High Jinks, Canberra’s newest cocktail bar brings to the capital city a hidden underground escape with a welcoming neighbourhood vibe.
High Jinks is the new cocktail bar by owner-operator Noriel Calub. Known as Noz to friends in the industry, he moved from Sydney to Canberra in 2014 and has opened and managed some of Canberra’s most popular bars including The Highball Express. High Jinks is his first venture into bar ownership.
High Jinks was an 18th century drinking game, a term that commonly refers to carefree and rambunctious fun. The cocktail bar is located in the NewActon precinct below Morning Glory (previously A.Baker). Locals and visitors may remember the intimate subterranean venue as Black Market. With High Jinks, he has set out to create a space that feels like everyone’s local with a welcoming neighbourhood vibe and old-fashioned hospitality.
“I’ve loved seeing Canberra’s bar scene really pop over the past few years,” says Noriel Calub. “But I felt that Canberra has missed a cocktail bar that people could call their own, one that’s fun, social and down-to-earth. Somewhere you can have a ‘silly goose time’, as I like to call it.”
The fitout is one with an understated art deco interior, aimed to transport guests away from the world outside. No matter the day, there are tunes that suit the occasion – jazz on vinyl on Tuesdays, rockabilly from Wednesdays onwards and old school hip hop late into Saturday night.
When it comes to the Seasonal Cocktails list, playful names like Pine-elope Cruz and Cruising Down the Street in my… Fiat!, entice as much as reflect the ethos of the venue. The whisky-based Easy Peeler pairs mandarin flavours with pandan and Cynar while Mind Your P’s & Q’s features green pea infused gin with fresh mint, gentian, bianco vermouth, sesame syrup and lime.
High Jinks will be hosting experiences including cocktail workshops, tasting events and spirit take-overs teaming up with spirit brands to deliver a fun experience.
“High Jinks is more than a bar to me,” says Noz. “It’s my passion. The crafting of cocktails, the nod to local winemakers and distillers, and, of course, delivering the best experience to each person every time. It’s not rocket science – it’s hospitality!”
Address: 2/15 Edinburgh Ave, Acton, Canberra (underneath Morning Glory)
Hours: 5pm-1am Tuesday to Thursday; 4pm-late Friday and Saturday