The round-up: the best places for cocktails on the Gold Coast, as voted by you!
Cocktail making is an art form. Sure, we’re all for wine, beers and nips of spirits – but when you’re treating yourself to a cocktail, you want it to be great. Luckily for us Gold Coast folk, there are plenty of establishments and watering holes that have nailed the craft of cocktail making, with plenty of super-talented humans creating magic from behind their bars. As part of the EAT/drink Awards 2019, we asked locals to nominate and vote for the best places for cocktails on the Gold Coast. It’s time we lifted the lid – here’s the top ten.
The Winner: The Cambus Wallace, Nobby Beach
Tucked away in plain sight in the bustling Nobby Beach precinct, this nautical-inspired rum bar is often full to the brim (until the wee hours) with locals sipping their way through The CW’s quality cocktail compendium. The talented team take much pride in crafting top-notch tipples, so you can rest assured that your sips are in very good hands here. Our picks of the sips? The Mellow Yellow (with bee’s wax gin), the spiced pumpkin margarita, and the In The Summertime (fennel-infused Husk rum).
The Runner-Up: Lockwood, Burleigh Heads
While this speakeasy is a little hard to find (hint: look for the red door in the alleyway behind Justin Lane), once you’re inside you’ll be greeted by some of the city’s best bartenders and an ever-evolving collection of fine cocktails. Take a seat up at the bar and let the team take you on a cocktail-fuelled journey – expect to learn a thing or two along the way.
The Runner-Up: Hyde Paradiso, Surfers Paradise
Hyde burst onto the scene in April 2019 and quickly attracted a hefty following of local cocktail connoisseurs looking for quality sips with exceptional beach views. Here you can soak up the seaside vibes and work your way through a raft of signature concoctions (like the salted coconut margarita) or experience one of the eye-popping share cocktails. Though, the true hero here is the Italian sgroppino, which is essentially an adult slushie. If you haven’t tried one, you haven’t lived.
Rosella’s, Burleigh Heads
This all-Aussie watering hole was voted Best New Bar in the EAT/drink Awards – and it also rustled up a fair chunk of the votes in the Best Place for a Cocktail category. While it’s always schooner o’clock here, Rosella’s cocktails are true blue. Start with a Pet-Nat Slushie, then choose from Australian-inspired creations like the Ironman (Beenleigh Rum, Nutri-Grain orgeat), Salty Cattle Dog (featuring Vegemite salt) and the Zooper Dooper Spritz.
Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Sipping cocktails in the sunshine on Justin’s Rooftop has got to be one of the finest ways to spend a balmy afternoon on the Gold Coast. You’ll find a fun collection to sip through, with cocktails like the mango and coconut caprioska (a Weiss Bar in cocktail form) and the passionfruit and chilli Tommy’s margarita proving red-hot favourites among locals.
Burleigh Pavilion, Burleigh
It seems Gold Coast folk just can’t get enough of seaside cocktail spots, with bustling hotspot Burleigh Pavilion nabbing a whole heap of votes in this year’s awards. Cocktail sippers will find a diverse menu on offer, from The Glen Coco (coconut tequila, pineapple, lime and pickled green chilli) to You Can’t Sip With Us (Ink gin, violet liqueur, elderflower, lemon and soda). Killer views and cocktails with Mean Girls references? Good choice, voters.
Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads
Rick nails the sips – and the fact that you can sip them just metres from the ocean is just an added bonus. Head in for afternoon snacks and work your way through the signature cocktails, or choose from the separate G&T list or collection of martinis. The Ruby Negroni is an eye-catching twist on a classic, or live on the edge with the Whisky Blossom (Yamazaki Distillers Reserve, cherry liqueur, prune juice and nori).
Mr PP’s Rooftop Bar & Deli, Southport
Sun-drenched afternoons are best spent at Mr PP’s. The rooftop bar and deli is well known for its quality cocktails (and its tasty pizzas, pastas, snacks and live-music line-up), with classics like negronis and martinis offered alongside creative sips like the PP’s Sour and the Postman’s Passion.
The Scottish Prince, Palm Beach
While its older sibling The Cambus Wallace (aka Best Cocktail Place winner), specialises in rum, The Scottish Prince makes its mark with whisk(e)y. With around 200 different whiskies behind the bar, there are drams aplenty here – and they also form the basis for a fun, whisky-laced cocktail list. Think creations like the Islay Calling, aka a Laphroaig whiskey martini, laced with parsley stems, citrus oil and garnished with an olive. If you like an old fashioned or an authentic Irish coffee, go here.
White Rhino, Surfers Paradise
Drinking cocktails is always a helluva lot more fun when there are a bit of theatrics involved! Cocktails are the hero at this popular Surfers Paradise eatery and bar – expect to find all of the classics with an inventive spin. The signature here is the Beauty & The Beast – it arrives in a cloud of smoke with a red rose that’s sure to wow.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.