Melbourne’s not shy of specialty food stores, wine bars, or stand-alone cheese shops. Hell, we’ve even got a dedicated toast café, so it should come as no surprise that one of our favourite Latin American bar and restaurants has made tequila its bread and butter. That’s right, this bar has made it their mantra to be the best in the tequila biz.
Confession time: despite all my foodie, dranks-loving ways, I was NOT a fan of tequila. (I blame this on a nasty Jose Cuervo premixed margarita...) So it was with this taste seared in my memory that I sat gingerly at the Pablo Honey bar, trying to hide my angst at the thought of an evening of tequila.
It took all of 0.8 seconds for me to realize that A. I was in safe hands with the Pablo Honey guys, and B. This was going to be a rollicking good night.
Memo: when you get a couple of veterans of the Melbourne dining and bar scene together that are passionate about a product, know everything there is to know about tequila, and are top-notch bartenders to boot, the chances of you having a bad experience are slim to none.
Sitting at the Pablo Honey bar was a masterclass in great service and delicious drinks. I was talked through the options on offer and how the different tequilas varied. Who knew tequila was like wine, and that the taste is affected by terrain and altitude?! Plus, there were roughly forty eight different tequilas to choose from, ranging from $9 to $200 a shot—so really your biggest problem is narrowing down which one is for you.
My previous experiences of tequila included the usual salt, lime and a very quick shot. Turns out I was doing it alllll wrong... The Pablo Honey selection (even the $9 shot!) is smooth and velvety; something you sip on and savour—how grown up! Mix this into inventive, delicious, and oh-so-Onstgrammable and cocktails, and you’ve got yourself a convert.
Pablo Honey’s cocktail list is split in to two: Pablo’s List and Honey’s List. Pablo’s List is it dedicated to tequila-based concoctions, and is the one I suggest you head to first. Naturally, Honey’s List is everything else, albeit with Pablo Honey’s own special twist on it.
I’m female and under the age of thirty, so I saw it as my duty to order an espresso martini… only better. The Speedy Gonzales is Pablo’s take on the age old favourite, mixing tequila with coffee, chocolate and just a hint of chilli. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, because this is a must-try.
Next up, I checked out the Red Hot Chilli Pepper—a wonderous concoction of lemongrass and chilli infused tequila, which is combined with vanilla liqueur and ginger beer. Top that off with a cinnamon float and you’ve got a crowd favourite. For my final cocktail, I ventured over to Honey’s List and got myself a Black Velvet. As smooth and pretty as can be, this seductive-looking cocktail is vodka-based, inky black in colour and topped with a flower. I should pause here and clarify that I wasn’t eating on an empty stomach—Pablo Honey is far from a one-trick pony and the food menu is well worth coming for in it’s own right. (Hellooooo nachos and cheese fondue.)
For the ultimate in tequila, and for an all-round epic dining and bar experience, Pablo Honey is your man. You’ll find him on Acland Street in St Kilda, ready to welcome you in with comfy seating, delicious share plates and the best tequila cocktail of your life.
Image credit: Gareth Sobey for The Urban List
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