cocktails

Summer Cocktail Series: The Highball Express

highball express cocktails canberra

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.

highball express cocktails canberra

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.

highball express cocktails canberra

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.

If you’re keen to jump on board and see what all the fuss is about, fly up the stairs at 82 Alinga Street in the City or check in to the Highball Express on facebook or instagram.

– Bec x

highball express cocktails canberra

highball express cocktails canberrahighball express cocktails canberra

highball express cocktails canberra

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Summer Cocktail Series: White Rabbit Cocktail Room

Summer is my absolute favourite time of year. Sun-kissed skin, bare legs, cute party dresses and warm nights that seem to go on forever. It’s the time of year when cocktails at 3 in the afternoon is a regular occurrence and Friday night drinks is a must.

To celebrate the arrival of t-shirt weather, I’ve got a new series featuring some of my favourite cocktail bars in town. First up is new kid on the block, White Rabbit Cocktail Room. A few weeks back, a few of us dropped by for a sneaky Friday night drink.

Playful. Curious. Intimate. Decadent. Sophisticated. That’s how the owners describe this whimsical bar located on Northbourne Avenue in the city.

Everything at White Rabbit is a little bit pretty, a little bit decadent and a lot of fun. The team behind the scenes tell me they want people to feel pleasantly surprised by their unusual dessert and cocktail ideas – and pleasantly surprised we were. One look at the menu and we had fallen down the rabbit hole and landed right at the Mad Hatter’s table (cue all of the Alice in Wonderland puns).

For me, it’s all in the details. Like the cucumber sandwich that comes served with the Alice Be Curious cocktail, a sweet mix of Hendrick’s gin, Lillet Blanc and house made berry and rosemary tea served in a pretty little tea cup. Yes, a cocktail in a tea cup. It’s a scene straight out of Lewis Carroll’s imagination, am I right?

Also, be ready to get your sweet tooth on, for their other strong suit is dessert. Think creative items like blood plum soufflé served in a tea cup or a strawberry and vanilla bavarois “forest” featuring strawberry mushrooms and dark chocolate trees. It’s dreamy and decadent and had us all grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

When I ask what cocktail I should order for a hot summer night, I’m led in the direction of the Tweedle Rum. “It’s the perfect blend of rum, pomegranate, pineapple, ginger and crushed ice.” Served with pineapple chips on the side, I have to agree, the Tweedle Rum is the ultimate refresher.

So what else can we expect from them this summer? “More playful and quirky twists with the menu” – I can’t wait.

If you’re game, follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole to 65 Northbourne Avenue. You can also find this cute little cocktail bar on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House

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As the weather warms up and the nights get longer, there is no better way to welcome the weekend than with a few sneaky drinks on a Friday evening. I love nothing more than to leave work early on that last day of the working week and kick it al-fresco style with a drink in hand and some friends in tow.

Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House kicks off at 4.30pm every Friday during the warmer months. With live music, delicious cocktails and $5 beers (or wine if that’s your thing), the House of Reps courtyard is the perfect way to relax into your weekend.

Fiji Fashion Week: The Charity Luncheon

I had no idea what to expect from Fiji Fashion Week. But FJFW proved to be pretty flippin’ cool.

It began with a decadent Wednesday off work for the FJFW Charity Luncheon. It was held at the Novotel at Lami, a pretty fancy spot with a great view of the waterfront—the gin, watermelon and mint cocktail is a must! Three delicious courses, a few glasses of wine and some unsuccessful raffle tickets later we were feeling very refined and a little bit excited for the week to come.

Note: Photos by Alice Jacobs

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A Manhattan View

Manhattan View

Arguably one of the most recognisable in the world, the Manhattan skyline is pretty impressive to behold. And there are a million and one ways to see it. You can climb to the top one of the very buildings that make the Manhattan skyline so memorable. Or, my personal favourite, you can drink in the view with a cocktail in hand at one of the many rooftop bars in NYC.

The Empire State Building vs. the Top of the Rock

Manhattan View 1

Top: The Chrysler Building seen from the Empire State Building
Bottom: The Empire State Building seen from the Top of the Rock

In my five months in New York, I made it to the top of the Empire State Building twice (once during the day, once at night) and to the Top of the Rock (at the Rockefeller Centre) only once. And despite going back up the Empire State for a second time, I would have to say the Top of the Rock wins hand down.

Manhattan View 3

Night at the Empire State Building

While the view is still beautiful, the main problem with being on top of the Empire State Building is that you can’t see the Empire State Building. That, and the view to Central Park is blocked by the rival Rockefeller Centre. From the Top of the Rock, however, you can see the Empire State Building to the south AND Central Park to the north. It is definitely my pick of the two.

Manhattan View 2

Looking north from Top of the Rock

And if you do decide to go with the Empire State Building, my one piece of advice is to avoid what is called the NY Skyride. What can only be described as an “interesting” experience, the NY Skyride is a simulated helicopter-come-spaceship ride through New York City. Sold to us as the perfect introduction to NYC, the only thing the Skyride will do is confuse your understanding of the city’s geography and make you laugh in disbelief that you paid for 30-minutes of Kevin Bacon’s voice narrating you through an 80s streetscape of Manhattan, complete with a surprise shark in the Hudson River. Proceed with caution.

Rooftop Bars

Cocktails at a rooftop bar is an absolute must-do when in New York. I was lucky to make it to quite a few during my stay. Here are my picks for the best spots to grab a drink with a Manhattan view.

Le Bain at the Standard (444 W13th Street, Meatpacking District, New York, between Washington Street & 10th Avenue)

Le Bain is a pumping nightclub and rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. This is the place to dance the night away against the beautiful backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. Ironically, the best view by far is from the bathrooms. And if you’re after a more laid back vibe, the rooftop is the place to be.

Chloe & Alex at Le Bain

Chloe & Alex at Le Bain

The Press Lounge at Ink48 (653 11th Avenue, Hells Kitchen, New York, between W47th & W48th Street)

The Press Lounge is great for some more laid back drinks with friends. With a view of the city from the West, the skyline is there to be seen in all its glory. This is the perfect place to see Manhattan during the winter as the enclosed area keeps the warmth in, while floor to ceiling glass allows for uninterrupted views of the city. You might want to prepare your wallets though, the view at the Press Lounge comes with a price. The drinks are great, but not cheap. For those of us whose wallets don’t stretch very far, this might just be the perfect venue to start the night with a view and a drink, before moving on to somewhere more affordable.

But no matter which way you do it, whether you’re the cocktail type or not, gaining a Manhattan view is something you just have to do when you’re in New York.

Also in this series: