Building a great cocktail takes time, and the staff at Cookie know it. Even when the bar gets hectic they seem to operate in a state of Zen-like detachment, creating potent and extravagantly garnished drinks without rushing or cutting corners. This means you may have to wait a little for your drink – but it also ensures that the wait will be oh-so worth it. Try the Bloody Mary, which better resembles a spicy alcoholic soup than the gentle hangover cure of yore; the perfectly matched flavour battle that is the manuka honey and roasted chilli Martini (we were eventually forced to declare it a draw); and the sorbet-like passionfruit daiquiri, which is so delightful we’d marry it if society were ready to acknowledge our love.
Of course, there are plenty of non-cocktail related reasons to visit Cookie too. The Asian-infused menu, and an excellent selection of beers and wines, have also contributed a good deal to its enduring popularity. It’s a lovely space, and it makes a great refuelling stop while scaling the stairs to the Rooftop Cinema in summer.
The theme, loose though it is, is children’s literature: there are bookcases made of crates and filled with dusty cloth-backed tomes, Little Golden Books painted on the wall, and kitschy little touches in the form of kid-shaped lamps and mirror-transfers. There’s even a tribute in cocktail form to Roald Dahl (if you don’t know who that is, call Child Protection and have your parents taken away). The crowd is an oil-and-water mix of inner-city suits and younger, creative types; oddly, given Cookie’s whimsical bent, the demographic often skews towards the business folk, probably because the CBD’s cheaper and grungier laneway bars tend to draw away the younger set. Still, if you’re in the mood to drown your grown-up woes, Cookie will soon have you feeling like a kid again.