Header image courtesy of Kobby Mendez (via Unsplash)
Ah, cocktails. They’re the perfect way to start a night off—a refreshing, fruity mix drizzled with the right amount of alcohol to perk up the evening. At some cocktail bars, menus can change week-by-week, based on season and ingredients availability. That being said, traditional cocktails remain high in demand, too. Here are the best places in Melbourne to get the tastiest cocktails—from modern to classic interpretations.
The award-winning cocktail bar is nestled in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and takes you back to a ‘golden era’, a phrase which couldn’t be better interpreted than at The Everleigh. Creating an intimate venue for fine drinkers, the bar attracts locals and tourists alike, and welcomes guests with warm, intuitive service, paired with world-class drinks. The nightspot encourages drinkers to order according to the bartender’s choice, to get a wider variety of flavour—all catered to one’s acquired taste. Head there between Thursday to Saturday for a three-course set menu dining experience, alongside an expertly-curated cocktail.
The Everleigh, Level 1/150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia | (+61) 3 9416 2229
Opened till 3.00am every night of the week, Lily Blacks isn’t a place to party. The sophisticated venue is a cocktail connoisseur's dream, decorated with intimate candlelit tables, where the bartenders mix premium cocktails with hand-cut ice. Decked in Art Deco furnishings, guests are welcomed to try the exquisite drinks, which can be personalised to your tastes—just ask the bartenders, and they’ll come up with something inventive for your taste buds. Otherwise, feel free to order from the expertly-curated drinks menu—there are old and new concoctions available. Lily Blacks is also home to Iron Bartender (named after the Japanese TV show, Iron Chef), a monthly competition between well-known local bartenders, who are out to compete for the best cocktail, using one mystery ingredient.
Lily Blacks, 12 Meyers Place, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | (+61) 3 9654 4887
Bringing a taste of German cocktails to Melbourne, Berlin Bar is one of the city’s longest-standing concept venues, inspired by the region after World War II—the divide between East and West Germany. Ring the doorbell to get into the venue, where you’ll find a grungy, Berlin-esque aesthetic. The menu favours gin the most, where the bartenders experiment with herbs and hues, to get unique flavours. Nestled within Chinatown, the bar will transport you to an alternative setting, far from what you’d find at its surroundings.
Berlin Bar, Level 2/16 Corrs Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
With a menu which covers over 900 whiskies, Boilermaker House is predominantly a whisky den (plus a beer venue, with its ever-changing selection of craft beers on tap). Yet, its cocktails are also worth a try, upon visiting this microbrewery. Founded by the same brains behind Eau de Vie, the chic drinking spot also champions food pairings, perfectly designed with boozing in mind. You know they're serious about food when they have finishings like acustom-built cheese and charcuterie fridge. Are you ready?
Boilermaker House, 209-211 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | (+61) 3 8393 9367
Designed for mischief-makers, State of Grace is a den of old-world cocktails and scrumptious bar bites. The restaurant and cellar bar is decked in kitsch decor, which includes a mounted giraffe, for contemporary, experimental flair. The city hot-spot was temporarily closed for twelve months, and moved its location from Collins Street, to King Street, where it has resurrected its style. Try the modern cocktails, like the Little Hell, and the Charged Negroni—they’ll have you clamouring for more.
State of Grace, 27 King Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | (+61) 3 8563 0020
If rooftops and barbecues are your thing, Good Heavens serves both. The aptly named bar features 80s-inspired cocktails in a rooftop setting, making it a perfect place to sit back and enjoy the weekend. Melbourne’s summer hotspot is run by the Fancy Hank's crew, who serve icy cold drinks, best paired with the smokey BBQ delights, which include Hank’s sandwiches and tasty wings.
Good Heavens, Level 2/79 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | (+61) 3 9453 2882