A gin lover’s guide to Melbourne

The only thing cooler than drinking gin these days is opening a gin distillery. Here are the finest places in town to get sipping and start dreaming.

Gin Palace

Established in 1997, Gin Palace was among the pioneers of Melbourne’s bar renaissance, and years ahead of the gin curve. From a simple, classic Gin Rickey to complex contemporary cocktails, there’s still no better place to play with this beguiling spirit. The decor leans toward Great Gatsby glamour, and if you like gin, you’re welcome.

Adelphi Four Pillars Fridays

The Adelphi Hotel’s rooftop has had a stylish renovation, complete with all-new cantilevered, glass-bottomed swimming pool peeping over Flinders Lane. In partnership with an acclaimed Victorian craft distillery, they’re celebrating with Adelphi Four Pillars Fridays. There’s a dedicated gin-and-tonic menu and deluxe barbecue bites from Om Nom Kitchen downstairs. Get in early to make a splash: entry is free and there’s only space for 60!

A glass and a jug of cocktails next to a pool

Four Pillars Gin Fridays at Adelphi Rooftop pool

Melbourne Gin Company Summer G&T Bar

Patricia Coffee Brewers is setting aside the Coffea bean and embracing the juniper berry on Friday evenings until 23 February. Their pop-up Melbourne Gin Company Summer G&T Bar offers a rotating menu of four classy tipples. Of course Patricia isn’t completely forsaking the bean – there’s also a cold-filter coffee G&T, available every Friday until summer’s end. All only $10 a pop!

Four glasses of gin cocktails on a bench

Melbourne Gin Company summer G & T bar

The Mill House Gin Club

Whether you’re a gin-thusiast or just gin-curious, The Mill House Bar is the place to be on Thursdays. There are no membership fees or secret handshakes required to be part of their weekly gin club. Just slide a tenner across the bar for one of their crafty gin creations, and you’re in!

Nordic Gin Experience and Cocktail Class

Cocktail on arrival. Gin tastings and masterclass. Three canapés. A cocktail class where you make then drink three more fancy drinkies. $65. What, what, what?! That’s right, all this for $65! No wonder February’s Nordic Gin Experience and Cocktail Class at Henry and the Fox has sold out. Get clicking to be part of the March session.

two bottles of gin and a cocktail on a table in a beer garden

Nordic Gin experience and cocktail class at Henry and the Fox

Pilgrim Bar

Based in some historic Federation Wharf vaults, Pilgrim Bar’s really all about what happens out the front, by the river, alfresco-style. Kick back and soak up the view with some summery bites and drinks. They’ve got a generous list of liquid moonlight by Australian distillers, including mulberry gin from Kangaroo Island Spirits. Hop to it!

Waterside Hotel

Have you been to the Waterside Hotel’s rooftop? On hot summer days and balmy nights, head upstairs for super city views and a Waterside G&T or two. Tanqueray gin, house tonic, fresh orange and mint, served tall in a wine glass. Drop the mic, bartender, your work is done!

A cocktail garnished with a slice of orange and a sprig of mint on a table in a bar

The Waterside G & T at the Waterside Hotel

Looking for more?

Other Melbourne bars with a nose for fine gin include 1806, one of the city’s classiest cocktail dens. If you enjoy gin classics like the Southside, Aviation or Tom Collins, no one shakes ‘em better. Rooftop bar Madame Brussels is a cheeky urban take on the English garden party, so of course gin is highly fancied. Order a jug of the fruity Gin Garden and start giggling, girls and boys! The Luftwaffe Sour is Berlin Bar’s gin-tastic take on the whisky sour. Will you sip one in their luxe West Berlin room or stark East Berlin zone?