There’s something ironic about a Tiki bar in Hobart in August.
With snow on Mount Wellington and a spare thermal in my handbag, I convinced The Lovely Deputy that we should again try to find the elusive South Seas Cocktail Lounge.
Themed in the style of a Polynesian bar, the South Seas Cocktail Lounge is more American kitsch than South Pacific, unless you’re contemplating that musical, then you’re pretty much there.
The South Seas Cocktail Lounge pays homage to its heritage with shrines to Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, rum-swilling, cocktail-loving Americans who in the 1930s, wanted their own fantasy island and a long cool drink. And they created Tiki-style.
The Mai Tai is massive at The South Seas, and other rum concoctions like the Zombie, labelled ‘strong’ in their drink strength typology with the caveat ‘As Don said, ‘only two per customer!”
The South Seas has some serious signature concoctions like the Mauritian Clipper, $19. This cocktail is a tribute to a Hobart clipper called the ‘Harriet McGregor’ which they say brought sugar and rum back from ports around the world including Mauritius; rum, sugar and spice for $19.
There are all the classics too: daiquiri, mojito, pina colada, caipirinha, pisco sour, cuba libre and margarita. Everything you’d expect to see in the tropics. Prices vary and some drinks come in serves to share. We drank orange and grapefruit tequila sours, off-the-menu for $16 each, and that’s around-about the price for a standard which is okay by us.
The South Seas Cocktail Bar is more than rum and coconut shells though. There’s plenty of classic and vintage options: martini, $19, mint julep, $17, old fashioned, $18, manhattan, $20, and the stand-by champagne cocktail, $13.
Bar snacks come with.
This is a quirky, tiny bar, a dark enclave, replete with South Pacific design and faux Easter Island carvings.
The bar manager is Chris and he tells This Girl he just wants to make The South Seas Cocktail Lounge an authentic, comfortable, cocktail experience. It’s noice they’re catering for the middle-aged with table torches to read the menu by.
They like that they’re a bit out of the way and you have to want them to find them. This way, Chris says, they’ll be no velvet roped queues to get in.
Blink and you’ll miss them at 13-17 Castray Esplanade, Battery Point. They’re set back a bit from the street frontage, the entrance is down the side to the right and the interior is obscured by blinds which mean you can’t see in. Having spent one evening walking back and forth along Castray Esplanade desperate and thirsty it’s best you know the story straight up.
Find them on the interwebs here and on Facebook here.
They’re opened Wednesday to Saturday, 5 pm until midnight. They close the doors at 11 pm to avoid the closing drink rush.
There's a few places we like to have a drink, here's some other favourites on our post - A Wee Tipple.