Let’s take a trip together. It’s Friday afternoon, you’ve just finished work and the warm evening air welcomes you to the weekend as you walk outside. Enter, the Highball Express – Canberra’s newest bar that’s flown in just in time for the summer.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, the Highball Express was the nickname for the plane that took wealthy Americans to Cuba during the Prohibition years. On board, they would drink cocktails in highball glasses, excited for a weekend full of sunshine, Cuban rum and everything that Prohibition America wasn’t.
So about that trip. The Highball Express is an easy, breezy, laid-back bar that will whisk you away to Cuba with the first sip of a rum cocktail. Located on the top floor of the Melbourne Building (above Smith’s Alternative on Alinga Street), the shady open balcony that looks out to Black Mountain is the perfect spot for a warm Friday afternoon.
When it comes to the contents of your glass, rum cocktails is where it’s at. The team behind the Highball Express are serious about their rum. So serious that they’re even barrel-ageing cocktails.
It was a warm but rainy Friday night when I visited with some friends a couple weeks back. As I came in off the street dripping from the rain, I couldn’t have been more ready for a rum cocktail or two. As we sat on the balcony watching the rain come down, we sampled more than a few on the list and loved every one.
If you’re into interesting and unusual drinks, the carrot-flavoured cocktail is surprisingly good. And if you’re with a group, I recommend ordering a rum punch from Peggy, the cute little punch trolley.
I am so glad the Highball Express landed when it did. I can see it quickly becoming a summer favourite – sitting on that bright and breezy balcony, sipping on some rum and enjoying the warm weather.
– Bec x