Sometimes, beer and wine just don't cut it. In those times, you need cocktails. Be it a well-made Negroni, or a complex, multi-layered sipper, Melbourne has a wealth of places to partake.

These are our favourites, ranging from casual spots, to table service venues where the staff wear waistcoats. But without fail, they all know their spirits.


1806: the year the word "cocktail" was first defined in print.

169 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Bar Americano

Matt Bax's aperitif-focussed bar.

20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne


Opulence meets wartime misery at this bar with two faces.

2nd floor (please ring the bell) 16 Corrs Lane, Melbourne

Boilermaker House

600 whiskies and counting, with beers to match.

209-211 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
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Most people come for the Spanish food. But you could just as easily come for the drinks alone.

103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Double Happiness

The sister bar to Lily Black's has a cheeky Chairman Mao theme, but sacrifices none of the skill.

21 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
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Eau De Vie

Before the EDV team opened Boilermaker House, this classy bar was the focal point for its whisky obsession.

1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne
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Gin Palace

The name says it all.

10 Russell Place, Melbourne


Bottled cocktails waiting by the jukebox in Chinatown.

234A Russell Street, Melbourne

Lily Blacks

A connoisseur's dream.

12 Meyers Place, Melbourne
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Lui Bar at Vue de Monde

What would you expect from a bar run by Vue de Monde?

Level 55 Rialto Towers 525 Collins St, Melbourne

Mesa Verde

Climb to the top of Curtin House, and you're in another tequila heaven.

Level 6, Curtin House 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
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New Gold Mountain

Another skilful, Asian-themed member of the Lily Blacks family.

21 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
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Romeo Lane

Another intimate CBD bolthole.

1A Crossley Street, Melbourne

Seamstress Cocktail Bar

The high-class counterpart of downstairs bar Sweatshop.

113 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne


The Melbourne Supper Club's casual rooftop counterpart.

Level 2 161 Spring Street, Melbourne


It's a themed bar, but the drinks are far from gimmicky.

Basement 113 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The Melbourne Supper Club

Sink into a weathered Chesterfield and order with the incredibly knowledgable staff.

Level 1 161 Spring Street, Melbourne

Union Electric Bar

More fresh fruit and veg than a green grocer.

13 Heffernan Lane, Melbourne

Whisky and Alement

Melbourne's first great whisky bar.

270 Russell Street, Melbourne