While pool bars have been a luxurious staple in high-end resorts for decades, their appearance in home backyards has mostly been reserved for the lifestyles of the rich and/or famous.
But that’s all starting to change. With the growing trend for our home to be our sanctuary, resort-style pools and even swim-up bars are popping up in the backyards of those who take their leisure time seriously.
Take Endeavour Foundation’s $2.4 million Private Paradise for example, where you’ll find arguably the most luxurious pool ever featured in an Endeavour Prize Home. The star of this contemporary oasis is a spectacular sunken pool-side bar complete with streamlined built-in cabinetry, drinks fridge and even a sink for easy prep and clean up. On the pool side of the bar, underwater stools are perfectly positioned for keeping you cool by the bar all summer long. This sparkling tropical paradise is almost too good to be true, but we promise, it’s not a mirage. And it proves that you really can create that holiday vibe at home… IF you have the budget.
Even in the hotel world, pool bars have had a resurgence – mostly thanks to Instagram. Pop ‘pool bar’ into the search field and dive in for a tour of the world’s most famous swim-up bars from Nusa Dua to Costa Rica.
But you don’t have to be an influencer or an avid entertainer to see the value of a swim-up bar. From simply hanging out with your family and friends on a weekend to hosting a kids’ birthday party, having a poolside bar can only add to the fun.
Best of all, it’s a sure way to get everyone to linger in the pool a little longer, and isn’t that what Queensland summers are all about?
If you’re thinking about putting in a pool at your place and could even be swayed to include a swim-up bar, there are a few things you may want to consider:
If you’re planning on including a swim-up bar in your pool build, concrete is really the only way to go. The key parts of the bar, including the bench and stools, will be formed out of concrete along with the rest of the pool.
Seeing as a swim-up bar needs to be integrated into your pool build, you’ll need to make the decision to include one early in the design process, long before the hole is dug in your backyard. Talk to several pool builders about your options – although the possibilities are almost endless, your budget may not be, so make sure you know what you’ll be up for before you get too deep.
They don’t call Australia the sunburnt land for nothing, so think about how you might be able to incorporate shade into your project. If the budget permits, including a shade structure like the stunning poolside pavilion in our Private Paradise Prize Home could be worth its weight in gold.
Make sure you dedicate as much time and energy into designing your ultimate bar space as you put into the pool. Including features like a drinks fridge, lots of bench space, plenty of cabinets for storing away glasses and cocktail shakers and a sink for easy clean up will make sure that you’ll be spending a lot more of your summer enjoying life by the pool.
Inspired by the amazing swim-up bar of our $2.4 million Private Paradise Prize Home, the Endeavour Foundation team have put together a list of their favourite mocktails and cocktails.
We’ve included the recipes below, or if you’d like to see how to make Brendan’s signature ‘Four Sunrise Amigos’ mocktail or Maddie’s refreshing ‘Mint Potion’, you can watch the video above.
This fun, colourful mocktail, named by Endeavour Foundation employee Brendan, is perfect for cooling off on a summer day.
1 ½ cups orange juice
6 tablespoons soda water
6 tablespoons grenadine
Orange slices or cherries for garnish
Half fill two high ball glasses with ice, then pour in orange juice, soda water and grenadine. Decorate with orange slices for fun, festive look.
Maddie’s signature Mint Potion is an easy and refreshing drink to whip up when you’re entertaining friends or enjoying a lazy afternoon by the pool.
1 tablespoon sugar
Small bunch of mint leaves
3 limes, juiced
Place the sugar and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker or glass and muddle the ingredients together using a pestle (or the end of a rolling pin), firmly pressing down on them to release the oils and flavour.
Add a handful of crushed ice and top up with soda water.
Makes 1 large jug (approx. 8 serves)
This zingy, non-alcoholic punch is a refreshing twist on a party favourite.
2 cups ice cubes
Pulp of two passionfruit
½ medium pineapple, skin removed and sliced into thin wedges
1 medium orange, sliced into thin wedges
1 litre cranberry juice
1 litre ginger beer
1 small bunch mint leaves
Place ice cubes, passionfruit pulp, pineapple and orange wedges into a large serving jug or punch bowl.
Pour in cranberry juice and ginger beer. Top with mint leaves and serve.
A sweet Queensland take on a cocktail classic – perfect for serving poolside this summer.
½ medium ripe mango, peeled and diced
60mL Cointreau/triple sec
120mL tequila blanco
1 tablespoon sugar syrup
Throw all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with a slice of fresh mango or a couple of mint leaves.
These super-simple, frozen watermelon slushies are sure to get the party started.
1 medium seedless watermelon, rind removed then cut into chunks
Sugar syrup to taste
Blend up your watermelon chunks to a smooth, pureed consistency. Add a little water if your blender needs some extra moisture to blend. If you prefer an icier slushy, strain the watermelon puree through a fine strainer to obtain the juice. Or, if you don’t mind a little texture, you can skip this step and pour your mixture straight into ice cube trays to freeze. (This usually takes at least four hours so prepare early on the morning of your party or the day before to be sure.)
When it’s party time, toss your watermelon ice cubes into the blender along with the vodka and lime juice, then blitz. Feel free to add a little sugar syrup to taste for a sweeter cocktail.
Pour your icy mixture into glasses and serve with a spoon straw for the full slushy experience.
Already daydreaming about spending your summer semi-submerged by your poolside bar?
Or if you’re looking for some inspo for your place, come and explore this amazing resort-style backyard in person. You’ll find opening times and directions, here.