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Reds Bar

Everyone likes a room with a view. Especially if the room you’re in is a bar and the view you’re taking in is one of Lord of the Rings-like mountains and a lightning bolt-shaped lake. Reds Bar isn’t a room with a view, it’s a bar with a breathtakingly dramatic view.

It has to be up there with the best bar views in the world. Up there with the Rock Bar at Ayana Resort in Bali and the O2 Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton in Moscow. But where their respective postcard views are of the crashing ocean and city lights, The Reds Bar vista doesn’t even seem real – gazing out over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.

The third largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Wakatipu fills a giant, glacier-carved gutter and is completely surrounded by hulking mountains. The lake’s strange shape causes the water to rise and fall about 10 centimetres every 25 minutes or so. According to Maori legend, this rise and fall is the heartbeat of Matua, an enormous creature is said to be sleeping at the bottom of the lake.

The other half of the equation, the Remarkables mountain range, is a picture to look at and an incredible spot for skiing and snowboarding. Three sun-drenched, north-facing powder-filled bowls make a frozen playground for both beginners to experienced shredders.

As well as having a killer view, Reds Bar is easy on the eye, kind to the buttocks and pleasing to the taste bud. With custom furniture like Eames-era chairs, painting and pops of bold, Reds emulates a contemporary living space that is a mixture of nostalgic alpine and après ski ambiance.

Resident DJs play late into the night, setting the scene for those looking to conquer an extensive cocktail, wine and beer list. Queenstown’s finest bartenders put a twist on the modern and forgotten, making good use of the largest selection of spirits and liqueurs in town, to fashion cocktails from a list of signature tipples.

Cocktails like this…

  • Fuego Manzana – Mount Gay Silver, Lime, Chilli Syrup, Apple Puree, Hellfire Bitters
  • Ghost of Mary – Jalapeno & Pancetta Infused Vodka, Tomato Consommé, Celery Bitters, Dehydrated Pancetta, Pancetta Salt
  • Oaked Sazerac – Sazerac Rye, Sugars Syrup, Absinthe Rinse, Peychaud Bitters, Lemon Zest
  • Hotel Georgia – Bombay Sapphire Gin, Lemon, Orgeat, Orange Blossom Water, Egg White

Wines like this…

  • Perrier Jouët NV (Epernay, France)
  • Vigna Nuova Brut DOC Prosecco (Treviso, Italy)
  • Quartz Reef Vintage Brut 2012 (Central Otago, New Zealand)
  • Passage Rock Reserve 2013 (Waiheke Island, New Zealand)

Beers like this…

  • Monteiths Pointers – Pale Ale
  • Mischievous Kea – India Pale Ale
  • GoldPanners Profit – Lager
  • Black Dog “Bite” Pilsner – Hoppy Pilsner
  • Treble Cone – Wheat Beer

If for nothing else, pop in and check out the view.

words by niall roeder

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