Sharing is caring! And, while buying rounds of drinks is fun and stuff, lining up at the bar gets old pretty fast. The solution? Supersized cocktails designed to share with your squad so your bum remains firmly plonked down—genius! Some of Auckland’s finest bars have jumped on the sharing bandwagon, serving their concoctions in jugs, pitchers and carafes to satisfy the thirsty hordes. Not one to shy away from a good drink, we’ve rounded up our 10 fave places to find cocktails to share with a bunch of old friends—or help you make new ones!
Bedford Soda & Liquor
Shall we start with Bedford Soda & Liquor? The much-loved Ponsonby drinking hole has a mighty fine pitcher game. Our picks of the bunch are their iconic steaming copper kettle served with smoking dry ice and the Polynesian painkiller. This island-esque punch stars rum, coconut vodka, Curacao and a delicious array of tropical fruit. Opt for the ‘volcano option’ and brace yourself for a fireworks show… We’ll say no more.
Britomart, Takapuna, Ellerslie & Ponsonby
Mexican food is best enjoyed when washed down with a class (or two) of sangria and nobody knows this better than Mexico. With four locations across Auckland, you’re never too far away from your next Mex’n’gria fix. They have all bases covered with sauv blanc, pinot noir and sparkling wine options. Round up your amigos and make a night of it!
There’s nothing we love more than sipping on Miss Clawdy’s jugs—cocktail jugs, that is. You’re spoilt for choice at this Wynyard Quarter eatery with seven shared drinks on the menu. Our personal fave has got to be Clawdy’s creative twist on the mojito—it’s got green tea in it! Pair with some of their famous fried jerk chicken and you’ll be away laughing.
The Blue Breeze Inn
Treat your lover to an island getaway without leaving the city. The Blue Breeze Inn’s Toolong a Lover is designed for you and your special someone. Expect to be served a fresh coconut filled with coconut-fused rum and smashed pineapple with a cherry on top. It comes with two straws so you can stare into each other’s eyes à la Lady and the Tramp as you drink the night away.
If you’re in need of an after-work sangria, Ostro’s City Terrace has got your covered. Find a pozzy on the balcony and take in views of the city as you sip on chilled jugs of sangria. And you’ll be pleased to know there’s no nasty bar snacks in sight. Instead, you’ll be munching on panko-crumbed goat’s cheese and pork empanadas or, go all out, and order their seafood platter—it’s not to be missed!
When the sun’s shining, The Commons’ charming outdoor area, The Gardens, is the place to be. The Gardens has what is probably the most extensive ‘between friends’ cocktail menu—with delicious pizzas to boot! Opt for a classic sangria or go for the summer mango jerry with blood orange and mango-infused cider, raspberries and peach bitters. This spot is the kind of place you could quite happily pass the day away.
Britomart Country Club
Britomart Country Club was one of the first joints to get on the cocktail jug buzz so it’s no wonder they’ve got things perfected. Our go-to would have to be the Thai punch. It won’t be too tricky to find someone to share this refreshing concoction of vermouth, lychee, lemon, lime, orange, basil and raspberry with you (we’re more than happy to be your drinking buddy).
It’s a fact that adult beverages taste better when enjoyed al fresco. When summer comes around, you’ll find us sipping on cocktails in the courtyard of the iconic Birdcage. They have offerings such as Pimm’s punch or almond and berry sangria—made oh-so Instagramable with mixed berries.
Paper lanterns, ferry lights and shared pitchers are aplenty at La Zeppa. And, if your squad wants to get serious about sharing, it’s the place to go. You won’t find watered-down Pimm’s or cheap sangria here. No soiree! Work your way though jugs packed with ingredients such as fresh fruit, coconut cream, ginger and a whooole lot of booze.
After a day of soaking up the sun at Takapuna Beach, make your way to Blunderbuss for sangria goodness. Order a carafe or ya traditional ‘gria or opt for something more contemporary. Think sparkling prosecco with pink grapefruit, blood orange and fresh coriander. Get amongst their wood-fire pizzas while you’re at it (it’d be rude not to).
Hidden down an alleyway in Ponsonby, new kid on the block Gypsy Caravan is a delightful setting to share a bevvy with your nearest and dearest. You’ll discover three shared cocktails: djinn teapot, wayward sisters and dirty pirate hooka. We’ll be lining up for the latter. It’s packed with lime, vanilla, spices, ginger beer, smoked apple and rum, rum and more rum. It’s guaranteed to bring out your inner pirate!
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Image credit: Andrew Wilson