Perth’s bar scene is filled with must-try tipples. Drop in to these standout spots after a day’s racing at Ascot and try the unique creations on their menus.
Named after Australia’s favourite ex-prime minister and recognised aficionado of good drink, this rooftop bar with panoramic city views sits atop the historic West Australian Print Factory at the end of a flight of newspaper-lined stairs. It contains the original West Australian neon sign and amid a truly dazzling line up of spirits, wines and beers, The Bob-zie is a spirit lover’s standout. The Tiki-style tipple boasts five different rums ‘for the brave,’ designed to share. Another must-try is a jug of Bobs’ Own Homemade Tea – Pampero Blanco, Plymouth sloe gin, crème de peche and earl grey tea.
Print Hall, 125 St George’s Terrace
Discover the laneway stairs at the back of heritage building 222 William Street, in Northbridge, and you’re on the way to rooftop bar Mechanics Institute for a stunner of a signature drink inspired by the burger joint Flipside on the ground floor below. The spicy, hearty, meal-in-a-glass Epic Bloody Mary is a spectacle to behold, garnished with a cheeseburger and various other edibles on skewers. It’s possibly the city’s most Instagram-able beverage, and available Sundays – perfect for après race day recovery.
Rear 222 William Street, Northbridge
Hippocampus Metropolitan Distillery
There’s no better place to enjoy spirits than right at the source, so seek out the cellar door of this two-year-old craft distillery, where the gins and vodkas are made in a steam-driven copper still named Kylie. Alex the chief distiller runs tours and you can sample the lovingly crafted spirits or buy your own bottle with distinctive seahorse label. Hippocampus Gin, with 10 beautifully balanced botanicals in the mix, is your go-to.
19 Gordon Street, West Perth
The Sherry at The Flour Factory
The three levels of this 100-year-old heritage flour mill boast a butchery, bakery and modern-day flour mill along with Spanish-inspired food and drink The Sherry, a delightfully hidden rooftop bar with – as the name suggests –a dedication to the Spanish fortified wine that’s cool again. There’s also a showstopping selection of gins, but we’d point you to the star cast of Vermouths, particularly those on tap, made locally at Howard Park Winery. Served with sparkling water, fresh fruit and Sicilian green olives, your pour can be a Touch (30ml), a Tickle (75ml), a Tall Boy (500ml), or a Tall(er) Boy litre serve of the good stuff.
Feeling lucky after the races? Pay $10 to spin the gin wheel and select your juniper tipple.
16 Queen Street, CBD
Varnish on King
Here’s an admirable mission statement from the team at semi-secret basement speakeasy Varnish on King: “All we do all day is source the best food, the best wine and the best whiskey to share with our friends.” Whiskey is the obsession here and the bar holds monthly masterclasses in the American favourite, where you can become better acquainted with hundreds of gems from Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Utah, and more. We’d recommend sampling straight ryes, Boilermakers (beer matched with a whiskey chaser) or a flight of ‘three small drams with a tale to tell.’ But for a hero drink we’d have to pick the Varnish House Blended Whiskey barrel-aged cocktail. This beauty is a blend of the Varnish team’s favourites from three different continents, aged together in oak and poured straight from the barrel. Dram-tastic.
75 King Street, Perth
Another exciting gin that has made it onto our Gintonica Menu // Poli Marconi 46 is a handcrafted Italian Gin distilled in small batches by Jacopo Poli with Crisopea, his innovative vacuum bain-marie pot still. This unique infusion of juniper, berries, muscat grapes, cardamom, mint, cirmolo, mountain mugo pine & coriander. Poli Marconi + Quina Fina + Lemon + Rosemary Come and try this delicious gin #enriquesayrelax @organherb @polimarconigin
The full name of this quirky Spanish bar is ‘Enrique’s School for to Bullfighting’ – yes, with the ‘to’ included to provide that authentic Spanish inflection – and although the vibe is fun and wacky, the drinks are serious. Enrique’s has a gin devotion bordering on the religious with a menu of boutique and rare varieties for ‘gin geeks,’ but our favourite signature is the Gin Tonica – served the Spanish way in a balloon glass. Enrique’s allows you to build your own from a choice of 11 gins, two tonics and 17 garnishes, or if you can’t decide, just opt for the Enrique’s Gintonica, a house blend with blood orange, kaffir lime and elderflower.
484 Beaufort Street, Highgate