Words by Jane Ryan
Photography by Supplied
Several independent bars are delivering across state lines - meaning you can now help these small businesses by having delicious cocktails sent to your door.
For the past few weeks we’ve been hearing a pretty clear message to the rest of Australia from the locked-down folk of Melbourne – they’re really drained, tired and desperately trying to emotionally and financially steady themselves to get through till the end. It’s easy to feel very helpless on the other side of that state line with bars, restaurants, beaches and friends easily accessible to us. But there is a simple way we can share some love and dollars with the Melbourne bar community who are doing it especially tough, and the good news is it involves some of the country’s best cocktails landing on your doorstep.
That’s right, a few of the best Melbourne bars are delivering across state lines, so if you’re able to spend a few dollars why not upgrade your next night in with these cocktails – it’s one way you can make a difference to small businesses and their teams hoping to survive. Don’t see your favourite Melbourne bar on the list? Reach out to them directly and see if they’re happy to pop a drink in the post for you.
ROMEO LANE – LUCKY YOU
Calvados / ginger wine / benedictine / bitters
You had us at calvados – a rarely used apple brandy from northern France that is outta-this-world tasty and which we rarely get the pleasure of enjoying in cocktails. Throw in the aromatic Benedictine and ginger wine and we can guarantee this will be a new drinking experience for most, very worth that delivery fee. As to the bar, Romeo Lane is a charming CBD spot whose drinks have been grabbing accolades since it first opened. Classic, relaxed and beloved by locals, order as many drinks as possible from this gem of a bar to ensure a visit is possible post-lockdown. Order here.
Make it cost effective by ordering the Seven Day Weekend pack with 10 cocktails, including Passionfruit Daiquiris, Peach Negronis, Martinis, Old Fashioneds, Margaritas and several house drinks.
BAR AMERICANO – AMARO AMERICANO
House distilled local & Mediterranean herbs and spices
There’s little in the repertoire of classic cocktails that’s as refreshing as an Americano, and no one we’d trust more than Melbourne’s Bar Americano to send us the perfect amaro twist. With the bitter element amped up, it’s the ultimate pre-dinner drink to enjoy before an evening feast with friends. Just add tonic and a lemon to make owner Matt Bax's famous Grupetto highball. Order here.
Add these fun cock-tail glasses to your basket to spice up your home bar (and shock a few guests).
BYRDI – PAPERBARK MARTINI
Australian vodka / paperbark smoked mount zero olive oil / beechworth oloroso / passionfruit vinegar
Coming to you from Byrdi, which was just listed in the top 4 best new bars in the world, this vibrant and flavourful Martini is all about native Australian flavours. Unlike any Martini we’ve tried, this has echoes of a dirty serve thanks to the olive influence but the other subtle flavours mark it as a clear rulebreaker when it comes to traditional Martinis.
Grab it as part of their Byrds of a Feather Flock Together package and you can try all the wildly delicious drinks coming out of this unique bar – think bee pollen Old Fashioneds, Wattleseed Negronis and even a Lamington cocktail. Order here.
THE EVERLEIGH – COFFEE HOUSE
Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur / Calle 23 tequila / orange bitters
The smoooothest caffeine cocktail going. True to its description of a boozy party starter, this drink is perfect for those 20-pax-living-room-raves. If you didn’t know coffee liqueur and tequila were a match made in heaven you’re about to get educated on this perfect pairing – think Old Fashioned but make it lively. Order here.
It’s being put together by The Everleigh Bottling Co, who have three iconic Melbourne venues including The Everleigh, Bar Margaux and Heartbreaker and are all-round superstars when it comes to perfectly executed food and booze. Coffee House was inspired by dive bar Heartbreaker which turned 5 during this lockdown, and it’s a venue we’re very much hoping to see reopen soon. Add it to your cart as part of the Famous Four: Mix & Match and throw in a Martini, Negroni, Manhattan or Old Fashioned, or just fill up on four of these.
WHISKY + ALEMENT – “SUNNY DAY IN A SWEETIE SHOP” BOILERMAKER PACK
30ml Blair Athol in a Juicebag / matched can of White Ale
Not technically a cocktail, but Whisky + Alement’s juicebags are such a brilliant way to share and taste whiskies, they deserve a spot on this list. Order this particular boilermaker pack with its beautiful release of Blair Athol, distilled in 2008, and Clown Shoes Brewing Co. “Clementine” White Ale, or one of the many others on the site to see how whisky and beer make natural bed fellows. If you’ve ever seen shots of whisky dropped into flagons of beer in the movies when a boilermaker is ordered… well don’t do that. Instead sip one alongside the other and see if you can pick up those milk bottle lollies and jersey caramels notes in the whisky to match the lashings of banana and bubblegum in the ale. Order here.
BLACK PEARL - MANDY CRUSH
Mandarin / Roe n Co Irish / white chocolate / rose
Nothing says spring like a burst of mandarin, and we're especially enamored with this mix of clarified mandarin juice, a mandarin oleo and wine, all of which is supported by a good slug of Irish whiskey. It's the cocktail picnics were made for and shines when served alongside some late afternoon backyard rays.
Coming to us from Black Pearl, a bar that's been a part of Australia's scene so long it too can legally drink, the very best part of the cocktail is its 750ml bottle serve so you can top up everyone's glasses and keep the afternoon stretching long into the evening. Order here.
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