FROM pavlova-inspired cocktails to candy cane-topped creations, Gold Coast bars and restaurants are taking their menus up a notch with over-the-top drinks to satisfy summer crowds.

Roosevelt Lounge bar manager Breeana Erica said the festive period was peak ‘cocktail season’ with more people likely to step outside their comfort zones.

“The Christmas period is always busy and I think people are more likely to go out and try something new,” she said.

“I like to create cocktails that taste like things people have eaten before, so there’s a lot of trial and error involved with mixing flavours.