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Finding the best summer cocktails in Melbourne

14 November 2017

You may not be able to feel the ocean breeze in your hair or the sand between your toes, but stay cool: a new wave of Melbourne bars is bringing a taste of summer to the city. Sarah Willcocks from DrinkMelbourne gives us her definitive list of the best cocktails to enjoy :

1. If sipping a refreshing gin and tonic is your idea of summer in a glass, The Mill House is the joint for you. Every second Thursday, The Mill House on Flinders Lane transforms itself into a gin connoisseur’s go-to haunt. The fortnightly Gin Club features meet and greets with the some of the best distillers from Australia and around the world, allowing you the opportunity to sample their wares and sip exclusive gin cocktails. Created especially for Gin Club, they concoct edible gin cocktail clouds… with a little help from liquid nitrogen.

Image Credit: The Mill House

2. Beat the city heat at Arlechin, Melbourne’s newest laneway bar. Founded by celebrity chef Guy Grossi, this space feels like an intimate, private cellar. As with the owner’s neighbouring restaurant Grossi Florentino, the menu at Arlechin has a decidedly Italian flair where the order of the day is the selection of bittersweet, herbal aperitifs and spritzes. Order the ‘Half Way’ cocktail and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a summer’s day in Tuscany.

Image Credit: Arlechin

3. The Paris-end of Collins Street continues to ‘put on the Ritz’ with the recent opening of The Mayfair. This late-night supper club is modelled after the French bistros of New York’s Art Deco era, complete with a classic drinks trolley doing the rounds after dark. Try a ‘Midnight Stinger’ – a suave concoction of bourbon, Fernet-Branca and lemon over crushed ice – to cool off in swanky old-school Americana style.

4. Mere steps away from the T&G Building at 161 Collins Street, you’ll find The George on Collins for the perfect after-work tipple. Located in the basement of one of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks, the old Georges building, this bar boasts a spacious interior and booths to accommodate the liveliest parties and a classic-with-a-modern-twist cocktail menu. The George’s ‘When the Levee Breaks’, with its balance of tequila, blueberries, lime and mint, is pure summer in a glass.

5. Opened just a few months ago, Hawaiian raw seafood and cocktail bar, Hana on Little Collins Street, feels like a coconut-scented, tropical holiday all year round. They’ve recently launched their Hawaiian happy hour with discounts on a range of beers from The Aloha State as well as a rotating line up of paradise-worthy tiki cocktails.  How can you resist an after-work stop, now that you know volcano-sized, double-rum ‘Hana Coladas’ are literally just around the corner?

IMAGE CREDIT: Griffin Simm

When Sarah is not keeping a bar stool company, she is either editing DrinkMelbourne, contributing columns to The Urban List or judging you by how many olives you put in your martini (correct amount: three).