Once you’ve settled in Abu Dhabi, we bet that many of your evenings will involve relaxing in a fancy lounge bar or dancing
in rooftop nightclubs.
These are the kinds of settings made for high-quality mixed drinks. Sometimes a pint or glass of grape just won’t do.
We’re not ashamed to admit that we’re so much more likely to splash out on a more expensive drink if it’s decorated with pretty flowers and fruits. It’s basically impossible to have a concoction such as this without taking a photo of it first. We’d love to think that we’re above posting photos of a beverage in front of a beachside view but we’re so not. It’s just foolish to waste such an opportunity to pull in the Instagram likes.
So here’s where we like to go for the most picture-perfect mixed drinks in Abu Dhabi.
With a menu that fuses cuisines from Polynesia, the Middle East, Asia and the Mediterranean, Trader Vic’s offers a list of mixed drinks that is just as exotic.
We love the novelty glasses here. Drinking something out of a cup that’s shaped liked a coconut shouldn’t make it taste any better, but somehow it does. The original Trader Vic’s in Oakland, California, is the birthplace of one of the world’s most popular lime-based cocktails, and everything about this place has a funky tropical flair.
Open daily Sat-Wed 5pm-2am, Thu-Fri 5pm-3am. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 9011).
This trendy beach bar is the kind of place where the mixologists set fire to the drinks, spin bottles in the air and create beverages that are so immaculate you almost don’t want to devour them. The Buddha-Bar brand has a legendary reputation throughout the world, and the mixed drinks are created with ingredients that have been sourced from far and wide.
Made with fresh fruits, organic floral water and tasty vegetables, the mocktails are just as delicious.
The setting also adds to the experience. The wide outdoor terrace is right on the sands of Saadiyat beach, while DJ Bambina fills the swanky bar area with the hottest tunes.
Open daily noon-4pm, 7pm-midnight. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 498 8888).
Iris Yas Island
Everything about this bar is beautiful. From the classy interior to the fashion-conscious clientele to the carefully presented mixed drinks, it’s all about looking good and having a great time.
The list of mixed drinks is very extensive. Everyone’s favourite pineapple-based drink is served in an appropriately flashy gold pineapple, and there are so many inventive varieties on the menu. Iris’s amazing outdoor area has just reopened, so now you can enjoy a beverage overlooking the sparkling water of Yas Marina. And the new HYVE ladies’ night is also a great addition to the city’s nightlife scene. Head here on Wednesdays for amazing house tunes and three complimentary house drinks for ladies.
Open Mon-Sat 6pm-3am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).
Mexican cuisine is sensational isn’t it? With silky guacamole, huge burritos and spicy enchiladas, this vibrant country really knows how to create great grub.
The Mexican food at Loca is sensational, and the Mexican mixed drinks are designed to complement these delicacies perfectly.
Coming in a huge variety of fruity flavours such as strawberry, kiwi, lime and passionfruit, ladies can enjoy these beverages for free every Wednesday evening at the lively Loca ladies’ night.
Just make sure you book a table in advance, this is one of the most popular places to go in the capital.
Open daily noon-1.30am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).
Jutting out over the clear waters of Al Bandar Harbour, Pacifico Tiki is blessed with one of the best locations in the city.
Just a short drive from Khalifa City and Yas Island, this is also a great place to go if you live out of the city centre.
The mixed drinks pair exceptionally well with the signature tapas-style dishes such as calamari, meatballs and shrimp pil pil.
The lime and pineapple-based mixed drinks are particularly popular, and they certainly match the tropical island vibe of
this pretty lounge.
Head here to watch the sun set from the terrace, or for the Sunday evening tapas-night deal where you can get five plates for the reduced price of Dhs99.
Open Sun-Thu 12.30pm-1.30am, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3am. Al Bandar Marina, Al Raha Beach (02 556 6090).
Back Yard Bistro
With a junkyard-inspired interior, you might think Back Yard Bistro is a bit too ‘laddy’ to do mixed drinks very well. But you can get classic mixed beverages for Dhs30 during the daily happy hours.
Open daily noon-3am. The Hub at World Trade Center, Al Markaziyah (050 114 3666).