In a city peppered with great cocktail bars, finding a winner is easy. But when you flick through a long cocktail list, indecision can set in. We’ve taken the guesswork out of it – here’s what’s good, and where.
Clever Little Tailor
Four-year-old Clever Little Tailor was one of the first upshots of Adelaide’s small-bar legislation and is now one of the city’s best. That’s due, in part, to its cocktails. So what should you order?
The Cup O’ Toddy is a slant on the traditional Hot Toddy, a warm, whisky-based blend that CLT part-owner Dana Whyte says other bars often overlook. It’s made from Talisker 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky, Seppeltsfield Grand Tawny port,house-made lemon, lime and vanilla sherbet, quince, spices and freshly grated nutmeg. The gently peated whisky base is layered with rich red fruit flavours and citrus notes.
Descend the stairs, navigate the hidden entrance and you’ll find this West End bar is one of only a few slinging cocktails seven nights a week. From a no-weak-links list, the Peel Street Corpse Reviver is a cult favourite among the city’s bartenders.
Maybe Mae co-owner Ollie Margan says the cocktail is a mix-up of Tanqueray gin, lemon, ginger and honey and finished with pilsner and served ice-cold in a frosty. Sample it after a pit stop at the bar’s upstairs burger-joint sibling, Bread & Bone.
Alongside a list of classics,house cocktails at this Vardon Avenue watering hole are influenced by New Orleans, Louisiana. Innovative mixology can be exciting but NOLA is a reminder cocktails don’t have to be fancy to be good. Keep it simple here with an Old Fashioned.
From a burgeoning selection of more than 200 local and imported whiskies, NOLA co-owner Ollie Brown’s choice for the classic cocktail is Lagavulin 8. He says the Scottish whisky’s rich, malty character strikes the perfect balance with its smoky-peat backbone. Hold it in one hand, and a piece of Cajun fried chicken in the other.
It’s not quite San Sebastian, but this Leigh Street bar is the closest you’ll get to the Spanish birthplace of pintxos in Adelaide’s square mile. Drinks-wise, gin is Udaberri’s forte: it has more than 20 variations of the humble gin and tonic. While the two-ingredient cocktail isn’t exactly revolutionary, its simplicity makes it a failsafe option. Each G&T comes with its own set of garnishes tailored to match the gin’s botanicals.
Claim your spot on a red leather Chesterfield and sip at a London Dry-style Tanqueray gin and tonic with ruby red grapefruit and fresh lime.
Hains and Co
Marcus “The Admiral” Motteram has a knack for lifting spirits – “both yours, and those in your glass”. Anyone who’s dropped anchor at his nautical-inspired Gilbert Place bar, Hains and Co, knows it to be true. Though it’s not as typically naval as gin and rum, Hains and Co’s bar staff has a penchant for whisky.
Try a sour-style Morning Glory Fizz – a shake-up of Johnnie Walker Double Black Scotch Whisky, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg whites and a glug of absinthe. House-made sausage rolls with shiraz and black pepper chutney will keep you occupied between sips.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with World Class.