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

For the first time in 20 years, Melbourne institution Gin Palace will serve lunch, with a twist. Seven Australian distillers are set to curate a three course lunch inspired by the theme Scents of Place. Each lunch will be followed by an interactive cocktail-making class, in harmony with the distiller’s chosen menu. One for the diary – every second Saturday from 2 June until 25 August.

Uncle

A spicy and stylish little Vietnamese hotspot with a tempting menu of tasty bites, Uncle also boasts quite the cocktail menu. Their signature Pho-Groni usually draws the crowds, being a Negroni with pho spice-infused Westwinds gin. From their upstairs vantage at the top end of Collins Street, you could almost imagine yourself sipping this gin-tastic concoction overlooking Central Park on a cold Manhattan day.

A bottle of alcohol, with a cocktail behind it on a wooden bench.

The Pho-groni at Uncle

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 the monthly Nordic Gin Experience and Cocktail Classes at Henry and the Fox sell out. Get clicking to be part of the sessions!

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. They’ve got a generous list of liquid moonlight by Australian distillers, including mulberry gin from Kangaroo Island Spirits. You can also meet your local producers and learn more about their artisan craft at Pilgrim Bar’s Talk and Taste series. These intimate sessions will highlight some of Melbourne’s finest producers and their insider recipes in a series specially created for gourmands. Thursdays 28 June to 30 August.

Loch & Key

Let the experienced mixology crew here at Loch & Key treat you to a bespoke cocktail. They’ll respond to your every whim with a drink to suit your taste and mood. Popular tipples include the cool and sweet Clover Leaf with gin, mint, dry vermouth and raspberry syrup. A tactical toastie goes down well – try the Tandoori chicken with serracho and pickles.

A person standing behind a bar, picking mint leaves to place in a yellow cocktail.

Drinks at Loch & Key

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?

Please drink responsibly.