Ginuary 8th: Chilli Cucumber Cooler @ the Glass House Hobart.

I’ve been working down at Brooke Street Pier in Hobart over the past couple of weeks and it’s made me very weak at resisting the urge to drink and dine like a lady of leisure. Luckily, Ginuary is a wonderful excuse, and a very long work day today ended at the Glass House.

I love how many options are available in Hobart these days for good cocktails. When I moved down here just over three years ago the options were limited and, speaking as someone who had only just kicked off her Ginuary adventure, that was very upsetting. Each time a new venue has opened since then, a little bit of my broken heart has mended. The Glass House has been one of the most exciting openings, with a beautiful location right at the end of the new pier.

Looking out over Sullivan’s Cove from the bar.

The Glass House is technically an extension of the Islington Hotel, opened as a location to send hotel guests for a drink (as I said, options in Hobart have been on the smaller side). It also serves as a showcase for the local Tasmanian products that one of the Islington’s owners exports to Hong Kong. 

Both food and drinks can be found at the Glass House—the food menu is inspired by Japanese and Korean cuisine, and the cocktail menu revolves around classic stirred and shaken drinks (with occasional minor variations to incorporate Tasmanian products).  There are two cocktail lists—the fundamentals list was put together by Alex Watson, the Glass House’s general manager, and the seasonal list is more evolutionary, made up of things the bar staff are into right now.

Kafka and Clifford making magic.

It was a drink on the current seasonal menu that piqued my interest when doing Ginuary planning—the Chilli Cucumber Cooler. A true summer beauty, from the looks of it, and bartender Kafka—the drink’s creator—was happy to whip one up for me. And one for another patron while she was at it.

Double trouble.

The playbook for the Chilli Cucumber Cooler, after some refinement, is as follows: Poltergeist gin, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, ginger liqueur, lime & chilli bitters, lemon and cucumber, and topped with a splash of ginger ale. This is a kicker of a long drink, cool and refreshing on hot summer days. 

The lineup.

The flavour took me by surprise when I first tried it—I was expecting something sweeter, but as soon as my palate adjusted, I was sold. That’s Kafka’s hand showing. Less of the sweetness, more of the complexity. The drink came about from trying to find a fun way to use the chile liqueur, and with summer just around the corner Kafka went for something longer and cooler to combat the heat.


Let’s be real here—she nailed it. Not only that but I think this drink pairs really nicely with the fresh seafood options from the food menu. Imagine a serve of fresh salmon sashimi with a drink like this. Done and done.

Thanks to Alinta, Clifford and Kafka of the Glass House Hobart for enabling today’s gin. A refreshing tipple in a beautiful location, what more could you ask for?

Chilli Cucumber Cooler.