Sunset occupies a rare kind of no-man’s land. The day is done, but the promise of the night lies ahead. The evening sky is hazy yet alive; a maze of golden, pinkish and golden hues.
This is your time for planning, scheming and dreaming.
It’s a giant pause of a moment where you can lean into the night and channel you inner Hemingway.
Ruminate on life over a chilled vodka gimlet. Get musing in the company of a Tiger Beer or three. Work the feeling of suspense up into new horizons and fresh ideas. And most of all, make sure your view is sensational.
Below, we’ve picked our favourite spots for sunset cocktails. Get ’em on your bucket list, and let the sundown dwelling commence…
Martinis in Seminyak, Bali
A ready-made hipster haven, Seminyak is fast growing a reputation as Bali’s unsung rock star. A string of eclectic bars line its coast, providing front-row access to the Indian Ocean and Bali’s spectacular sunsets. Grab a pew at a rooftop hangout like Moonlite, or head poolside at Ku De Ta, to watch the sky come alive in a chorus of colour. Drinks-wise, we’d suggest a passion-fruit martini, or an ice-cold citrus vodka (freshly pressed, of course).
Caipirinhas at Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio
Ah, Rio de Janiero. City of sunshine, light and limitless potential. One of the most ravishing skylines in the world – taking in Copacabana beach, Christ the Redeemer statue and Guanabara Bay – is best appreciated from the top of another icon, Sugarloaf Mountain. It’ll take you two cable cars to get up here and the view at the top is quite magnificent, if a little vertigo-inducing. Steady your nerves with a peak-side Caipirinha (this is Brazil, so be warned – they come potent).
Sundowners on safari, South Africa
No tradition calls to us more than that of safari sundowners. There’s something quite magical about taking an early evening game drive through the African veld, before pausing for drinks under an acacia tree. Birds all around unite in a cacophony of song, and giraffes linger shyly nearby. Cheers your fellow safari-ites as the horizon lights up in burnished orange; and before you know it, night-time has arrived.
Red wine in the Atacama Desert, Chile
To have your mind well and truly blown come sunset, look no further than Chile’s Atacama Desert. The driest place on earth other than the poles, this surreal region is home to Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), a vast terrain used as the training ground for Nasa’s Lunar Rover. As the sun turns the Martian-style tapestry a reddish gold – with pink clouds all around – drink in the panorama with a bottle of Chilean vino.
Grappa in the Dolomites, Italy
South Tyrol’s rich alpine landscape makes a tip-top environment for the cultivation of grapes. Grappa is so adored here, it’s even used in coffee – a Caffè Corretto is an espresso with a dash of the Tyrolean good stuff (you know, just for kicks). Warm your chops with a hearty shot of Grappa as the sun goes down over the mountains, at one of the many traditional “farm bars” that pepper this region. These are particularly popular for après-ski, but even during the summer, the setting is unbeatable – with wild flower meadows and forests all around.
Old Fashioned by the harbour, Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s landscape is intoxicating in its scope. Soaring towers cut between mist-clad peaks, with the gentle chug of ferries passing between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island far below. Sunset is one of the best times to appreciate Hong Kong’s allure – still somehow mystical, despite the frenetic churn. Watch the sun turn the buildings yellow and pink over a punchy Old Fashioned: a cocktail strangely in tune with the suave yet fragile feel of this magnetic metropolis.
Photos: Shutterstock and Flash Pack