Best of Canberra Taste Off: Cocktails

Sophia Carlini 14 January 2015 1

I think I spent most of my week tipsy, having had to search for Canberra’s best cocktail.

I started my search at Molly. I’ve talked about Molly before when I searched for Canberra’s best charcuterie. Molly was the winner in that “Best of” round and I am personally a big fan of the venue, being one of my regular spots. However I knew I had to play fair here, so I decided to visit Molly again, but this time with my “Best of” hat on, instead of my “Let’s get drunk and go dancing hat!”.

Once again I was greeted by the ever friendly bar men who immediately offered me a drink. Amaretto Sours are my favourite and I know what a good one tastes like, so I figured I should go with what I know.

While the guys made my drink they were talking me through some new cocktails they were experimenting with, I even got to play taste tester – it’s a hard life!

Needless to say, the Amaretto Sour was delicious; lemony and the perfect balance of sweet and sour.


It was time to move on before I got too comfortable, so I made my way to Polit Bar in Manuka. I have heard many wonderful and interesting things about Polit, but must admit that I had never actually been. Polit is also a hard-to-find bar, nestled between Public and the arcade, then up a steep set of stairs.

When I reached the top, I was intrigued; the bar is beautiful, like something out of a Great Gatsby party, with gold beaded curtains and trimmings. I made myself comfortable at the bar and asked the bartender what he recommended. He told me that he makes a fantastic Amaretto Sour but that I should try the Aviation; made with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette and lemon juice.

As he was making the drink he talked me through all of the liqueurs and gave me a bit of background on each. Before I knew it my cocktail was made and ready to drink. The photo doesn’t do it justice but the bottom of the cocktail was a striking violet colour. I will admit, gin is not my alcohol of choice but I do like trying different things and I could definitely see and appreciate the flavours of the Aviation.


I’m probably breaking the rules here, but I just couldn’t choose a favourite this week. Both cocktails were wonderful … but I personally think that buying a cocktail is about more than just the drink, it should come with an experience.

A good bartender can not only make a killer cocktail but they will put on a show, just as both Molly and Polit did. Both venues provided on point customer service, talked me through their venues and the liquor, they even told me a story about the drinks they were making me, which really shows their passion and love of cocktails. Polit and Molly both win Canberra’s best cocktail taste off this week!

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One Response to Best of Canberra Taste Off: Cocktails
Mary Jane Liddicoat Mary Jane Liddicoat 2:48 pm 12 Jan 15

Wow – thank you so much Secret Visitor RiotACT! Good to hear we’re keeping our end up. Thank you Polit Bar team Emily, Shea, Matt, Tash, Daniel, Jecinta, Andy & others!

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