Having replaced the cocktail garnish of mini-paper umbrellas with the likes of Vietnamese toffee apples and locally roasted coffee beans, Bali's best bars are truly changing the game.
Whether you’re here for a week or a month, a trip to these eight cocktail haunts should be high on your agenda.
Read more: Where to Eat, Drink, Stay and Play in Bali
1. The Night Rooster at Locavore, Ubud
Operating on the ethos of sustainably sourced local produce, at Locavore restaurant you will find yourself sitting amongst forest green walls sipping your cocktails from bamboo straws, knowing your mint leaves and garnishes have been freshly plucked.
Sip on experimental cocktails curated by resident alchemist at one of Bali's best bars: Locavore's bespoke bar, Night Rooster. Infused with local flavours and premium spirits — think salak-infused arak and homemade liquors garnished with blowtorched fruit and pine forest mist — each concoction is a work of imagination, flavour and art; pair your cocktail with in-house charcuterie or people-watch from your second story seat above Jalan Dewi Sita.
2. Sunday's Beach Club, Uluwatu
Drinking cocktails in Bali doesn’t always mean watching the sunset or having a boozy night out. Sometimes it means the intermittence between snorkelling, beach walks and general fun in the sun.
Such is the case when kicking back on the private sands of Sunday's Beach Club. A popular hang out that can attract a queue, it’s best to arrive early when a Bloody Mary can kick start your day.
3. Saigon Street, Seminyak
Boasting an interior masterminded by an acclaimed Australian designer and an Executive Chef who owns one of Melbourne’s most awarded Vietnamese restaurants, Saigon Street was a recipe for success from the very beginning. The restaurant's cocktail collection is so creative, colourful and bursting with Vietnamese flair, you need not be in the mood for dinner to drop into Saigon Street.
Though after a few Hanoi Hustlers (think bourbon, vanilla liqueur, grilled pineapple & local orange) and one too many Toffee Apple Mojitos (hello house-made apple puree, mint and dark rum with a side of mini toffee apples), your appetite will more than likely be whet. Enter their zucchini flower rice paper rolls and mango mahi-mahi flamed over coconut, coffee and cinnamon wood.
4. Hank’s Pizza, Seminyak
We lured you into the talk of Bali’s best bars with mention of locally sourced coffee beans, referring to the espresso martini that has become something of an island speciality. Who needs their coffee hot in the tropics? Before choice overwhelms you to the number one bar on TripAdvisor, allow us to send you straight to the guys at Hank’s Pizza. They have nailed this cocktail concoction as well as they’ve honed their jukebox and good-looking crowd bar situation. Enjoy your brew with some popcorn or a zucchini herbed pizza.
5. Rock Bar, Jimbaran
If ocean vistas and dramatic scenery are completely essential in your Bali cocktail experience, then Ayana Resort’s Rock Bar needs to be your destination number one. Kintamani orange jelly, cinnamon sticks & emulsified egg whites are just some of the ingredients that season this menu. Shaken up by world-class bartenders beside a resident DJ with a knack for lounge bar beats, this place is well worth the wait for the elevator ride down the cliff face.
6. Ku De Ta, Seminyak
If you’re planning a trip to Bali that’s crafted around being wowed by sophisticated dining experiences, you’ve no doubt got Ku De Ta on the agenda.
Possibly the most iconic and unfaltering fine-dining experience in Bali, this architecturally brilliant seaside restaurant is all class. Which cocktails should one order whilst drinking in the sunset and waiting for an entrée of prawn and snapper dumplings and a main of green olive and goat cheese gnocchi? Perhaps a Brazilian Cooler, with fresh blackcurrant and homemade ginger beer, a martini of fresh lychees and rose water, or an orange curacao mai tai made as per the 1947 original. Or better yet…all three!
7. MAMA San, Seminyak
Mama San invites you into its inspiring space away from the heat, describing their warehouse conversion as “Britain in Shanghai during the 1920s” and a “bourgeois gentlemen’s club.” An authentic Asian experience of tasty treats in bamboo baskets and red chopsticks, the Mama San cocktail menu sells itself with its drink names alone. Most of us can't say no to a Candy Floss, a Spirituality and a Popsicle.
Sit amongst the ottomans and chandeliers sipping these delights until 2am, still revelling in the delight of the crispy salmon and green mango salad and Salt & Pepper squid with red Nahm jihm that you devoured for dinner.
8. La Laguna, Seminyak
Though the setting is very gypsy-caravan-park, and your outfit may be a little bit boho too, your drinking style at La Laguna doesn’t need to slip from high-flyer. Here we suggest the Herbed and Spice cocktail of basil leaf and lemongrass muddled to perfection with red chillies and vodka, enjoyed beside the lemongrass crème brulee topped with raspberries.
Not in the mood for a cocktail? Perhaps a bottle of Belvedere Black will hit the spot. That can come served with tapas to the tune of polenta and flash fried prawns.
Still not satisfied? Kick on to their sister haunt, La Favela, another of Bali's best bars where the call of the evening should be single malt Glenfiddich or an enlivening champagne cocktail.