If the mantra behind Brisbane's new rooftop bar Sazerac is 'begin as you mean to go on' then nightlife lovers are in for one hell of a party. Situated 30 storeys high atop Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane, Sazerac, named in homage to the classic New Orleans cocktail, hosted an extravagant launch on April 13 ahead of its public opening. Featuring a show-stopping performance by songstress Rachael Beck, fast-flowing champagne and cocktails and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of canapes, guests got a taster - literally - of what this hippest and highest of rooftop bars has to offer.
The first thing you'll notice upon arrival is the spectacular, wrap-around views, most fetching of which is the Story Bridge lit up (on the night we visited) in chakra colours. The next is the intimate buzz, and (due to the unusual layout of this space) the creation of cosy little armchair-clad corners. Add to that a captivating cocktail list and a selection of exotic grazing plates and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable night out.
The head bartenders boast an impressive pedigree, with Casey Hurst (formerly of Melbourne's Candela Nuevo) and Justin Greenway (from the QT Gold Coast's Stingray), and it shows in the host of innovative cocktails and luscious libations. For example, taking the salted caramel craze to its logical conclusion, there's a salted caramel martini on the menu, plus a host of other dreamy delights like the Es-press, peach mint julep and Bloomsbury Punch. Wine, whiskies, beers and more are also available.
If you're looking for nibbles to soak up some of that alcohol, you're in luck. A grazing plate menu designed by executive chef Ambrose Andrews include bourbon-laced barbecue pork, Cajun-spiced chicken skewers, tamarind baby octopus and white anchovies with manchego cheese on Turkish crisps. Prefer something sweet? Check out the chocolate torte with orange compote and Chantilly cream, or the kaffir lime and lemongrass panacotta with mango coconut and mint salsa with toffee glass.
The Four Points Brisbane reportedly spent a cool few million creating Sazerac on the site of what was once the hotel's gym and fitness centre. No doubt the decision would have upset some globe-trotting gym junkies. But seriously: wouldn't you rather be soaking up the atmosphere than sweating it out on the Stairmaster? Salut! to you.