A well-made cocktail is appreciated by all, right? We certainly do. You may or may not notice if your friends have been ordering "girly" porn actor cocktails or a more boyish Old Fashioned when you start your night out with beer at a pub or grape juice at a wine bar in Melbourne and then move on to a cocktail bar.
Even if a cocktail bar serves fantastic cocktails, it won't be worth your time if it lacks a lively atmosphere, good music, and convenient proximity to Melbourne's thriving nightlife scene. Having proximity to a trendy hotel or airbnb in the city is a plus.
Where exactly are these amazing bars that serve magical drinks? Here, you'll find the definitive list of Melbourne's coolest bars serving up craft cocktails. You'll would like to know where you've been going already when you start chugging beer, as there are a lot of them and several of them were also secret bars.
Cocktail Lounges In Melbourne
The best bars now are designed more like contemporary kitchens than they ever were. The menu changes on a weekly basis to accommodate the availability of fresh ingredients, smart experimentation is encouraged, and expert knife skills are necessary. This same amount of analysis has also improved the flavour of traditional cocktails.
It's good news for anyone who enjoys cocktails, whether they stick to the tried-and-true such as the Negroni and Old Fashioned or experiment with new flavours and techniques. Also, positive:
Among the top bars inside the world may be found in Melbourne.
Nora And Nick's
A wide variety of champagnes can be broken down into subsets based on distinct flavour profiles, with "crisp and elegant" & "rich and toasted" being two examples. There is a vast range of sparkling wines, from the fruity and light cava to the complex and beautiful prosecco of the Victorian era. One glass will run you about $17, while a bottle of the single-vineyard Salon Cuvée 'S' Beurre Blancs would set you back $2,200.
There's also a bottle of Mumm big enough to make Nebuchadnezzar blush. Just like the champagne tower, this is reserved for truly momentous events.
The bar's drink menu maintains the same level of originality as the rest of the network. The Asa Akira is a twist on the classic Dirty Martini that combines Plymouth Gin, sake, with melon-brine and is served in a glass frozen to absolute zero using liquid nitrogen. Adding liquid nitrogen can enhance the visual impact of certain foams and mousses.
The Cafe Noir is made with rum, coffee, but rather sweet sherry, and a nutritious mousse made of botanicals, musk, and vanilla, all blended together. This is a variation on the classic grasshopper that uses celery bitters in place of the more common pandan. Infusing fat (in this instance, cream) into the drink is called "fat-washing," and it's used to make cocktails crystal clear.
Mumm, Perrier-Jouet, and Ruinart are all excellent options for champagne cocktails. Jumbo punch bowls are made with a tropical twist by adding Havana Classic rum, Amaro Montenegro, mango, and yuzu. One of the bowls is a big bronze swan, and they are all very different from one other.
A wide variety of savoury cheese, sausage, and appetiser pieces are served, as is par for the course at any cocktail party. Crispy chicharrón, or pork belly rind, is prepared with beef fat and served with only a cream sauce made with mussels and a spicy Moroccan seasoning termed ras el hanout. The fish brioche roll, the size of a hotdog, is slathered in butter and topped by fried shrimp & caviar on blini, these are little pancakes.
Studio Y, based in Melbourne, Australia, designed the space, which is reminiscent of art deco with its geometric carpets, wallpapers, & light fixtures, in addition to its metallic gold & bronze elements, which are softened by lush velvet drapes. It's huge for a pub, with rooms and several balconies that can hold 240 customers at once.
The room's various nooks and crannies give it the feel of a home party, but the 11-meter-long bar constructed of emerald marble lets you know that mixed cocktails are treated seriously here.
Located on Gertrude St (above Belle's Hot Chicken), this Top Class drinking venue is a bit hidden, but definitely worth the search. You can sit just at gorgeous, long marble bar and strike up conversations with the bartenders, or you can find a quiet corner in one of the leather booths.
When looking for a pub that serves "classic drinks from the golden period," The Everleigh is the best option. Daisys, Fixes, Fizzes, Old Fashioneds, Sours, and Sazeracs are among the famous drinks that helped define the zenith of the brief golden period. American manufacturing standards for quality control are unlike anything you've seen before.
If you'd rather have the bartender make a decision for you, "The Bartender's Choice" might be the way to go. A Household Just On Range, made with Bulleit Bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Cointreau, is a safer bet.
When it was given to you, the juice in the drink was freshly squeezed, not the previous day or even that hour. All of the ice needs of the venue's customers are met by the venue's own ice provider, Navy Strength Ice Company, therefore there is no need for an ice machine. In certain bars, utilising even speed pourers isn't done for fear of tainting the beverages.
Only the best bartenders will understand the level of precision required at The Everleigh. Therefore, the service, which is always prompt and expert, will also impress.
Though the decor is reminiscent of another age, the worn floors, old furniture (including a keyboard older than time it), and unusual taxidermy make a cosy and welcoming environment. You won't have to worry about feeling out of place or overwhelmed, allowing you to get right down to the business of drinking and socialising.
Though small, this bar serves some of the city's finest cocktails. This modest tavern is conveniently located between two major streets in the middle of the city. Every available seat is currently occupied. You are in more than capable hands with Hayden Lambert operating the mixer.
While he's collecting your coat, he'll start a chat with one table of customers and suggest a drink to another. For his dedication to serving others, he is an example to everybody. Fortunately, he is also an excellent bartender.
Black Pearl reopened in 2016 looking better than ever after a brief 2015 hiatus for renovations. During the bar's slower periods, regulars can be seen leaning against the counter, conversing with the bartenders while they construct intricate concoctions, or idly lounging on the leather seats and ottomans.
Arrive by yourself or in a large group. This is a first-rate bar, so it doesn't make a difference. The bartenders here are expected to demonstrate their skills with a wide variety of cocktail creations. While it's normally quiet on a Friday night, the weekend crowds arrive on Saturday and Sunday. If you're looking for more room, try out the bar on the second story, The Attic. A vast assortment of alcoholic drinks is available, and the menu has them divided up into logical categories for your convenience.
To avoid having an overabundance of alcohol behind the bar, the beverages are all produced in-house. You'll enjoy this if you're having trouble making a decision from the multitude of possibilities on the first floor. If you are lucky enough to secure a table on the upper level, you may relax knowing that your every need will be attended to by the attentive staff. There are bar nibbles available until 10 p.m.; try the sausage buns that supposedly turned one of mixologists into a vegetarian.
The Windsor area of Chapel Street is home to the New York City–inspired wine bar Jungle Boy, often considered to be among Melbourne's best. Boston Sub, an all-night sandwich store, has a door leading to a cool area for customers to use.
Although modest in size, this apartment packs more character than Ben Hur thanks to its taxidermy, potted plants, low lighting, and quirky furnishings. Eat a burger and some fries on the way home once the party is ended.
The Attic And Black Pearl
You can have a drink in comfort at either The Black Pearl or, more recently, our upstairs bar The Attic. Late-night revellers on Fitzroy's hopping Brunswick Street arrive in all sizes, order it all from 15 beers to cocktails, and are here for the good times and the energetic atmosphere.
Above Board is indeed not your ordinary watering hole for mixed drinks. There isn't a shiny hidden bar stacked with pricey drinks. There are no private tables or booths here; customers must decide between the large 12-seat island bar and the highly coveted set of two-seat banquettes situated behind it. Even though the proprietor has worked at places like Bar Americano and Merchant Hotel, he won't provide you anything to drink.
This place isn't for everyone, although Lambert's motivations were honourable when he made it. It would be preferable to have a smaller selection of drinks with which he is an expertise at rather than a larger selection of drinks that he isn't as familiar with. Both Cornelis Ribbe & his partner, Manu Potosi, are on board.
We can't bring chartreuse and other popular liqueurs because of limited storage space. No one likes those who "only" drink Hendrick's gin or "only" consume Diplomático rum, so don't come here thinking you'll fit in. Lambert picks the labels that go best with the food, pours them into gorgeous crystal bottles, and stores them in huge drawers behind the bar. Very frequently, you won't be able to determine which kind you're drinking.
Honestly, it's not that significant. Twenty-five different cocktails, including speciality concoctions and updated spins on old favourites, are available. The Big Four cocktails are indeed the Cranberry vodka, Old Fashioned, Soho, and Martini, and they demand the finest execution. The Cherry Rascal is a more creative cocktail that blends Islay whiskey, symbian liquor, cherry brandy, with absinthe for just a sweet and smokey flavour.
We will not accept skinless fruit salads or sad bowls of wilting mint served in clumps. Lambert favours strong, big drinks with few garnishes. Sometimes you run into a combination that is both complex and unexpected. The adolescent crowd's go-to neon green drink, Midori, goes well with not just one but two types of vermouth usually reserved for grownups.
Knowing exactly where you are can be challenging. Come on in through the back door whenever BeerMash is open. You have to make a sharp U-turn and then ascend a flight of steps to get Above Board. In addition, a front door is obscured, so the only way in is the back. The graffiti-covered alleyway Chopper Lane may be reached from Perry Street.
Eau De Vie
The whisky variety is mind-boggling, and the cocktail menu is top-notch, so there was something for everyone at this bar. They also have a strong appreciation for theatrical methods. You can have a cocktail in a boot or a coffee martini with dry ice and freeze-dried zabaglione. You can relax at the bar & engage in a conversation with strangers or you can find a booth for yourself and block out the world. If you wish to sample a wide variety of drinks, you can get a degustation set, complete with food pairings.
Goldilocks uses a dietary ruse similar to the one previously used by the Three Bears to get entry to a hidden, fantastic bar, but with an Asian twist. Use the elevator up to a cocktail lounge, which would be located above a noodle restaurant. The cosy bar on the top (or first floor), accessible via automated doors, offers a wide variety of cocktails and speciality beers in addition to a spectacular view of the city below.
1806 + The Understudy
This posh cocktail lounge, located on 1806 Exhibition Street, has an upstairs lounge where you may enjoy your drink in comfort. These fellas provide first-rate service and are also deadly.
Using their newfound expertise, they put a twist on the Alice in Wonderland-themed cabaret The Understudy. One of the best ways to appreciate the complementary nature of libations and research is through a degustation.
State Of Grace
A hidden tavern that has become a favourite among Melbourne locals is a place wherein grace is in abundance. To enter, one must first remove a book from a shelf, which unveils a door decorated with marble, chandeliers, lights, and velvet, where the evening's hipsters congregate. The restaurant's walls are dominated by its vast wine list and drink menu.
The boisterous and brazen Mono-XO restaurant debuted in 2019. Forest neon-lavender light, speakers blasting Kiss, artwork featuring pixelated temples bathed in Jurassic Park-esque sunshine.
To make a long story short, 2020 either arrived or altered everything. When the lockout was lifted, several of Melbourne's clubs and eateries, including Mono-XO, came back with a fresh new design and feel. The previously oppressive purple lighting was replaced by warm halide white, and the menu was moved to the spotlight.
At first, the cross & head chef only offered kushiyaki-style Japanese cuisine, but they've recently broadened the menu. We've revamped the menu to feature a number of new Japanese-inspired small plates that may be shared, but our ever-popular rotating skewers are still available. As an appetiser, try some kingfish. Fruit sauce & sweet cream were used, then oysters were served, and finally whipped mullet roe & kimchi crisps were served as a finishing touch.
The beverage list has evolved to reflect the revised meal menu. Before, we had a special focus on Japanese Highball drinks. Mono-XO is concentrating on natural wine, but spirits do play a part.
Andy Buchan, co-owner and distiller, compiled the list to showcase the finest of the region's hand-crafted libations. Given the small size of the room, the furnishings are minimal. The room's walls are a pristine white, and the furnishings are cushy and inviting. The wine racks are both a decorative element and a practical supply of drinks.
Located in a building overlooking the Parliament Gardens, this cocktail bar serves the Hihou with solely pickled cabbage or other Japanese condiments. Take in the gardens or, in keeping with Japanese tradition, spread out on the floor with a few cushions in the back room.
Lock & Key
The beautiful Loch & Key bar and restaurant on Captain Melville off Franklin Street is a secret. A lot of the locals frequent the bar cocktail area because of its stylish decor and high-end bar and kitchen offerings.
New Gold Mountain
This Foreign cocktail & bar and grill is one of Melbourne's finest hidden mysteries, and not just due to its red door and total lack of signage.
As you enter the building and make your way up to the first floor, you'll be greeted by a mysterious and intriguing atmosphere created by the building's traditional Shanghai design, jade-green interior, and calming, ambient music.
Specialty cocktails, wines, and exotic beers are just some of the alcoholic options. Well-known all across town are the sour beverages on offer.
High ceilings, enormous lanterns, and exquisite crepe paper embellishments make the secret hideaway on the red floor a true piece of art. Up to eighty customers can be accommodated in this opium ersten sanctuary, which places a premium on personal attention. The majority of the customer consists of cocktail-savvy people throughout their twenties and thirties.
Not only are they the only LuxBite pastries available right this second, but the next batch won't be available until 5 a.m. These sweet treats or a substantial cheese platter can bring out the best in your favourite beverage.
Cicciolina Back Bar
Cicciolina, a restaurant that serves modern Italian cuisine, has been a favourite of locals in St. Kilda ever since it opened in 1993. The purpose of our get-together is not, however, to eat. Instead, the Cicciolina has a dive bar hidden discretely behind the restaurant, one that has embraced its aged decor as well as the eclectic heritage of the neighbouring neighbourhood.
In the midst of all that, customers will discover welcoming bartenders who will treat even the most basic drink order like a catch-up session with an old buddy on a Sunday afternoon.
The Woods Bar And Kitchen
In the city's southern neighbourhood, on Chapel Street, you'll find little Woods Bar and Kitchen, which has a charming, colonial vibe. Cocktail service includes high-quality alcoholic beverages, delectable nibbles, and cigars.
This bar is a nice change of scene from the other watering holes in town. Dean Bowden, who is actually Clint Hyndman, the bar's proprietor, invites you to stop over for a dinner and a drink.
Naked In The Sky
Be careful, I warn you. For a place with this moniker, formal clothing is not expected. Whatever the case may be, the building features a trendy rooftop terrace complete with a bar, a club, and a restaurant. The rooftop bar on the cover of Naked For Satan has a breathtaking view of Brunswick Avenue and the surrounding city.
Access to this exclusive floor requires taking elevators that may look dangerous but are, according to the architects, completely risk-free. There are more than one dozen beers available on tap, in addition to vodka flavoured in-house, Spanish, & Australian wines, for your perusal upon arrival. Getting up before the sun rises is the greatest way to beat the crowds and make the most of the summer.
Camberwell voters were required to approve liquor licences prior to their sale until 2015. As was to be expected, the area had been devoid of respectable drinking establishments for close to a century.
Since its 2004 inception, Bar None has been a refuge for connoisseurs of mixed drinks. There are wide, comfortable couches, odd tables, and a general living room feel to this space.
The main draws are the high-quality cuisine and original cocktail list. The bar contains more than 300 multiple kinds of spirits, and the service is knowledgeable about each and every one, so feel free to try something new and different if that's your style. There are only a few sandwich options, some dips, and cheese plates on the menu. East of Everything is located on the second floor, which was rebuilt after a horrific fire and now serves heartier meals. Like their other two bars in Fitzroy's Po'Boy Quarter, this one serves beer and American fare.
Whisky & Alement
To see it become Whisky & Alement has been a great success, and we couldn't be happier. These bartenders know their stuff, as seen by the nearly three hundred whiskies on the menu. Even though there isn't much room to walk about, the beverages are well worth the cosy setting. Whisky is a common ingredient in cocktail recipes, however there are a select few that do not include the spirit. Whisky enthusiasts only are welcome at these exclusive events.
Even though malt whisky or craft beer are the bar's claim to fame, Boilermaker House also makes a mean espresso martini and other delectable cocktails. Charcuterie boards, burgers, plus fresh oysters served on wooden planks are just a few of the many dishes offered at this retro, chill eatery.
Weekends are particularly busy at this establishment, so calling ahead for a reservation is strongly advised. Three minutes is all it takes to walk from here to the State Library.
The most crucial information presented here is that modern Melbourne cocktail bars are styled after contemporary kitchens; the menu rotates weekly to take use of seasonal produce; intelligent experimentation is encouraged; and expert knife skills are required. There is a broad selection of champagnes and sparkling wines, as well as a bottle of Mumm large enough to make Nebuchadnezzar blush, and the bar's drink menu is just as creative as the rest of the chain. These establishments are ideal for cocktail lovers of all stripes, whether they choose to stick to the classics or try out new flavours and methods. The Café Noir combines rum, coffee, and a healthy mousse. The process of fat-washing is used to provide a flawless clarity in mixed drinks.
Champagne cocktails can be made with any of these three great brands: Mumm, Perrier-Jouet, and Ruinart. Havana Classic rum, Amaro Montenegro, mango, and yuzu give the traditional jumbo punch bowl a tropical twist. Beef fat is used to make a crispy chicharrón, which is served with a cream sauce that features mussels and a spicy Moroccan flavour. The Everleigh is a high-end bar that can accommodate up to 240 people in its several rooms and balconies. If you'd rather not have to make a selection, the Bartender's Choice is a safe bet.
- If you and your pals start your night out in Melbourne with beer at a pub or grape juice at a wine bar, you may or may not notice if they order "girly" porn actor drinks or a more manly Old Fashioned.
- Having great drinks isn't enough to make a bar worthwhile if it's dull and far from Melbourne's exciting nightlife.
- Melbourne's Cosy Bars & Lounges for a Drink Most of today's top bars take design cues from sleek, modern kitchens.
- Traditional cocktail flavours have also benefited from this level of scrutiny.
- Further encouraging: some of the finest bars anywhere can be found right here in Melbourne.
- Several types of sparkling wines span from the Victorian era's sophisticated and exquisite prosecco to the more fruity and light cava.
- Certain mousses and foams look better when treated with liquid nitrogen to improve their stability and texture.
- In order to create the Café Noir, rum, coffee, but rather sweet sherry, and a nourishing mousse comprised of botanicals, musk, and vanilla are all combined.
- Champagne cocktails can be made with any of these three great brands: Mumm, Perrier-Jouet, and Ruinart.
- As is customary at every cocktail party, a large assortment of savoury cheese, sausage, and appetiser pieces are provided.
- The Australian design firm Studio Y created the art deco-inspired interior, which features geometric carpets, wallpapers, and light fixtures, as well as metallic gold and bronze accents that are softened by luxurious velvet drapes.
- For a bar, it's quite spacious, with enough rooms and balconies to accommodate a whopping 240 patrons.
- There are several intimate spaces in this room, making it feel like you're at someone's house for a party, but the 11-meter-long bar made of emerald marble makes it clear that this is no casual hangout for drinks.
- In the Everleigh There is a Top Class drinking establishment that is a little hard to find, but well worth the effort, on Gertrude St. (just above Belle's Hot Chicken).
- Choose "The Bartender's Choice" if you'd rather have the bartender decide for you.
- Since the venue's own ice supply, Navy Strength Ice Company, meets all of the patrons' ice needs, an ice machine is unnecessary.
- The bartenders at The Everleigh require a high degree of precision, which only the best among their peers would appreciate.
- Cafe Americano Bar Despite its diminutive size, this bar is known across the city for its excellent cocktail selection.
- Pearls of Darkness After closing briefly in 2015 for repairs, Black Pearl resurfaced in 2016 looking better than ever.
- All of the drinks are made in-house so that there is never a surplus of liquor in the back.
- If you're having problems choosing amongst the many options on the ground floor, this is for you.
- Assuming you were able to snag a seat at one of the exclusive tables on the second floor, you can rest easy knowing that the wait staff will see to your every want.
- You're a Jungle Boy This New York City-themed wine bar in the Windsor section of Chapel Street is frequently recognised as one of Melbourne's best.
- There is a door leading to a cool room at Boston Sub, an all-night sandwich shop.
- After the party is over, grab a burger and some fries to eat on the drive home.
- As Well As The Black Pearl That Lies In The Attic The Black Pearl and our newest addition, The Attic, are both great places to relax with a drink.
- Nightlife visitors to Fitzroy's bustling Brunswick Street come in all shapes and sizes, order everything from 15 beers to cocktails, and are clearly here for fun and a lively setting.
- Lambert may have had good intentions when he created this facility, but it isn't for everyone.
- Rather than offering a wide variety of drinks, it would be better to focus on those in which he excels rather than overwhelming him with options.
- Cornelis Ribbe and his business associate Manu Potosi have signed on.
- Lambert carefully selects the labels that pair best with the cuisine, pours them into beautiful crystal bottles, and puts them in massive drawers behind the bar.
- There are twenty-five different cocktails to choose from, from speciality creations to modern takes on old favourites.
- Cranberry vodka, Old Fashioned, Soho, and Martini are the Big Four drinks, and they deserve nothing less than perfection.
- Lambert prefers big, bold cocktails with minimal adornment.
- Midori, the popular neon green beverage among teenagers, pairs beautifully with not one but two varieties of vermouth often consumed by adults.
FAQs About Melbourne Cocktail Bars
Melbourne loves a cocktail, perhaps even more than we love a hangover brunch the next day. But, of course, you can't have one without the other, and whether it's a whisky sour, a negroni or an espresso martini, our city is spoiled with little bars making drinks with big personalities.
With a snack list to match the worldly charm, featuring a charcuterie collection, perhaps saucisson teamed with mustard and parsley. Well-respected cheese is also on offer, often French, accompanied by mandarin or pear. Romeo lane is one Melbourne cocktail bar you should try. 6. Naked for Satan
From the inside scoop on Melbourne’s best cocktail bars and events to recipes and what’s in the home bar, Melbourne Cocktails is the place to find out what’s now, what’s new and what’s next in cocktails.
Melbourne has a very special set-up when it comes to bars. We have such a big mixture of venues from your large-scale favourites to laneways riddled with hidden cocktail haunts, whisky bars, and wine stores.
One thing's for sure: you're never short of places to party in Melbourne. The Victorian capital is famous for its nightlife. From bars and restaurants to clubs that keep going until the sun is up, Melbournites are spoiled for choice every weekend.