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The Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 25 August 2017
Shaken, stirred and muddled, Melbourne’s cocktail bars are renowned for their expert mixologists and thirst-quenching concoctions. From tradition speakeasys, to modern watering holes, Culture Trip is taking you on a boozy cruise through the best of the best.
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The Everleigh

Indiscreetly positioned above a diner, The Everleigh exudes sophistication with Chesterfield lounges and John Trumbull-esque paintings. Behind the bar, mixologists meticulously prepare cocktails that borrow from tradition, but are by no means boring. In fact, in July they released a brand new ‘Cocktail De Luxe’ menu, and you can even take their pre-batched cocktails home to enjoy later. Since opening in 2011, the Everleigh has received multiple accolades, including a place on Drinks International’s list of ‘World’s 50 Best Bars.’

The Everleigh Melbourne, 156/150 Gertrude St, Collingwood VIC, Australia +61 3 9416 2229

Courtesy The Everleigh | Courtesy The Everleigh

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Eau de Vie

Translating to ‘water of life,’ Eau de Vie is lavish cocktail and whiskey bar reminiscent of 1920s prohibition America. Appropriately located on Malthouse Lane, Eau de Vie has a whiskey list extending into the hundreds with a cocktail menu of similar ample proportions. Theatrical in nature, expect to find Piña Coladas served in conch shells, Money To Burn where a fiery surprise awaits and Benjamin Franklin and The Aviator which touches down with a floating paper plane. The bar is also renowned for their Espresso Zabaione.

1 Malthouse Lane Melbourne VIC Australia +61 0412 825 441


Awarded The World’s Best Cocktail Menu” in 2008, 1806 is traditional speakeasy named after the year the word cocktail was first defined in print. Step back in time with a repertoire of mixed drinks from just about every decade since the 1700s, starting with The Fish House Punch – a favourite of George Washington. The bar itself is styled in Prohibition-era décor and is set over two levels, allowing you to watch dapper mixologists at work. This September, 1806 celebrates their 10th birthday.

169 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC Australia +61 3 9663 7722

Courtesy 1806
Courtesy 1806
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Romeo Lane

Charming and unpretentious, Romeo Lane is a cozy laneway joint that will leave you as smitten as you once were with Van Haus. Their list of signature drinks, all of which are served in stunning glassware, changes monthly with classic cocktails and past favourites available on request. In the colder months, the fireplace roars as Tom Waits’ bourbon grizzle drifts throughout. Augment your experience with luscious burrata, bresaola or a bowl of smoked almonds.

1a Crossley Street, Melbourne VIC Australia +61 3 9639 8095

Courtesy Romeo Lane

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Black Pearl

One of Melbourne’s most esteemed bars, Black Pearl, recently won Best International Cocktail Bar at the 2017 Spirited Awards. If that’s not enough to convince you to head on down to the Brunswick Street institution, then consider the reputation that this family-owned business has built for itself over the last 15 years. Their cocktail menu is modest yet commanding, while the venue itself is atmospheric, resembling the belly of a ship. Black Pearl is also known for their legendary sausage rolls which unbelievably pair nicely with your poison of choice.

Black Pearl Bar, 304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC, Australia +61 3 9417 0455

Courtesy Black Pearl