World Bartender Day is Wednesday 24 February and a time to raise a glass to the talented folks who shake, stir, mix, muddle and pour our fave bevvies. If you’re up for a mid-week cocktail or two to celebrate and appreciate your trusty barkeep, here’s our selection of some of the award-winning bars (and bartenders) to visit in the Valley.
Winner of Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards 2019 and the State Award for Cocktail Bar of the Year 2019, Savile Row has an impressive pedigree when it comes to top tipples to sip. The moody speakeasy-style cocktail lounge on Ann Street has more than 900 spirits on hand to concoct a 20-strong seasonal cocktail menu or a custom cocktail of your choice. Meet the expert team, who counts an agave aficionado among their numbers, and then meet your new favourite drink.
Cielo Rooftop may be the new kid in the block, opening in December, but this newbie has the cocktail chops. The scenic Brunswick Street bar comes from the team behind Australian Bar Awards Bar of the Year 2019 (and number 11 on the World’s Best Bars 2020 list), Sydney’s Maybe Sammy and the Salt Meats Cheese Group. The one-page cocktail menu is set to impress and includes The Riviera Selection of cocktails and three spritzes, plus a worldly menu of beer and wines, including Italian drops.
Dutch Courage Officers’ Mess
After witnessing the effortless cocktail-making skills of bar manager Reanna Gray-Smith, we know we’re in the right place. Queensland’s first gin bar and two-time finalist for Gin Bar of the Year (in 2017 and 2018) for Bartender Magazine’s Australian Bar Awards has a stellar lineup of house creations and gin classics. The drinks menu also has handy illustrations to show the servings one might expect. Ask the team to whip up a cocktail to share (served in a teapot or jug for two or a bathtub for four).
The bar behind a blue door on Ann Street, Finney Isles was a Queensland finalist for Cocktail Bar of the Year – State Awards in 2019. Purveying cocktails, wine, spirits and charcuterie (surely the foodie buzz word of 2020), this lounge bar and cocktail parlour serves up an oh-so-stylish selection of rotating cocktails for a bespoke menu. You can also ask the talented bartenders to mix a classic cocktail or something special to your liking.
– February 2021