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11 of the best local gin cocktails

Granddad Jacks' Seymour Street via @shark4chipdrink
Granddad Jacks' Seymour Street via @shark4chipdrink

On June 13th each year we raise a glass to World Gin Day and the spirit that has certainly had its come up over the last little while. The Gold Coast boasts our very own gin distillery plus a host of bars making magic with local gins. All of which you won’t be surprised to learn we’re big fans of.

In honour of that, here are the best spots to get your gin fix on the Gold Coast this World Gin Day (or anyday for that matter). Happy sipping.

Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Tucked away on Mount Tamborine is one of Australia’s smallest and most unique distilleries with over 280 International Awards. Their gold medal award winning gin is the Lilly Pilly Gin, a pot still gin using botanicals such as Australian Lilly Pilly (Riberry), Juniper, Angelica root, Orris root, Citrus peel, Caraway, Coriander, Aniseed Myrtle, Elderflower, Mistletoe, Passionflower, Shepherd’s Purse and more. The best part about it, it’s got a delightful pink hue.
Where: 87-91 Beacon Road, North Tamborine

The Island Rooftop
It’s always a good time on the rooftop in Surfers Paradise, overlooking the city and with guaranteed good vibes. While all the sips are sweet, our recommendation is the Clover Leaf made with Beefeater gin, raspberry, lemon and egg white, so good.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Aloha Bar & Dining
How does a Saturn Juniper Uranus sound? Cool right. That’s exactly what you should order at Broady’s most colourful alleyway bar, Aloha Bar & Dining. It’s got Four Pillars gin, sloe gin, orgeat, passionfruit, lime and rosemary and it’s out of this world. The bar itself is decked out in full colour, with hidden rooms and moody, good time vibes aplenty. Follow the music down the alley and you’ll find yourself in a magical world of tiki goodness.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach

Number One and Two, Fig & Frankies
Number One and Two, Fig & Frankies

Fig & Frankies
Another delightful Broadbeach bar dedicated to exceptional sips and very good times is Fig & Frankies, also newish on the scene and also very well-loved amongst Gold Coast locals. Their cocktail list is tight and filled with delights made up of local spirits and you’ll want to try them all. Drinks are numbered rather than named and each is absolute perfection to be honest. We particularly loved Number One (aptly named) because it is made up of MAC by Brookies, clarified green apple and house lemonade and we cannot overstate tasty enough. Gather the crew and sip up a storm. 
Where: 4/2707 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Roosevelt Lounge
A must-visit cocktail bar in Broadbeach, Roosevelt Lounge is one of the city’s sexiest spots for a cocktail, capturing the seductive style and glamour of decadent New York. For World Gin Day try the Down the Rabbit Hole Signature Cocktail made up of Ink gin, in-house chimmer liqueur (pink moscato, pisco, peach & orange blossom), blueberry vinegar, citric acid and life of cha crystal tea. Delightfully served in a tea pot, this cocktail is an Instagram dream.
Where: 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Granddad Jacks
The Gold Coast’s first gin distillery Granddad Jacks are, quite obviously king when it comes to gin cocktails (and gin in general). Our number one on their list is the Seymour Street with their very own Greenhouse Gin plus Eucalyptus and fresh lime juice because it’s the ultimate in Aussie-inspired freshness and it tastes top notch too. Love your work mates.
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami

Rosella’s Bar
Oh Rosella’s, little love of our lives. A refined Australiana bar in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Rosella’s is bringing all Aussie eats and tipples to the very appreciative people. On a list of cocktails that will 100% improve your life (especially the Pet Nat Slushie – love you) but for the purposes of this article let’s chat about the Kylie Minogue Martini with Vickers Gin from Beenleigh Distillery no less, vodka, elderflower, verjus and pink peppercorn. It’ll have you spinning around in no time.
Where: 6/1743 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Kylie Minogue Martini
Kylie Minogue Martini

Lockwood Bar
Tucked away down Justin Lane behind a red velvet curtain is Lockwood Bar. They a serving up a sexy sip titled Brookie’s Aviation which fuses Brookie’s Dry Gin, lemon juice, Tempus Fugit liqueur de violette and Luxado Maraschino liqueur. Topped off with a maraschino cherry, you know it’s a goodie.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads

Suga
An intimate little space down Palmy way is Suga, a cocktail and rum bar open until late and serving up cocktails that are quite unlike anything you’ve sipped before. On World Gin Day we recommend a Gin Lippy with Larrikin Gin, citrus syrup, housemade lemonade and a whole lots of tastiness. A very tasty tipple indeed. Pop on in for a few of those this weekend.
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

The Collective Palm Beach
The Rooftop Bar at The Collective Palm Beach is a gin-lovers paradise with beloved gin-based cocktails including the Rose Hip Martini with Poor Toms Gin, hibiscus syrup, lime and grapefruit and the Unnamed Sympathy served Tiki-style with macadamia-infused Nobel Cut Gin, Bushfire Botanic Australis Gin and pine-lime allspice. Both of which are tried and tested by us and both of which are really very delicious.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Saint Helen’s Kitchen + Bar
If sipping cocktails seaside is your thing (and we know it is), you’ll love Saint Helens Kitchen + Bar signature slurp The Gin Thruster. It’s got gin, blueberry and tonic. It’s bright, refreshing and super Insta-worthy – if it lasts that long.
Where: Shop 2/78 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Words by Kirra Smith

10 Gold Coast bars if you like Piña Coladas

Pina Colada (Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash)
Pina Colada (Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash)

What comes to mind when you think of the humble Piña Colada? Tropical getaways lazing by a pool with a balmy sea breeze rustling through the palm fronds most likely spring to mind. And the vast majority of people will probably agree with you.

The cocktail is a favourite worldwide and has origins in 1950s Puerto Rico, hence the tropical flavours and name. If you do love Piña Coladas (but not getting caught in the rain), you should be excited to learn next month celebrates a day dedicated to the drink on Saturday 10th of July. Because all the best things deserve a day wholly devoted to them, right?

In honour of such an exciting occasion, our list highlights the bars where you can celebrate in fabulous fashion and give thanks to these lush-styled drinks from the Caribbean.

Aloha
If you haven’t found yourself sipping tiki-style libations in this back-alley Broadbeach haunt, then quite frankly, where have you been? When it comes to slinging the best drinks with a sprinkling of fun, you won’t find anywhere else that does it quite like these guys. There is always something going on here, so grab your best Hawaiian shirt and let Aloha take care of the rest.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach

Café Catalina
Right on the water’s edge in the Broadwater Parklands, Café Catalina has steadily become a crowd favourite due to its stunning water views and modern menu. We all know what goes best with water views, don’t we? That’s right, a sweet, sweet Piña Colada, of course. The café is famously pooch-friendly, so grab your furry mate and settle in for a couple of cocktails.
Where: 10/11 Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Aloha Bar and Dining (image supplied)
Aloha Bar and Dining (image supplied)

The Island Rooftop Bar
Surfers Paradise’s largest rooftop bar is a favourite for any sunny Sunday sessions. The Island Colada fits this bustling and subtropical scene to a tee, constructed with love — including pineapple juice, coconut cream and Havana Charta — meaning it’s a traditional-style Piña Colada with some extra island vibes thrown in to get you and the party started.
Where: The Island, Corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Beach Road, Surfers Paradise

Naami
This relative newcomer to the Burleigh Heads bar scene is already garnering the right kind of attention for innovative signature drinks; the like of which you can sip and discuss with a friend/colleague/tinder date for hours with ease. The Pav is Mine is a clever adaptation of the classic Piña Colada that deserves to be tried, and as it’s a vegan-made cocktail, there are absolutely no excuses!
Where: 4/57 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Taboo Tiki
The tiki sensations are intense with this one — and that’s putting it lightly. With an upbeat setting and consistent line-ups of quality D.J.s, we suggest you pencil in this Surfers Paradise venue for celebrating international Piña Colada Day come next month. If you can’t wait that long, be sure to head along to one of their many party nights from Thursday through to Sunday to get a taste of the action.
Where: 19 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Taboo Tiki (image supplied)
Taboo Tiki (image supplied)

Cowch
When the words dessert and cocktail can be found in close proximity to one another, you know things are looking up. So, when Cowch opens a flagship venue in The Oracle Broadbeach next week, you can expect sweet and alcoholic things to collide in an udderly (pardon the pun) delish way. The Hoola Girl is a whipped cream and lollipop garnished version of the Puerto Rican classic you simply must try.
Where: 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Sticky Rice
The original naughty but nice excuse for a mid-week tipple or two: if Sticky Rice can’t get you out of the house for some next-level Thai cuisine accompanied by some seriously delish cocktails, nothing or no one can. The Pina Coladyboy (Dark Rum, Malibu, blended with fresh pineapple, coconut cream, lime & orgeat) is at the top of their cocktail list for a reason. Turn up the chilli in your Duck Red Curry and mellow out with the pick of the tropical cocktails.
Where: Shop 7, 443 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Crafty’s
Finding yourself amid a shopping frenzy can not only be a hit to your bank balance but a trigger for an unquenchable thirst, the type that can only be satisfied with some top-notch cocktails, of course. Crafty’s is the optimum spot to lighten the load and get your lips around a tasty little Piña Colada. Their take, The G.O.A.T., has lashings of pineapple-infused rum and should make the second half of your shopping spree a breeze.
Where: Harbour Town Eats, Biggera Waters

Piña Coladas Cocktail (Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash)
Piña Coladas Cocktail (Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash)

Edgewater Dining & Lounge
The attention to detail taken by this venue with their drinks offering is nothing short of remarkable. The drinks list is titled, Liquid Journey and from cover to cover, you can see this Isle of Capri restaurant has placed great emphasis on having great food and the drinks to match. Their signature Pirate on the Beach takes the modest classic and completely revamps it with deluxe inclusions of Fireball, Amaretto, and nutmeg.
Where: Shop 3 G7, Capri on Via Roma, Surfers Paradise

Ms. Margots
If you find yourself on the shiny side of town and think a couple of sophisticated cocktails are in order, then you need to consider Ms. Margots at The Hilton Surfers Paradise. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the venue has you covered for when you feel like pushing the boat out a little. As Piña Coladas come, the house version is aptly named Beach Blonde Jenny and twists the original with the addition of macadamia nut liqueur and cacao: thus, you have a delicious drink that is also health-conscious. Ingenious stuff!
Where: The Hilton, 6 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Ms Margot's interior, Hilton Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Rosella’s Bar

They say Australia is the lucky country and in particular those of us who call the Gold Coast home (made that bit up, but look around friends). Well, in the last week the lucky country got even luckier and (again) in particular a little place on the south east coast of Queensland, we like to call Burleigh Heads.

The latest little pot of gold comes to us in the form of a brand new bar but not just any brand new bar friends, it’s the kind that dreams are made of.

Rosella’s Bar flew into town just last week ahead of the Australia Day long weekend and it is the refined Aussie-inspired bar you never knew you needed in your life. But need it you do and, as usual, we’re here to tell you why.

It’s the work of local lads Jon Debeere (next-level wine connoisseur) and Jack Connor (ex-Aloha cocktail creator extraordinaire) who are both passionate about all-Aussie adventures and wanted to showcase the work of local wine and craft beer makers, plus do a little making of their own.

It’s an intimate space found on the highway in Burleigh, where a little hairdressing salon once lived, and streuth is it a beauty. Louvered windows open out into the street so you can perch yourself up there and watch the (unfairly good looking) world go by while a couple of booths and high tables line one wall and, of course, you can perch at the bar and have a chat with the boys (or talk their ears off if you’re us).

Brightly coloured, Aussie-inspired artwork is hung throughout, vintage, stained glass light shades hang overhead and Ken Done cloths line the bar. It’s beautifully put together, refined with a side of tongue in cheek and we are absolutely here for it.

Let’s chat drinks though because they are, of course the star of the show. The cocktail menu is unlike anything you’ve seen before with over 10 signature cocktails plus all your old faves. Each one is made with Australian spirits and each one is way more epic than the last.

The Ironman, for example, is made with Beenleigh white rum, Bundaberg small batch rum, lime, banana and a Nutri Grain Orgeat (a housemade syrup type situation) and topped with, you guessed it, our beloved Nutri Grain. It’s a gamechanger and our new go-to tipple.

The Rosella is made with White Light Vodka, rosella jam, Australian bitter, lemon and lilly pilly and served in a rosella shaped glass, all delightful and refreshing. Honestly, they’re all some of the best we’ve ever sampled so do yourself a favour and get there ASAP.

The wine list is equally as impressive, filled with natural, Australian-produced wine made with minimal intervention, many of which you won’t find anywhere else on the Gold Coast (or Queensland for that matter).

Rosella’s are all about showcasing Pet Nat wines (Pétillant-naturel) which refers to sparkling wines produced in the ancient way where the wine is bottled before primary fermentation and finished without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars.

Sounds fancy, is amazing. We taste-tested quite a few and, let it be known, they are some of the most flavour-filled, clean tasting wines we’ve ever come across. And we’ve come across a lot.

Oh and there’s also Fosters. In a can. Not to mention MANY other Aussie beers you’ve probably never seen before. We’re in love.

Now to the food.

The menu has been designed with a nostalgic nod to the Aussie eats you know and love but minus the throw-it-on-the-barbie-and-hope-for-the-best attitude your Dad was all about.

Think Vegemite Beef Jerky, Bug Sambos, Raw Aussie Beef Burgers and Prawn Cocktails but all made with a refined, sophistication to match the exceptional drinks menus.

Last but not least, there are jaffles. The very best jaffles at that. How does Vegemite, Cheddar and Wattleseed butter sound? Yep. There’s also Onepot Lamb with soft herb cheese and spiced chutney.

Okay we’re done. Seriously just go. Right now. We’ll seeya there.

Love you ‘Straya.

LOCATION: 6/1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 4pm until late weekdays and 12pm until late weekends

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Granddad Jacks Distillery

In what may just be the happiest news of 2018, a gin and whiskey distillery will roll open its doors in a few short weeks and we could not be more into it.

Granddad Jacks Distillery has been in the works for what feels like four years to those of us who love both gin and whiskey a little too much. In reality it’s only been four months but the wait is almost over.

On August 24th, the industrial-style Miami distillery will open for the good folks of the Gold Coast and, it’s certainly a cause to celebrate. Found on Lemana Lane, the distillery has taken up in what used to be a mechanics workshop and the transformation is pure magic.

Father/son team and owners Dave and Luke Ridden (along with the lovely Jess) scoured the Gold Coast in search of iron beams and the like to build a space that fits perfectly in Miami’s backstreets. Steel-inspired high tables with copper stools stretch down the centre of the room and two of the coolest leather couches we’ve ever seen make for a little chill spot at one end (if they go missing forget you read this). A day bed along one wall is lined with colourful cushions and underneath a mural proclaiming ‘too busy for bullshit, too tipsy to care’ and that, friends, is our new life motto.

Above the bar, an exposed brick wall boasts a painted portrait of the man himself, Granddad Jack, whose face peers out over the whole space, keeping an eye on you and your whiskey-fuelled shenanigans. There are wine barrels placed artfully about and the cruisiest of cruisers, decked out in Granddad Jack’s signage, is parked up the back. Oh and the main affair, a huge copper still sits at the back pumping out all the tasty booze. Love you.

So who is this Granddad Jack your new favourite watering hole is named after? Well, he’s a New Zealand born lad whose hard work and sharp mind allowed him to pay a huge family debt singlehandedly at the ripe old age of 14, that’s who. Luke, his great grandson, adopted the same hard working, ‘too busy for bullshit’ attitude and here we are, just a humble beachside city with our very own distillery. What a time.

Granddad Jack’s will sell only their own styles of both gin and whiskey and they’ll have a few varieties of each including what they call a ‘navy strength’ gin that’s 58%. Gimme.

There’ll be no food available on site but, hooray, you can BYO whatever you like so it’ll be a cheese platter and gin party for us thank you very much.

The epic space is also available for events including birthdays, engagement parties and wedding receptions and there was even a secret Sofar Sounds gig there recently. So much room for activities.

Okay we’re done and so very excited. Keep August 24th free, you won’t want to miss this one.

LOCATION: 43 Lemana Lane, Miami
HOURS: 10am until midnight Wednesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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