, Monday to Sunday from | Wooden Door, Odgers Lane, Canberra City | molly.bar
Feature image: Thorson Photography