New On The Bar - The Southerly - Will's, Sydney

Luke Ashton from Will’s in Coogee makes The Southerly, a cocktail that shows that beachside drinks really can have a more European sophistication.

By: Tiff Christie|February 22,2020

When you think of beach cocktails, monstrous creations in garish colours, with absurdly large pieces of fruit wedged onto them are often what quickly comes to mind. 

Luckily at Will’s, the bar on the newly opened middle floor of the Coogee Pavilion, they have taken a different approach. They are encouraging you to throw your tiny umbrellas aside and indulge in drinks that raise the bar on sophistication. 

With the sun out, the sand nearby and the ocean lining the horizon, Luke Ashton (formally of This Must Be The Place) has developed a cocktail menu with a much more European edge. The star of the list would have to be the Southerly, a drink that Ashton describes as “the sort of cocktail that you want to drink when you have walked straight off the beach.”

With a base of Gin, the drink has a light, refreshing taste with the addition of Lillet Rosé and Coconut Water. The floral nature of the drink is brought to the fore with a little Rose Geranium Syrup and Aloe vera juice ensures the drink quenches even the most excessive thirst. 

Named after the cooling breeze, Ashton explains that the Southerly was designed to evoke the very nature of beachside summers in Australia. 

“Traditionally, we’d lather ourselves with aloe vera after we’ve had a day in the sun,” he said, “so it was important to include that as an ingredient, as it really adds that element of rehydration. The coconut water, obviously high in electrolytes and something that’s fairly restorative as well. 


“We’ve also taken a little bit of inspiration from the coastline, where we found the rose geranium growing, and we’ve used that as an ingredient and flavour into the cocktail, as well as for the garnish, as well.”

Although geraniums are growing on the coastline nearby, Ashton says that the bar uses an organic Geranium oil to create the geranium syrup. 

“We use a basic one-to-one sugar syrup as the base,” he explained. “To that, we add a single drop of oil to about 150mls (5oz) of syrup. We then put the mixture through a rapid blender, so that the oil is properly dispersed throughout the liquid.”

Not only is the drink highly Instagram-able, but without necessarily trying, Ashton has created one of those drinks that once one person orders one, everybody instantly wants it as well.

“We’ve only been open for five weeks but the Southerly has been incredibly popular,” he said. “While being bright and incredibly aromatic, the drink has a beautiful, soft, pinkish hue to it as well. The rose geraniums are a beautiful garnish with their broad, frilly green leaves.”

The Southerly


  • 10mls Lemon Juice
  • 30mls (1oz) Beefeater Gin
  • 60mls (2oz) Lillet Rosé
  • 30mls (1oz) Coconut Water
  • 15mls (0.5oz) Rose Geranium Syrup
  • 10mls (0.33oz Aloe Vera
  • 15mls (0.5) Water
  • 0.5mls (0.01oz) Saline Solution


All ingredients, except the Lemon Juice, are batch together and force carbonated into the Southerly mix. When assembling, add ice to a highball glass, add Lemon Juice and then the Southerly mix. Gently stir.

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