- A new hotel bar for Southbank, Edwin Wine Bar & Cellar has an all-Victorian wine line-up by Dan Sims.
- Our next new wine bar has appeared in Sandringham. Baia di Vino (above; Jake Roden), from the Riserva Wine Bar crew, spruiks European wines and a trio of negronis.
- Hawthorn East is now home to yet another wine bar: East End. Set in an old antiques auction house it’s one of two fresh, wine-centric haunts on site.
- This next one isn’t a wine bar, thankfully…it’s a wine boat! Either/Oar is a mobile bar “floating” around Melbourne to prompt us to think about place-making and community. Set sail here.
- Future Mountain Brewing and Blending have opened the doors to their tap room in Reservoir. Here you’ll find beers featuring local produce.
- Windsor’s Tusk Bar has just welcomed High Bar to the family. The art deco, floral adorned space hosts live jazz with cocktails.
- From the minds behind George’s and Laundry comes good time bar Bad Decisions; their third venue to grace Johnston Street, Fitzroy.
- Finally there’s a Mexican spot for Carlton-ites. Mezcal, tequila and cacti are obviously a go at Taquito Bar.
- The beloved Oxford Scholar returns after a modern update for the historic pub, with some interesting Aussie gins and beer tasting paddles.
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO SIP
- All the Champion Trophy winners have been revealed from this year’s Australian Distilled Spirits Awards. Add Ord River Rum’s Single Barrel Selection (champion rum), Fleurieu Distillery’s Fountain of Youth (whisky), Imperial Measure Distilling’s Ounce Gin Bold (gin), Alchemy Distiller’s Citrus Vodka (vodka), Adelaide Hill Distillery’s Apple Brand (brandy), Marionette’s Dry Cassis (liqueur), Anther Experimental Distillation’s Honey Old Tom Whisky Barrel Aged Gin (micro batch spirit) and South Coast Distillery’s Batch Zero Gin (small batch spirit) to your bottle shop hit-list. Hellyers Road Distillery was crowned the Australian distiller of 2019.
- All through May, if you post a snap of your G&T (that you were totally going to drink anyway, let’s face it) on social media, Fevertree will donate $5 to the Malaria No More movement. Tag @fevertreemixers and #malariamustdie to make sure it counts!
- Take a look at this new idea to combat the scourge of single-use plastic straws. This Australian design is called the ‘wave glass‘. Interesting concept, but what happens to the ice (in ice-heavy drinks like Moscow Mule for example) when your cocktail gets low and you need to tilt the glass to finish it?
- From Rum Diary Spiced’s Experimental Kitchen comes a third expression to join their cherry and coconut: Rum and Raisin Spiced Rum. This luscious yet limited edition drop does indeed taste like it’s bursting with booze-laden dark fruits. Use it in a twist on an Old Fashioned or Hot Buttered Rum as the weather cools.
- Lucky it’s not April Fool’s Day. Archie Rose is about to release a spirit called ‘ArchieMite‘ evoking every rose-cheeked Australian’s favourite yeasty breakfast spread slathered on buttered, sourdough toast. Don’t care if it’s a novelty – gimme!
- Starward has a new bottled cocktail out; a local update on the classic Manhattan. Their ‘Red‘ version features their red wine barrel-aged ‘Nova’ whisky in conjunction with a red wine vermouth by Adelaide Hills Distillery.
- Fortune Distillery has collaborated with nearby restaurant Sum Yung Guys to create a pho flavoured gin. It’s got botanicals like zippy herbs, bean shoots, seaweed and porcini and – yes – fish sauce. Bet is would work amazingly in a Red Snapper cocktail or even a pho inspired spritz with fresh chilli, mint and coriander.
- Saleyards Distillery is the latest Australian name to enter the zero proof spirits game with the introduction of Clovendoe Botanical Concentrate. There are three flavours to try on debut: a herbal and citrusy ‘Seed’, the aromatically spiced ‘Sprout’ and the Asian-inspired ‘Stem’ (plus there are boozy vodka ‘Clovendoe Botanical Spiritus’ versions too).
Know about a new Melbourne bar or Australian distillery opening soon? Got a hot tip on a new release craft spirit? Let me know.