Sipping on Sunshine: 4 Cocktails you Can’t Miss in Subi

Lemon and basil, strawberries and mint – they’re just a few of the flavour combinations synonymous with summer. To celebrate the sunshine season, Monique Ceccato spoke to four Subiaco bartenders to see what flavours they’re choosing to use in their favourite cocktails this summer.

Lums Wine Bar

Cocktail of choice: Gin Basil Smash

Gin is to summer what parmesan is to pasta; you can’t have one without the other.

As the air temperature trends upwards, cocktail menus around Subiaco are shedding their heavier flavours and leaning right into the bright juniper-based spirit. Even Lums – generally lauded for its breadth of local and international, classic and contemporary wines – is getting in on the gin action.

Venue manager Ariane DuBois prefers to let the citrusy notes of the spirit do most of the talking in her understated summer alfresco favourite.

“The ‘Gin Basil Smash’ is a delightful blend of gin, fresh basil leaves, simple syrup, and a generous squeeze of zesty lemon juice,” she explains. Shaken and served over ice, the cocktail is best enjoyed in the delicious warmth of the bar’s alfresco area. It’s incredibly refreshing . . . like sipping on a garden in full bloom but with a sophisticated twist.

The Gin Basil Smash joins just four other cocktails on a rather concise cocktail menu, though the bar is happy to cater to whatever your summer self desires. Of course, there is plenty for the wine drinker too, with an impressive list of rosé, orange, chilled reds, and light, bright, tangy whites to choose from.

Storehouse Subiaco

Cocktail of choice: Summer Breeze

Storehouse Subiaco’s rooftop terrace really comes into its own in summer.

As the barometer rises, trying to keep patrons indoors is futile. At least not when there’s the option to sit on a breezy outdoor terrace, 12 storeys up and with a view to rival all views (whatever the weather, thanks to outdoor heaters for cooler nights). There’s nowhere else quite like it in Subiaco, with its east-facing panorama of the ever-expanding Perth city skyline and rolling Darling Scarp. And just wait until you see it at sunset . . .

According to Assistant Bar Manager Gokhan Imam, the best way to enjoy the space is with a ‘Summer Breeze’ in hand. It’s a bright beverage made with lashings of Giniversity botanical gin, strawberries, mint, thyme, and cuvée brut; all blended to let the Margaret River gin shine.

“It’s incredibly light, fragrant and refreshing,” he says. “The perfect cocktail to help you get through Perth’s hot summer days. At Storehouse, we believe a cocktail is more than just a drink; it’s about the experience and sipping with people that you enjoy spending time with and creating new memories.”

Well said, Gokhan.

Bar Banter

Cocktail of choice: Backyard Mai Tai

Best known for his contributions to Perth’s tequila scene, Clint Nolan’s summer cocktail of choice is a surprising departure from the agave-based spirit.

“My summer cocktail pick would have to be the Backyard Mai Tai – our take on the retro Tiki icon,” says Clint.

It’s the summertime star of Bar Banter’s cocktail menu, a big and boozy blend of rum, cachaca, gin, Campari, and triple sec, lifted with a dash of almondy orgeat and fresh lime.

“There’s something about the classic tropical combination of zesty lime and a generous pour of Jamaican rum paired with almond syrup and the citrussy-spice notes of Campari. It’s truly like sipping on summer in a glass,” says Clint.

Sitting in the bar’s large alfresco, surrounded by blooming birds of paradise only amplifies that summer feeling tenfold. The space is tucked into a laneway behind Clint’s other Subiaco-based venue, La Condesa, and exemplifies the cool, inner-city hangout. Cobalt blue stools and a dragonfly-covered recycled art installation by students at Subiaco Primary School brighten up an otherwise industrial outlook, and a concise yet chic menu makes this spot the real deal.

Bar Amelie

Cocktail of choice: Golden Triangle

You needn’t be joining the hordes of swimmers cooling off in the Indian Ocean to get that summer feeling.

According to the manager and cocktail guru at Bar Amelie, Jordan Hall, all it takes is citrus, native botanicals, and a bit of sunshine on the bar’s street front alfresco decking to make summer the best time of year in Subiaco.

Jordan’s Rokeby Road workplace may be 7.5 kilometres from the nearest beach, but he manages to bring the coastline to his patrons, chilled and on ice (but without the inconvenience of sandy feet).

Of all the cocktails on the Bar Amelie menu, Hall’s summer favourite is the Golden Triangle – “one of our originals.” He describes his pick as ‘pure summer in a glass’, the native bush thyme and lemon myrtle syrups really bringing the essence of Perth’s coastline and its abundant native flowers to the gin and lemon base.

Double down on the summer seaside flavours and order a glass or two with a shared kingfish ceviche, beetroot vodka cured salmon, or a plate of tempura whiting.

You’ll be a true Indian Ocean local in no time with all of the above at your disposal.

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