Melbourne’s must-try summer drinks

From sophisticated summer cocktails to beer served below freezing, we’ve found the cold drinks that are so hot right now.

Arbory Afloat’s Miami Gin Spritz

Arbory Afloat is back for a third season, with Miami-themed pastel blues and pinks, palm trees and even a pool. This summer’s food and drink menus are inspired by Miami’s American and Latin cultures. Think chilled prawn tostadas and peachy-pink Miami Gin Spritzes. Made from ruby grapefruit, lemonade and Four Pillars X Arbory Miami Pink Gin, this venue-exclusive spirit is a must try summer sip.

A person pouring colourful alcohol into a wine glass at a bar

Pastel spritzes at Arbory Afloat

Romeo Lane’s Summer School

Time Out Melbourne’s 2020 Bar of the Year, Romeo Lane is a quintessential little laneway drinking den. You’ll find it behind an inconspicuous door in an alley formerly called Romeo Lane. Their new season of cocktails includes the Summer School: a grown-up shake of dry gin, fresh lime, coconut and absinthe. Lesson number one: getting a seat in this petite heritage space requires luck or patience or both.

Spritzes at Johnny’s Green Room

The crowning glory of Carlton’s reborn King and Godfree is Johnny’s Green Room rooftop bar. It’s got panoramic views across Carlton, Italian bites like arancini, and zesty drinks ideal for summer. The casual-chic Roman vibe makes this the place to rediscover your love of spritzes. There are four to choose from, including classic Aperol on tap. We’ll take the signature mix of Italicus, Stellacello Pompelmo, grapefruit and Prosecco.

A spritz cocktail on a bar bench

Johnny’s Green Room

Citizen’s super-chilled Asahi

Melbourne’s blessed with all sorts of summery drinks, but sometimes all you want on a hot day is a cold beer. The coldest in town, and apparently Australia, is at Japanese-influenced Citizen. Line up snacks like pork dumplings and eggplant chips, then chill out with a glass of Asahi Super Dry served at –2.2 degrees Celsius. Yes, that’s minus 2.2, the temperature this crisp, clean-tasting beer is made to be enjoyed at. Kanpai!

Club Aperol at Riverland

Spend a summer session watching the Australian Open at Riverland Bar’s zesty Club Aperol pop-up. Featuring $12 spritzes, frozen Aperol, a menu by D.O.C and those gorgeous riverside views. $1 from every spritz sold in January will be donated to the Red Cross bushfire disaster appeal, and will also enter you into the draw to win AO ground passed. Win win!

Two cocktail glasses on the bench of a bar with a bottle of champagne behind it

Club Aperol at Riverland

QT Melbourne’s Meet the Melons

Stunning city vistas, chic outdoor furniture, to-die-for fish tacos and glamorous cocktails. The rooftop bar at QT Melbourne ticks all the boxes. Head to the 11th floor and settle in with a Meet the Melons cocktail. We’re talking fresh lime, mint and watermelon. There’s the added kick of Kaffir Lime Leaf Skyy vodka, so you’ll soon be kicking back and wishing summer would never end.

LuWow’s Easter Island Iced Tea

Missing Fitzroy’s fabled LuWow bar? Then it’s time to celebrate, because LuWow’s back in the heart of the city. Break out your best Hawaiian shirt and sip on one of their heady drinks, like the Easter Island Iced Tea. They add coconut tequila and blue curacao to the Long Island Iced Tea’s already potent combo of vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, gin and cola. Best get some pan-Pacific snacks too, including Jamaican fried chicken.

Tanqueray G&T’s at Fatto Bar and Cantina

Unwind under the vines at Fatto’s Tanqueray Terrace. Refresh with Tanqueray G&Ts and nibble infused salmon, spanner crab and Yarra Valley Caviar bites. Until 1 March.

Two glasses filled with alcohol clinking together over a table of food

Tanqueray cocktails at Fatto

Spritzes at Brunetti

A byword for relaxing Italian-style, Brunetti in Flinders Lane is complete with the Campari Bar. Aperol is the co-star on the drinks list, which includes several takes on the spritz. Boasting a snack menu straight out of Florence, it’s great for a nibble and a sip or two. They’ve even got spritzy drinks for $10 – as if you needed another excuse to check out Brunetti City?

Red Spice Road’s Mango Monsoon

Ever since it opened in 2007, this pan-Asian restaurant has been hot. Red Spice Road’s hawker-style menu suits everything from long, lazy meals to quick bites. Think grilled scallops and kimchi corn fritters. Start with a drink full of South-East Asian zing, like the Mango Monsoon punch. This cool combo of gin, tamarind, lemongrass, kaffir lime, mango and soda is available in half- and full-litre serves. Perfect for sharing!

A large pitcher with a fruity cocktail in it surrounded by bottles of spirits

The mango monsoon at Red Spice Road

Buoy Meets Gull at The Boatbuilders Yard

If you can’t actually be on a boat, do the next best thing: chillaxing by the water at The Boatbuilders Yard. Our pick? The Buoy Meets Gull – a refreshing blend of Havana Anejo Cuban rum, Davidson plum and ginger beer. Order alongside the kingfish ceviche to really float your boat.

A pastel pink drink in a tall glass with a lemon garnish

Boy meets Gull at Boatbuilders Yard

Please drink responsibly.