Joe Cutcliffe

16 Best Gin Bars in Melbourne | Man of Many

Widely regarded as the best bar in Port Melbourne, Clooney Kitchen & Bar is the best place to enjoy a drink, a bite to eat, and a great night out. Winning Time Out’s best new bar in 2019, they’re the best place to wind down after a long day at the office or go to for a night out with friends. The drinks menu is sophisticated yet simplistic, this gin bar in Melbourne takes pride in sourcing the best ingredients possible. Gin & Yuzu Spider is a must-try, featuring Nosferatu Bloodorange Gin, Citrus Syrup, Lemon, Tonic Water, and Yuzu Foam.

1. Clooney Kitchen & Bar

Nestled in the heart of the CBD this gin bar in Melbourne also doubles as a bottle shop. Set in a building that’s had its doors open since 1901, this is a great spot to relax on a Friday or Saturday afternoon. Bijou Bottle Store offers a gin-heavy selection of house-made cocktails and spirits that rotate regularly.

2. Bijou Bottle Store

Devoted entirely to Australian-made spirits, think of Bad Frankie as the Australian history teacher you wish you’d always had. Named after the sod who banned the small-pot still in Australia, which, for 150 years, stifled any chance of a holistic craft liquor industry, Bad Frankie has a vast range of excellent white and brown spirits now being produced in the land, and the friendly staff has the knowledge to back it all up. Try something you’ve never heard of and pat yourself on the back for supporting a local.

3. Bad Frankie

From internationally acclaimed bartender (not mixologist, we’re told) Michael Madrusan, of Milk & Honey fame, comes this very grown-up cocktail lounge. With all 30 guests seated, there’s a sense of class and sophistication for you to soak up whilst getting trolleyed on the first-rate cocktails that emerge from behind the small bar top. While they make gin cocktails particularly well, pretty much everything on offer is bang-on and wank-free, especially the tip-top service.

4. The Everleigh Melbourne

Walk through the door of this underground establishment to enter a world of endless invention and epicurean delight. Eau De Vie easily makes some of the best and most creative cocktails in town. Behind the bookcase is a secret whisky bar of jaw-dropping magnitude and their front-of-the-house gin selection is likewise nothing to scoff at. Needless to say, this is one of Melbourne’s best bars, period. Accordingly, the privilege of visiting will cost you.

5. Eau De Vie Melbourne

Four Pillars Gin is a craft distillery based in Healesville in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley. They’ve been making gin since they were founded in 2013, so they know a thing or two about botanicals. From their original multi-award-winning, Rare Dry Gin to the only gin in the world made just for a Negroni, they’ve always based their gin on the four pillars of great gin. The copper stills, pristine Yarra Valley water, traditional, exotic and native botanicals, and a massive amount of love and attention to detail at every stage of the production process. This location is primarily a gin distillery so you can’t get up to too much trouble but it’s certainly a nice place to try some world-class drops.

6. Four Pillars Gin Distillery

What was once just another secret Melbourne bar, has transformed into a well-known hotspot for some lively Latin American music and cocktails. It’s in the name, Union Electric Bar & Rooftop Gin Garden features some of the best gin cocktails in Melbourne. Fresh fruits and vegetables are at the heart of the menu, with raspberry malt shrub, elderflower and micro herbs for enticement. One thing to note, the bar doesn’t have a kitchen, so don’t go in expecting a feed.

7. Union Electric Bar & Rooftop Gin Garden

Named after the year the word ‘cocktail’ was first recorded in use, this bar has been a favourite for many since it first opened its doors back in 2007. While the focus isn’t necessarily on just gin, they sure as hell know what they’re doing with the stuff – both house-cocktails and juniper-heavy classics are made with love and care, and the chaps behind the bar aren’t your regular paying-their-way-through-uni bartenders either. Order a Corpse Reviver #2 and stay for three.

8. 1806

Yet another concealed laneway gem, Romeo Lane couples masterful cocktails with a sophisticated ambience to stunning effect. Rest assured any gin cocktail you get here might be the best you’ve ever tried. Indeed, Time Out recently declared that Romeo Lane is making “the best drinks in the city right now”. In booze-crazy Melbourne, that’s quite a feat!

9. Romeo Lane

Hell of the North is a hell of a name for a bar. But is it one of the best Gin Bars in Melbourne? Well, sort of, it’s really more of a wine and beer joint. But you will find some gin cocktail classics here, made to perfection. If you’re a best of all worlds drinker, the gin-based Corpse Reviver No. 2 has your name written all over it.

10. Hell of the North

Nothing enhances an unforgettable juniper cocktail quite like an equally unforgettable high-rise view. For that, The Lui Bar has you covered to the tune of 55 stories. Engorge in their extensive selection of gin martinis (and small bites) while staring out across the epic Melbourne skyline. Sometimes the best gin bar in Melbourne isn’t just about the gin.

11. The Lui Bar

Here we have another elusive gem (complete with a secret door) that does Melbourne proud. The Store Room is a speakeasy-style lounge that will definitely give you a night to remember, assuming you can find it. Expect a stellar selection of spirits and gins in particular, since no prohibition-themed joint would have it any other way. Everyone loves this place so get in on the secret as soon as you can!

12. The Storeroom

A staple for locals and tourists, Gin Palace has now been on the scene for 20 years as the one-stop venue for gins of the world, big martinis and a Champagne list that would rival most Bottle-Os. This gin bar in Melbourne is one of those places that made locals start saying ‘the small bar scene here is excellent’ long before it really was, and even longer before Sydney caught on. The best part is the fact they’re open until 3 am, every day of the week. It’s called Gin Palace for crying out loud, of course, it’s one of the best gin bars in Melbourne.

13. Gin Palace

Tucked down a Chinatown laneway is the veritably awesome Lily Blacks. Picture a roaring 20s décor with minimalist undertones, joined by classic cocktails and hand-chiseled ice cubes. Naturally, that means some of the finest gin drinks to ever cross your lips. Pair those delectable beverages with a mind-blowing selection of bitters and you won’t stop coming until you’ve tried it all. It will deliver a gin cocktail you’ll never forget.

14. Lily Blacks

The Melbourne bar scene is nothing if not crafty. In fact, a wide variety of the best bars are hidden down laneways or tucked in the corners of heritage buildings. For a prime example, look no further than Berlin Bar. Not only is this one-of-a-kind destination thematically divided between (formerly) destitute East Germany and opulent West Germany, but you need an illustrated map just to find it in the first place. It also happens to be one of the best gin bars in Melbourne.

15. Berlin Bar

Follow the crowd at the Federation Wharf and you might find yourself at Pilgrim. This waterfront venue couples elevated gastro fare with a boutique selection of wines and spirits. Their gin menu is approachable and affordable, though ultimately not in and of itself able to compete with the best Melbourne gin bars. That said, they do offer up to five incredible gin cocktails and a delicious gin-based Bloody Mary so let’s put them on the list anyway!

16. Pilgrim Bar

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