If you think gin is just for your grandma, think again. Dutch Courage Officers' Mess has united gin lovers all over the city and created a cult-like following for the oft-forgotten spirit. Boasting more than 80 gins among 240 liqueurs behind the bar, signature cocktails and a lively weekend crowd are staples at the Alfred Street address. So do like the officers did, and get wild at the mess for a night.
Inspired by British colonial outposts of the late 19th-century, hessian curtains, rattan furniture and wide blade fans set the mood to party like its 1889. Brisbane's balmy (read: hot, humid and sweaty) summer evenings create an authentic atmosphere, so you'll feel like you're chilling out in the jungle for real. Hang up your plinth hat, kick up your heels and focus on the booze, the tunes and the good times at hand. If there's too much going on for your downstairs, make your way to the verandah upstairs, where more intimate seating is available.
Be courageous and check out the extensive cocktail menu ($16-18) studded with the likes of the 24 Gun Salute with Beefeater 24, elderflower, egg white and chamomile flowers. If gin ain't your thing, don't worry, there are plenty of other spirits to go around. The bartenders are more than happy to oblige classic and customised creations on request, keeping all thirsts at bay.
If you need a feed while sippin' on your gin and juice, the Mess has got you covered. Chow down on the buttermilk fried chicken with sweet mustard dipping sauce ($18), a ploughman's platter ($24) or the jungle burger ($20) to satisfy your gin-soaked stomach.
Struggling to make it through the working week? Dutch Courage has your back. Tuesday nights are filled with the greatness of beer and boardgames from 4pm till late. For $7 you can enjoy a handle of craft beer and impress your rivals with with your general knowledge of pop culture in Trivial Pursuit, making lines of the same colour in Connect Four, or whatever else is your bag. Come play.