It’s been a tough week. You’re on the 9-5 grind, working for the man, and the big city life is starting to wear you down. As 5 p.m. rolls around you start thinking of what the night ahead of you holds. Is it home to the couch to finish off that cheap bottle of supermarket pinot noir in front of Netflix? No, it’s time to take self-care into your own hands!
Flick that message off to the group chat, round up your work-wife/husband, or peer-pressure your flatmates to "just one drink, come on". It’s time for cocktails.
This guide was updated 22/09/2020
Vodka or rum? Fruity or spicy? Cocktail-related decisions are the only decisions you should have to make right now – and with an array of fabulous cocktail-bars in Auckland, the world is your oyster.
We’ve rounded up some of the best and most unique cocktail locations in Auckland so you can kiss the couch goodbye and get straight on to sipping some delicious beverages.
With personality bursting at the seams, a visit to Talulah feels like a visit to a tropical resort. With its bright colours, tiki glasses, and deliciously juicy cocktails, Talulah is one of the most fun and gram-worthy spots of the lot. A great place to posse up with your crew for a big night, Talulah offers cocktail bowls to share as well as a DJ every Tuesday to start your week off right. With an incredible Tiki Time every day boasting $10 cocktail classics from 4-7pm, it’s easy to find an excuse to visit. The cherry on top (or rather umbrella in the cocktail) is Talulah’s roof-top location offering a beautiful view of the harbour. It’s definitely time to let Talulah bring a little summer to your winter.
Coley and Punch
Sleek, classic, and timeless – the atmosphere at Coley and Punch easily matches its signature speciality: Whiskey. However, don’t let the fact they boast a selection of over 250 whiskeys and malts fool you–Coley and Punch’s cocktails are nothing to turn your nose up at. Known for their beautiful garnishes and strength of their drinks, we recommend you take your Instagram shot before cocktail number two. A great spot for pre-dinner drinks, the sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere sets a great tone for the beginning of your evening. The only downside is that you may never want to leave!
Welcome to Ponsonby’s best keep secret. Effortlessly cool, yet simultaneously cosy and welcoming; Deadshot isn’t just a cocktail bar – it’s an entire experience. You will only be led inside once there is a free table so be prepared to wait on weekend evenings, but this also lends the place an intimate atmosphere and we can promise you the drinks are well worth the wait. As you’re welcomed in be prepared to answer a flurry of questions around your cocktail preferences. After that, you can sit back and relax and wait for top-notch service and a delicious bespoke cocktail, expertly mixed for your personal tastes to be delivered to your table. But don’t worry, they nail the classics too.
If your pockets aren’t feeling particularly deep, but you’d really like a holiday anyway – we recommend you head on down the stairs of Caretaker Britomart. You’ll feel instantly transported to a moody New York jazz bar, all for the price of a cocktail. The same masterminds behind Ponsonby's legendary Deadshot, the team at Caretaker caters to your individual tastes and can dream you up any cocktail your heart desires–As well as having an impeccable seasonal cocktail list. For added ambience, head in on a Tuesday for live jazz music, the perfect cruise-y accompaniment to your drink. There are few better ways to unwind post-work. Located near Orleans in Britomart, Caretaker can be easy to miss but we really recommend you don’t.
The Parasol & Swing Company
One of the most unique cocktail spots in Auckland, Parasol & Swing just does things a bit differently–And in this case, different is good. A real-life tribute to the history of all things liquid and alcoholic, Parasol & Swing Company is anything but stale with their approach to cocktails. While Inspired by the classics, Parasol and Swing’s cocktails change seasonally and will continually surprise you with fresh and creative twists. Despite Parasol & Swing’s changing menu, a must-try and mainstay of their cocktail menu is the Crimson & Clover Club–An incredible blend of infused gin, jam grenadine, and raspberry dust. With several awards under its belt already, what are you waiting for?
Bedford Soda and Liquor
Bringing the feel of a New York neighbourhood bar to both Ponsonby and Takapuna, Bedford Soda and Liquor has an indisputable air of nostalgia, even if it’s your first visit. A great spot to transition seamlessly from relaxed drinks in the sun through to late-night cocktails, both Bedford’s locations are nestled right in the hub of things making going or staying easy. The cocktail menu is heavily inspired by retro American beverage culture – the handmade sodas and unique mixology being Bedford’s point of difference. Even better, the extensive cocktail list covers all bases, from boozy milkshakes, pitchers to share or light classic cocktails. Regardless of what side of Auckland you’re in or your mood, Bedford Soda and Liquor is hard to beat.