While it may seem a slight contradiction in terms, the ‘healthy cocktail’ is precisely how we intend to justify our summertime libations. Rather than a heavy Pina colada or a sugar-laden Long Island iced tea, try a creation from one of these spots to keep you feeling fresh for the entirety of your evening.
Get yourself to Papa Gede’s for a guaranteed good time that comes ‘infused with the spirit of witch-doctor apothecary’ – we’ll take two doses thanks ‘doc. While the ‘Tiki Bastard’ is immensely tempting, give the ‘Mojo Moxie’ a go for its matcha-steeped Archie Rose gin, lemon, sugar and egg white tonic that will leave you feeling utterly virtuous. The ‘Divine Intervention’ with absinthe, apple, passionfruit and lemon is another must-try.
348 Kent Street, Sydney
When you’re in town and itching for an escape, make a beeline for The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room for a crisp beverage alongside a helping of fresh oysters. The earthy yet sweet ‘Love Street’ cocktail brings together Don Julio tequila, pomegranate treacle and sea salted beetroot for a complex flavour dynamic that will have you hooked.
255 George Street, Sydney
This Eastern Suburbs venue offers a smorgasbord of food and drinks across three floors, ensuring that you’ll be thoroughly entertained from ‘champagne breakfast’ to your midnight cocktails on the dancefloor. Our pick is the ‘Cravado’ with Wyborowa Vodka, lychee, mint and crucial ingredient of coconut water to help you stay hydrated as you groove.
169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
This charming little speakeasy in Paddington is all about quality produce, and boy does their cocktail offering fill the brief. Working with the local producers who supply Fred’s upstairs, it’s evident the importance they place on produce. The nettle branch, pressed grapes, vermouth and gin cocktail a strong example. The mango wine, light rum and verjus creation leans more toward nut and fruit notes.
Basement, 380 Oxford Street, Paddington
For the perfectly shaken margarita, look no further than the offering at The Rocks’ El Camino Cantina. Offered both frozen and on the rocks, the classic margarita simply combines Cointreau, Tequila and lime juice for a refreshingly punchy drink, for the health-conscious try the açai version, while the mango and strawberry are ideal for your amigos who prefer theirs a touch sweeter.
18 Argyle Street, The Rocks
47 floors up, you can take in panoramic views across Sydney’s iconic Harbour as you nibble on one of the city’s most celebrated food offerings. For an inventive tipple to add to your order, the ‘Japanese Sunrise’ with Kakubun whisky, white peach, pressed lemon, cinnamon demerara and soda will delight, while the ‘Mango Lime Mojito’ is definitely a seasonal favourite worth sampling.
Australia Square, 264 George Street, Sydney
While the menu may seem daunting, fear not. Friendly bar staff will gladly steer you toward your preferred style. For a drink on the healthier side, opt for ‘The Tailfeather’ which puts a twist on the classic. Appleton Signature Rum, Aperol, Pimento Dram, coconut water, pineapple, lime and a touch of sugar whirl together for this tropical escape in a glass.
1/209 Clarence Street, Sydney
A curated selection of signature and seasonal cocktails make Della Hyde a must-visit for patrons who prefer to imbibe only those which are shaken or stirred. The 'Return to Rio' brings out exotic flavours with an artful concoction of cachaca, almond milk, toasted pineapple purée, while the ‘Enter the Dragon’ is an addictively light mixture of Four Pillars Gin, apricot, mint and lime.
34 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
A cornucopia for cocktail lovers, sip your way through Eau de Vie’s almost encyclopaedic list this summer. The Perfumer chapter brings us ‘Essence #2’ – a crisp and aromatic drink with Beefeater gin, rosemary and thyme infused elderflower, wine and orange bitters, while the ‘Ocean Side #2’ with Beefeater gin, lime, apple, cucumber, white chocolate and fennel brings fruit to the fore.
229 Darlinghurst Road, Sydney
While it may be known for its more indulgent creations, L’il Darlin is just the place to pay a visit when you’re looking for a cooling cocktail. The ‘Vera Green’ combines Dry London gin shaken with muddled cucumber, lemon peel aperitif and aloe vera juice. We’ll take two. FYI the ‘Blood Orange Margarita’ is equally tempting for citrus lovers.
420 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills