Where to find the best cocktails

Shaken, stirred, muddled or strained – a great cocktail is usually the start of an epic night out! Knowing how to combine flavours that pack a punch and serve cocktails with flair is an artform in itself. There’s a growing number of bars and eateries around town that specialise in making unique cocktails alongside the traditional classics. So put down the wine and beer list, get excited, and raise a cocktail glass today! Cheers!

Bar Centrale 3


The owners of Clarence Tauranga have a passion for Italian food and wine so it’s no surprise their sophisticated Bar Centrale is known for its flirty Italian-style cocktails. Their cocktail menu changes with the seasons and features the finest Italian Prosecco, Limoncello, Italicus and Campari you’ll find in Aotearoa. Enjoy a ‘Hidden Treasure’ this winter (Havana 7, Averna, passionfruit syrup, angostura, chocolate bitters) or bidc in spring (gin, Italicus, lemon juice, champagne syrup, egg white, burnt absinthe). Whatever you order, it’s sure to transport you somewhere glorious!

Centrale, 51 Willow Street Tauranga

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Roxie’s Red Hot Cantina

Frozen margaritas are legendary at Roxie’s and some serious love goes into creating these cocktails that look at hot as the tacos served with them! Served on tap straight from a slushie machine, Roxie’s margarita flavours (and vibrant colours) change all the time, and could include matcha, mimosa, blue curacao or even pineapple lumps. The garnishes are pretty impressive and are as much a feature of these cocktails as the frozen goodness inside. The bar staff’s motto here is to always take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a hit of tequila. Nice.

Roxie's Red Hot Cantina, 113 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

Madame Sunset

Madame Sunset

Sister to Asian street food restaurant Master Kong, Madame Sunset serves some seriously kick-ass cocktails. It boasts a limited-edition handcrafted cocktail list featuring drinks such as ‘Tokyo Thyme’ (Roku gin, Mandarin Napoleon liqueur, watermelon, melon and thyme syrup) and ‘Crouching Tiger’ (El Jimador Tequila, yellow chartreuse, raspberry and mango puree, Vietnamese mint and lime juice). If you want something a bit more chilled out, try ‘Mellow Monkey’ (whisky, Baileys, Kahlua, caramel syrup and almond milk). A selection of other ‘taptails’ are also available along with piña colada slushies.

Madame Sunset, 217 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

Macau 2


Macau’s stylish upstairs lounge bar overlooking The Strand on Tauranga’s waterfront has an extensive list of sultry-looking cocktails. Their namesake ‘Macau Sling’ features plum wine, brandy, Cointreau, gin, orange juice, pineapple juice and raspberry. While ‘Lemon Cheesecake’ (lychee liqueur, Frangelico, vodka, lemon, gomme syrup, pineapple juice) and ‘Blue Butterfly’ (gin infused with butterfly flower tea, passionfruit, yuzu tonic) are among their creative original offerings, traditional classics like a ‘Bloody Mary’, ‘Mojito’ and ‘Negroni’ are also served here.

Macau Restaurant & Lounge, 59 The Strand, Tauranga

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Miss Gee's

This specialty cocktail bar is where you’ll find over 30 different types of gin and “a fancy AF cocktail list” (their words, not ours!). Gin cocktails are of course a mainstay including ‘Pink Refresher’ and ‘Pretty in Pink’ that make the most of our ongoing love affair with pink gin. You’ll find all the classics here too including Cosmopolitan, Expresso Martini and Tom Collins along with one-of-a-kind creations like Chili Margaritas. Miss Gee's also hosts cocktail classes so you can learn how to blend the perfect tipple and practice shaking cocktails like a pro.

Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery, 3/59 The Strand, Tauranga