With the temperature starting to climb, it’s time to unlock the doors and venture outside. Here’s our guide to the best places in Perth to find a proper drink, and enjoy it outdoors.
Mechanics’ Institute Bar
It might not boast the Indian Ocean view tourists expect from one of Perth’s most iconic venues, but Mechanics’ Institute is the city’s quintessential outdoor drinking experience.
Open from midday, the rooftop deck hidden behind the Alex Hotel in Northbridge is one of the most highly awarded bars in the city. The cocktails rotate on a weekly basis, except for one: Hillbilly Bob’s Ruckus Juice is a blend of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, lime, Orgeat syrup and equal measures of lager and ginger beer. The drink has sat proudly atop the menu since 2013 and, according to Mechanic’s owners they’ve sold around 30,000 of them.
Bib & Tucker
Picturesque doesn’t begin to describe the view from the deck at Bib & Tucker in North Fremantle: all white sand and blue sky, this is pristine WA coastline at its finest.
Scott Bridger’s food is often the highlight at Bib & Tucker but cocktail fanatics know the fresh, seasonal ethos that informs the dining menu translates to their drink offerings. Take ‘Up on the Roof’: a peach-and-whiskey sour sweetened with Bib & Tucker’s own rooftop-sourced honey, finished off with a sprig of fresh mint.
Sweetwater Rooftop Bar
Yes, we’re all partial to the idea of drinking outside. But some of us need a little more protection from the brutal Perth sun than others.
Enter Sweetwater Rooftop Bar. The light-filled, sixth-floor balcony gazes across East Fremantle and sports some fancy wicker furniture and a shady awning. With ex-Gingerboy head chef Leigh Power at the helm, the cocktail menu is primarily made up of forgotten classics with an intriguing Asian twist. Take the deep-green Emeraude: a classic, stirred combo of Bulleit Bourbon, yellow French liqueur and black walnut bitters, lifted by the unexpected addition of pandan extract – an aromatic tropical grass with buttery, coconut aromas.
Ezra Pound has been marching to its own beat since 2009. One of the original Perth small bars, it provides tables outside in the graffiti-lined alleyway for a secluded drinking spot. Don’t let the urban vibes stop you getting tropical because bar manager Talmage Andersen is currently cranking out a genius Mint and Absinthe Pina Colada: Pampero Blanco rum, coconut cream and lime stay true to the original, while the addition of creme de menthe and a little absinthe cut through the sweetness with a cooling finish.
The epitome of Ezra’s out-of-the-box approach to flavour, this one has “drink of the summer” written all over it.
The handsome deck, whitewashed walls, bright pastel splashes and distressed timber at Shorehouse conjures a luxe-casual beach house aesthetic. While that’s attractive in its own right, any venue where you can go for a dip at the nearby beach, wander in with sandy feet and sit down to a dozen oysters and a Bloody Mary is a winner by our standards.
Shorehouse’s Bloody Mary menu consists of five spicy variations with ever increasing heat ratings but there’s also an enticing Mandarin Mimosa for those suffering a chilli aversion.
Probably better known for its luxurious “opium den-esque” basement interior, the Long Chim courtyard – which sits right in the guts of the State Buildings – is a glorious place to enjoy a cocktail on a balmy Perth evening, when the soft pink glow that emanates from the restaurant bounces off the mural by Thai street artist Alex Face.
Each drink on the menu is speckled with the usual suspects of Thai cuisine, such as coconut, kaffir lime and lemongrass. By the time Perth is on its fifth consecutive 40-degree day, sitting sticky in this courtyard with a Bangkok Painkiller (coconut, mandarin, pineapple and spiced rum) in hand should feel fairly authentic.
This article is presented in partnership with World Class.