Bars & Pubs

6 Drinks You Should Order To Impress Your Bartender

By Clare Acheson
20th Nov 2015

We all know a bartender who’s a total booze snob. You know the one, they wrinkle their nose every time you settle for a pint instead of some obscure imported spirit that’s been washed with angels’ wings and aged in a unicorn’s lung. Looking to throw the ultimate bar order smackdown? Here are six baller drinks you should be ordering to impress your bartender. Take that, you so-called ‘mixologist’.

1. An Australian Old Fashioned

Essentially, this is a smooth Aussie twist on a whisky classic. Make sure they top it up with Starward whisky, which is made at Victoria’s most delicious whisky distillery in Essendon, and don’t scrimp on the ice or citrus rind.


The last time we ordered one of these was at South Melbourne’s most beautiful bar-restaurant Lûmé. Delicious.

2. A Straight Gin

I know what you’re thinking, ‘Only manic depressives and day-time drunks drink straight gin,’ but hear me out. If your local bar keeps Four Pillars shiraz finished gin, a straight shot of this poured over an ice ball with a slice of orange or grapefruit makes for the PERFECT ‘I know my booze’ tipple. 


Anywhere you can find the stuff... At Four Pillars Distillery, Healesville, is a good place to start!

3. An Olorosso Sherry

Gone are the days when sherry was something sipped by old ladies at Sunday lunch. An oloroso sherry is made from Palomino grapes and is less about the sticky sweet flavour of fortified wines and more about an evenly balanced sherry that’s ideal with some blue cheese and fruit. Not too sweet, not too tart, not too dry… Perfection.


Añada in Fitzroy keeps a sherry stock that’s second to none. Importing specialist sherries, we know for a fact that their staff are 100% impressed by anyone who orders something other than prosecco. Go hard on the oloroso, guys!

4. A Japanese Whisky Highball

That's a whisky and soda to most. Whisky highballs are a fantastic way to enjoy a top-shelf whisky without ending up on the floor after drinking half the bottle. Because Japanese whisky is so delicately layered with flavours, it makes for the ideal companion to a splash of soda water. And if the barman looks confused, simply tell him that you like your water strong.


Hihou in Melbourne CBD and Toko in Prahran both have a fantastic selection of Japanese whiskies from the mainstream and lesser-known distilleries. Have a chat to their bartenders and you’re sure to learn something about your new favourite drink.

5. A Vermouth

Half way between a delicate fortified wine and a botanical gin, vermouth is one of the most delicious hot-weather drinks you should be sipping this summer. Yes, you can mix it into cocktails, but if you’re drinking something mouth-watering enough to be sipped solo (such as Causes and Cures’ vermouth, which is made in the Yarra Valley), ask for it to be poured over ice with a citrus peel.


Bad Frankie usually have a bottle or two of tasty vermouth on the go. The perfect accompaniment to a lamington jaffle, apparently.

6. A Guinness, And Down It In One

What are you, Popeye?! The Hulk? Just really, really Irish? Hell, that bar move would impress just about anyone. 


Hit up The Last Jar. While they might not be all that impressed, they will welcome you with open arms and one of the best (and only?) potato sandwiches you’ll ever eat.

Love a daring drink? Check out 8 of Melbourne’s Most Outrageous Cocktails.

Image credit: Four Pillars Gin Facebook

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