As all hardened Melburnians will know, there are three things required for a successful summer afternoon in Melbourne. Number One: a sun drenched table at one of the city's best rooftop bars, beer gardens or terraces. Number Two: a jug of Pimm's with all the trimmings. Number Three: a group of good friends to share said jug with (note: Number Three is optional). After all, with its lashings of Pimm's No. 1, lemonade, and fresh cucumber, mint and fruit, what says summertime better than this classic English drink? With this in mind, we at TUL took on the onerous task of seeking out Melbourne's best Pimm's jugs, for your drinking pleasure. You're welcome.
Union Dining | Richmond
Made with Pimm's No. 1, lemonade and dry ginger, not to mention ample servings of orange, mint, lime, lemon and cucumber, the Pimm's Jug served up at Union Dining is the original recipe at its absolute finest. While available throughout the venue, this classic elixir is perfectly suited to Union's gorgeous terrace, which is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5.00pm and Sunday from midday. Best enjoyed with bites from the new bar and terrace menu, such as pork and fennel puff rolls and Portarlington mussels.
The Emerson | Prahran
Venture upstairs to The Emerson's rooftop bar, and you'll find the venue's true standout. This relaxed and inviting space, complete with oodles of seating and views overlooking Commercial Road, is dishing up one stellar jug of Pimm's, aka the Pimm's Zombie. Featuring Pimm's No. 1, Tanqueray, Sloe Gin, peach liqueur and ginger beer and served with cucumber, strawberries, lemon and mint, this jug is ideally sipped while listening to The Emerson's live music offerings every Sunday. Also look out for Pimm's partner in crime, the White Sangria jug. Between the two of them, you're guaranteed a brilliant – albeit hazy – afternoon.
Madame Brussels | Melbourne CBD
A Pimm's jug without the Pimm's? Oh yes, gentle readers, it is possible. And it's delicious. The entirely unique Madame Brussels on Bourke Street is serving up an inspired beverage known as The Madame's DD Cup, which is created with their house made liquor, Maidenii, based in Vermouth and Gin. Topped off with lemonade, ginger and tons of garnishes, this jug is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of finger sandwiches served on the divine rooftop garden.
Jimmy Watson's | Carlton
Available in the Wolf's Lair – aka the garden – this Pimm's jug is packed with all the traditional bits and bobs, plus the occasional snake lolly. If one drink turns into many – as can easily happen in the stunning surrounds at Jimmy Watson's – it would be well worth your while to also check out the Wolf's signature jug, the Skirt-Lifter, made from elderflower vodka, gin, fresh lemon juice and a twist of fruit and soda. Enjoy.
Mr Wow's Emporium | Fitzroy
This Smith Street venue may not offer much in the way of outdoor seating, but then it has absolutely everything you could want inside its elegantly decorated walls. Aside from a perfect jug of Pimm's, which is decked out with cucumber, orange wheels, lemon, mint, lemonade and dry ginger ale, Mr Wow's boasts pool tables, large windows overlooking the ever-bustling Smith Street, and bocce. Yes, bocce. Your summer afternoons just got that much more interesting.
Oscar Cooper | Prahran
Head on over to Prahran, and you'll find Melbourne cafe Oscar Cooper, well worth the trip. Not only does this gorgeous abode offer spectacular breakfast and lunch seven days a week, but it also dishes up one perfect pitcher of Pimm's. Because honestly, is there anything better on a lazy Sunday morning than a glass or three of Pimm's alongside your baked eggs? This here is the ultimate indulgence.
Transit | Melbourne CBD
Perched above Transport Bar and located conveniently across the road from Flinders Street Station, Transit bar offers stunning city views, a gorgeous balcony, live soul and jazz tunes and, of course, one decadent jug of Pimm's. Packed with cucumber, mint, strawberries, lime, lemon and orange, this traditional tipple is ideal for afternoons spent soaking up the sun, and evenings watching the city lights.
Chuckle Park | Melbourne CBD
Chuckle Park is one of the city's most intriguing laneway bars because it is actually located in a laneway. Housed outside New Guernica's entrance, this fabulous bar and café operates out of a caravan – a caravan named Chucky, no less. Alongside simple but sensational bites (including a to-die-for pulled pork roll), Chuckle Park offers up a refreshing jug of Pimm's, gin, and all the normal trimmings. Plus, once New Guernica opens its doors for the evening, you can treat yourself to yet another take on this classic cocktail. Oh yes, the night can last forever…
Bimbo Deluxe | Fitzroy
An afternoon could not be better spent than with a session at Brunswick Street's ever popular Bimbo Deluxe. While the downstairs is famous for its couches, pool tables, flavoured vodkas and arcade games, a trip upstairs is well worth your while. Honestly, if you can think of anything better than a jug of Pimm's with fresh fruit and a $4 pizza, I don't want to hear about it.
Check out more of Melbourne's best bars.
Main image credit: Chichester Caterers.