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Best Cocktails in Airlie Beach

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Talia Jones
Updated Wed 17 Apr 2024

Three colourful cocktails in a row with the a blue bar behind them Photo: Sandbar

Besides being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is known for it's tropical vibes and exquisite cocktail bars! Attracting people from overseas and within Australia to experience the colourful, island atmosphere, there is nothing more quintessential than watching an Airlie sunset with a mojito in-hand!

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 chill out! Luckily, 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.

Sandbar Restaurant and Bar

Two women enjoying cocktails at Sandbar Restaurant & Bar in Airlie BeachPhoto: Sandbar

Sandbar is the newest addition to Airlie Beach's impressive food and drink scene, but it has already made a splash among locals and tourists alike for its delectable Mediterranean-inspired menu, its spectacular sea views, and its extensive list of hand-crafted cocktails. With excellent prices, incredible plates designed to share, gourmet mains AND ocean views, you won’t be going anywhere! 

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

  • Sandbar Margarita (Tequila, blue Curacao, lemon juice, sugar syrup)
  • Sandy Martini (Vodka, kahlua, baileys, espresso, sugar syrup)
  • Pornstar Martini (Vodka, passionfruit, passoa, sugar syrup, prosecco)


A gin and tonic from Paradiso, Airlie BeachPhoto: Paradiso

Paradiso has a stellar line-up of specialty cocktails that go beautifully with their delicious menu of appetisers and tapas. Gaze out at the romantic Airlie horizon and breathe in the fresh sea air as you sip on fruity blends made especially by their team of expert bartenders. Choose from classic cocktails and unique concoctions and let island life treat you to utter relaxation!

Here are our top picks:

  • Rainbow Paradiso (Coconut rum, blue curacao, raspberry, pineapple juice)
  • Lychee & Elderflower Icy-Pole (Lychee, Elderflower, rum, lime, sorbet)
  • Hidden Treasure (Frangelico, blue curacao, vanilla extract, cinnamon syrup, milk)

Anchor Bar

Food and drink from Anchor Bar, Airlie Beach Photo: Anchor Bar

Anchor Bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a Piña Colada poolside and with a view. 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. 

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

A cocktail from Breeze Bar, Airlie Beach
Photo: Breeze Bar

Located in the heart of Airlie Beach along the esplanade is Breeze Bar. This trendy bar offers tapas, live music 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)

Rum Bar

Cocktail from Rum Bar and Fish D'vine in Airlie BeachPhoto: Fish D'vine / Rum Bar

Rum Bar has achieved global fame thanks to its knock-out mojito. It'd be a shame not to give the award-winning drink a try while you're in town! The tiki bar, which prides itself on serving up delightful 'cocktails, potions & suggestive notions' can be found on Airlie Esplanade, attached to Fish D'vine. Pop in for some fresh, local seafood and a tropical beverage to wrap up another perfect day in paradise.

You HAVE to try these ones:

  • Rum Bar Mojito (White rum, lime juice, sugar, mint, soda water, and likely some top secret ingredients!)
  • Rum Bar Espresso Daiquiri (Foursquare spiced rum, Vittoria espresso, espresso liqueur, house made maple rum syrup)

20 Degrees South Bar

Bartender making cocktails at Sandbar, Airlie BeachPhoto: Sandbar

Head to the Whitsunday Sailing Club for some of the most exclusive views of Coral Sea and some top-tier cocktails. Bring your friends to watch the sunset over the horizon with an ice-cold cocktail inhand. Feeling peckish? Choose from a wide range of light bites, pastas, pizzas, burgers, and other seasonal specials while you sip on your beverage of choice!

We'd recommend:

  • Amaretto Sour (Amaretto, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white, bitters, maraschino cherry)
  • Piña Colada (Malibu, coconut cream, pineapple juice, whipped cream, coconut flakes)

The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

A bartender making a cocktail at The Pub, Airlie Beach HotelPhoto: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel

Want some stellar live music with your cocktail? Look no further than The Pub in Airlie Beach Hotel, where you can catch all sorts of bands from mariachi to ska to rock playing right behind the bar. Why not kick back and enjoy the atmosphere with a spicy margarita or Aperol Spritz? Sit outside and let the sea breeze cool you down while you sing along to the musical stylings of that night's smash-hit performance! 

So, where are you starting first?

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

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