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Best Cocktails in Airlie Beach

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Talia Jones
Updated Wed 22 Mar 2023

Four colourful cocktails in a row with the ocean behind them Photo: Whitsunday Menu

Besides being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is known for being the life of the party! Quite literally though, the town has a vibrant, everlasting party culture that attracts people from overseas and within Australia to experience the festivities firsthand. 

If you’ve found yourself reading this article, we take it you’re one of those people - ready to switch that vacation mode on and find the nearest cocktail bar Airlie Beach has to offer. Lucky for you, a town that hosts the party knows exactly how to party. Airlie is teeming with experienced bartenders who know exactly how to concoct the perfect cocktail. 

We’ve done our research and gathered the best places to go in Airlie Beach for cocktails. So, whether you’re in the mood for a casual poolside Piña Colada after a day exploring the reef or you want to share a jug of Pimms with your friends before a night at Mama Africa’s to dance the night away, these are the places we have handpicked for you.

Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill

A line up of colourful cocktails
Photo: Whitsunday Menu

Recommended by almost every local, Northerlies is one of the best places to go for picturesque sunset cocktails. If you’re chasing a relaxed environment surrounded by palm trees and ocean views, then Northerlies is a clear winner. Throw in some live music, great food and friendly staff to the resort-like atmosphere and you won’t be going home in a hurry! Northerlies also offers a courtesy bus which can take you back into Airlie where you can hit up the next place for more thirst-quenching cocktails. You can thank us later. 

These crowd favourite cocktails are new to the menu and you HAVE to try them:

  • Lunar Sour (vanilla vodka, blue curaçao, chambord, lemon juice, wonderfoam 
  • Butterfly Effect (butterfly pea flower infused vodka, chilli-kaffir lime syrup, lemon juice, lemonade and raspberry sorbet)
  • Bloody Moon - named after the owner (Finlandia vodka, bloody moon mix with tabasco, celery, olives and cucumber)
  • Zibbilicious (Finlandia vodka, contreau, orange, lime and apple juice, passionfruit pulp and raspberry cordial)

Garden Bar Bistro at the Coral Sea Marina

Three cocktails sitting on a bar bench with the ocean in the background
Photo: Whitsunday Menu

This sophisticated venue is the perfect place to stop if you’ve just sailed in (or you've just come from Northerlies) as it’s conveniently situated by the entrance of the Coral Sea Marina. Garden Bar has a wide array of heavenly cocktails and gorgeous marina views, that’ll make you feel like you’re on cloud nine. The “Whitehaven” is one of our favourites here - it’s a mix of vodka, Malibu and Curacao and trust us - it tastes like the beach (well, what we believe the beach should taste like anyway). 

We recommend:

  • Lychee Martini (vodka, lychee liqueur, apple, lime, vanilla, and a lychee added in) 
  • The Whitehaven (vodka, Malibu, blue Curacao and coconut cream)
  • Mother of Dragons (rum, chambord, sugar syrup, lime, and dragon fruit - this one is seasonal due to dragon fruit being the main ingredient which means that sadly you won’t find it on the menu when winter is coming…)

The Whitsundays' beloved Anchor Bar

Two cocktails on a table with the view of the ocean behind
Photo: Whitsunday Menu

Now, Anchor Bar is where you can enjoy a Piña Colada poolside and with a view. Book a table at one of the best places in Airlie to visit for scenic views. The bar overlooks the town and the surrounding Whitsunday Islands. It’s a vibrant restaurant with an extensive list of gourmet entrees and mains to choose from. Plus it's known for serving fresh and fruity blends of cocktails, perfect for cooling down in Queensland’s tropical heat. Pair the food with the ocean views AND cocktails and you won’t be going anywhere! 

We are loving:

  • Jamaican Me Crazy (Malibu, Captain Morgan spiced rum, pineapple juice, grenadine and toasted coconut)
  • A jug of Pimms (mixed berries, sliced citrus, cucumber, lemonade, ginger ale and Pimms, of course)
  • Piña Colada (Malibu, Bacardi, coconut cream and pineapple juice)

Cool Lala Asian Fusion

A cocktail sitting on a bar bench
Photo: Cool Lala

Cool Lala is a modern Asian fusion restaurant in Airlie Beach. Decorated with neon lights and unique artwork, the restaurant draws on the ever-evolving roots of Asian cuisine. Besides their delicious selection of food, they have an extravagant cocktail list. Cool Lala is ideal if it's dinner and drinks that you’re after. Perfect for a date night or to celebrate a special occasion, this sophisticated venue will leave you deeply satisfied with a desire to return.

Our winners:

  • Yuzu Margarita (tequila, yuzu, cointreau, sugar syrup)
  • Chewy FirrBerry (fresh kaffir lime, strawberries and vodka)
  • The Amo Mule (wasabi vodka, ginger beer and yuzu)

Breeze Bar in the heart of Airlie

Two cocktails sitting on a bar bench
Photo: Whitsunday Menu

Located in the heart of Airlie Beach along the esplanade is Breeze Bar. This trendy bar offers both food, drinks and of course, cocktails (why else would you be reading this article, right?). Whether it’s a pre-dinner or a post-dinner cocktail you’re after, Breeze Bar has the best of both worlds. With a mix of sweet and sour cocktails to rich dessert ones, you’d best be sure to add Breeze Bar to your list. 

Our go-to's:

  • Strawberry Blossom (gin, strawberry liqueur and fresh strawberries, egg white and sour mix)
  • Gentleman’s Garden (gin, elderflower, cucumber, lime and cloudy apple juice)
  • Honeycomb - a dessert cocktail (honey whiskey, Licor 43, Baileys, cream and chocolate rim)

So, where are you starting first?

Chat to our locals for further questions you might have via our live chat or by calling +61 74914 2425 today!

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