Food & Drink

9 Must-Drink Events At This Year’s Melbourne Cocktail Festival

By Rick Stephens
8th Apr 2022

The Melbourne Cocktail Festival is nearly upon us, and for its third year, they’re partnering up with Melbourne Food & Wine Festival for a bumper program that celebrates Melbourne’s rich and diverse drinks industry in all its glory. 

The cocktail enthusiast in us all would be remiss to skip out on any of 18 boozy events, parties, masterclasses and takeovers across the city, though there are several must-drink titles that should be booked in and added to that social calendar of yours stat.

Bar Safari

Take off on a choose-your-own-adventure cocktail crawl to end all cocktail crawls. MCF’s Bar Safari hits 30 venues, each with their own exclusive (and limited) cocktail available during the entirety of the festival. The likes of Capitano, The Everliegh, newcomers Pearl Diver and Farmer’s Daughters are all on board—working with Grainshaker, Four Pillars, Starward and Home Grown—with their own unique drop, and you can try them for $15 a pop when you register here.


When: Monday 4 April until Sunday 10 April
Where: Various locations
For more information, click here.

Gimlet | Three To Remember

Andrew McConnell's charmer, Gimlet, is paying tribute to London's Happiness Forgets with Three To Remember. As the name suggests, one can expect three half-pour cocktails, each a homage to the famed bar which makes the world's top 50 list year in, year out. It's happening now until Sunday 10 April, so all you need to do is get yourself to the bar and order up. And the best part? Your ticket gets you a snack from the Gimlet kitchen.


When: Now until Sunday 10 April
Where: Gimlet, 33 Russell Street, Melbourne
For tickets and more information, click here.

Farmer's Daughters | Hive To Highball

The hype for beekeeping in 2022 is palpable, but are you aware of how the honey that's harvested can be used in your booze and food? Hive To Highball will see Gippsland Apiarist Ben Murphy take to the Farmer's Daughters rooftop for a 101 on the good stuff, honey. Murphy has worked with the Farmer's Daughter's team to present a flight of cocktails and snacks, all featuring Tambo Valley honey in some truly unexpected ways. 


When: Saturday 9 April, 1pm
Where: Farmer's Daughters, 95 Exhibition St, Melbourne
For tickets and more information, click here.

Home Grown x Pomelo Spritz Rooftop Party

Us Urban Listers have become quite fond of Home Grown’s ready to serve cocktails, so when we heard they were throwing a rooftop spritz party upstairs at Pomelo, it was of course going to score a mention. For added vibes, expect lawn games, cheap slushies and a barbecue on go all arvo. Entry will cost you zip, but you’ll need to register.


When: Sunday 10 April, 3pm onwards
Where: Pomelo, Level 3, 169 Melbourne Place, Melbourne
For more details and tickets, click here.

Byrdi Courtyard Takeover With Saint Felix

A mainstay of Melbourne’s bar scene, Luke Whearty is opening up the Byrdi Courtyard with mates and pioneering distillers Saint Felix. Here, you’ll find the likes Saint Felix’s gins, aperitivo and elusive yuzu & green tea spirit on show, though the best place to start or finish your MCF journey is the Saint Felix signature Mandarin Americano.


When: Saturday 9 April, 5pm until late
Where: Byrdi, 211 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
This is a free event. Walk-ins only.

Arbory Afloat x St Felix | Sunday Session

Arbory Afloat is inarguably Melbourne's best spot for a Sunday session, and they're teaming up for one helluva cocktail-fuelled bookend to the week. St Felix will be on drinks duties, sporting signature cocktails such as the Mandarin Americano and Yuzu-Shiso-Collins; meanwhile, saxophonist and DJ duo The Tapeheads will be slinging vibes all arvo. Free entry, all you need to do is book a table and decide which cocktail you'll be ordering. 


When: Sunday 10 April
Where: Arbory Afloat, 2 Flinders Walk, Melbourne
For more information, click here.

Bar Liberty | In Good Spirits With Archie Rose 

Gins, whisky and vodka, Aussie distillers Archie Rose do it all, and they do it damn well. So much so, that one of Melbourne’s most renowned bars, Bar Liberty, is throwing a food and drink pairing with them. This one-night-only affair will see Archie Rose brand ambassador and spirits czar Paul Slater in cahoots with Bar Liberty's resident flavour wizard Nick Tesar, where together they’ll bring three courses of shared plates matched up with three cocktails showcasing the distillery’s finest drops.


When: Friday 8 April, 1pm until 3pm
Where: Bar Liberty, 234 Johnson Street, Fitzroy
For tickets and more information, click here.


For this one, Melbourne Cocktail Festival is linking up with Melbourne Food and Wine Festival for a celebration of Victoria’s booze scene. First up is the Home Grown bar, where four of the city’s top bartenders will work their magic alongside Grainshaker, Starward & Four Pillars spirits. Once you satiated your cocktail cravings, there’ll also be 100+ wines, 80+ beers and a 24 tap beer wall. The ‘lono’ scene will also score a spotlight with its own dedicated bar, pouring Victoria’s finest no and low alcohol drinks. Your ticket to Splash! will also get you access to five tasting experiences—nice one. 


When: Saturday 9 April, 12 until 4pm or 5pm until 9pm
Where: Queen Victoria Market, E Shed, Melbourne
For tickets and more information, click here.

The MCF Closing Party | Connie’s Italian Diner Sneak Peek

MCF are closing up this years festival while simultaneously celebrating a very saucy opening, Connie’s Italian Diner. You may be familiar with the name—yep, it’s that pizza joint inside late-night haunt Heartbreaker—which has found its own locale to call home up above on level one. Tickets are free, but you’ll need to get in damn quick.


When: Sunday 10 April, 7pm until late
Where: Connie’s Italian Diner, Upstairs 234 Russell Street, Melbourne
For more information, click here

Now that the drinks are sorted, scope out the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival program here.

Image credit: suppled

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