Where To Find The Best Gin In Melbourne
Love a good G&T? Without a doubt the humble gin has become oh-so-trendy with new dedicated gin bars, distilleries and even a one-day Juniperlooza festival, the only gin festival of its kind, taking place every summer in Melbourne.
The city has plenty to offer gin lovers, so kick your average G&T or martini up a notch, and check out some of these gin bars in Melbourne options on your next night out:
Saké Restaurant & Bar
At both its Flinders Lane and Hamer Hall locations, Saké Restaurant & Bar has recently brought back the popular gin bowl that pair perfectly with their Japanese cuisine.
Each gin bowl features a different gin and bespoke Australian tonic, served with a splash of colourful, aromatic botanicals and a scoop of ice. Both locations boast their own different flavours.
At Saké Hamer Hall, you’ll find four blends including a ‘Blood and Tears’ with fresh orange and dill, and a spicy and sweet-flavoured ‘Strawberry Fields’.
Meanwhile, at Flinders Lane, a ‘Japanese Breeze’ with elderflower and yuzu is a standout. For those keen on a little spice, try the ‘Spiced Sevilla’, which blends cucumber and cinnamon.
One Eleven Gin & Wine
Also new to Melbourne, Spring Street’s The Windsor has recently opened One Eleven Gin & Wine Bar with limited opening hours.
With a concise menu of house-made bites and an all-Australian gin and wine list, you can expect gins from distilleries including The Melbourne Gin Company, Archie Rose, and Four Pillars.
If you’re keen for something other than gin, try a craft beer or a drop from an organic and biodynamic wine-producing vineyard.
While sipping, nibble on grazing plates of pickled octopus, fried school prawns, and chorizo and manchego croquettes.
Just steps from the Princess Theatre, the restaurant and bar is an ideal spot for pre-theatre dining.
Little Lon Distilling Co
Tucked inside a cottage dating from the 1800s on Little Lonsdale Street, Little Lon Distilling Co offers a range of handcrafted small batch gins in a cosy space with a rather illicit past. It’s located in what was once Melbourne’s ‘red-light’ district, associated with grog trading, crime and prostitution.
Despite the venue being so small, it can only fit 20, all fermentation and distilling take place on-site.
On the cocktail list is Little Miss Yoko, a lychee-infused gin named after a Chinese sex worker Yokohama who resided worked in the cottage until the late 1920s.
Masterclasses and gin tastings where you can learn about the distilling process and the history of gin are offered on Saturdays. Bottled gins are also available to buy.
Gin Palace in Russell Place has been a staple on the Melbourne cocktail scene for more than two decades. The venue has the largest gin selection in the southern hemisphere. There’s a cocktail for everyone here, with gin drinks of all flavours and an entire menu page dedicated solely to the humble martini.
Like Little Lion Distilling Co, Gin Palace also has a seedy past. In fact, its name was once the term used in the 19th Century to describe an undesirable drinking house. Years later, it re-opened as a destination for the who’s who of Melbourne.
The award-winning bar is the ideal spot to duck into a cosy nook and settle in for cocktails until well after midnight.
If you’re a martini enthusiast, ask about their Martini Mast Classes, organised on request.
(Lead image: Little Lon Distillery Masterclasses / Little Lon Distilling Co)
Published 22 March, 2019