Sharing is caring, and we seem to have reached a new age of communal culture. Melbourne has witnessed the rise of shared houses, rides, jobs, and even pets (there's an app for that). Of course, shared plates have been on the food-trend radar for a while, so it was obvious that the drink lists would follow suit soon after.
While traditional shared tipples such as punches actually pre-date the invention of single-serve cocktails, it seems only more recently that every second bar is serving up jugs, pitchers, and bowls to satisfy the thirsty hordes.
Here are a few of our favourite places to find cocktails to share with a bunch of old friends - or indeed help you make new ones...
Gin Garden at Madame Brussels
Shall we start with Madame Brussels, the establishment that probably sparked it all? Miss Pearls has been showing off her saucy jugs since forever. We appreciate a venue that offers their drinks in scalable sizes, all the way from a solo outing to quenching the thirst of your ménage à huit (that's enough for 8). We also dig that they'll make you just about anything you fancy en masse. You can't really skip their fancy fresh Gin Garden punch in terraced surroundings such as these.
Love Potion No. 1 at Glamp
If there's a cocktail likely to give you the warm fuzzies it's one of Glamp's so-called "love cups". Mixologist Ben Hehir developed the drink for two based on the communal drinking cultures of eastern Africa. It's a pretty intimate affair - couples sip Love Potion No. 1 from the same vessel. Hopefully it's not too tricky to find someone to share this seductive concoction of South American rums, citrus fruits, and florals with you.
Elderflower Spritz at Arbory
Three is a (welcome) crowd at Arbory. Their Elderflower Spritz pimps up the classic Aperol Spritz with St Germain and grapefuit juice in place of soda, and is made just for you and your two besties. We also hear they've just added Aperol Spritz on tap for Summer, so if you don't like to share, you can still hydrate your cocktail-loving crew quicksmart.
El Diablo at The Village
It's a fact that adult beverages taste better when enjoyed al fresco. Sipping under a canopy of elm leaves away from the hustle and bustle in The Village's expansive garden sounds pretty idyllic to us. A pitcher of draught hasn't cut it since you were a penny-pinching uni student, so instead opt for the El Diablo - a wicked mix of tequila, pomegranate liqueur and ginger beer.
Hollywood Bowl at Eau De Vie
If your posse wants to get serious about sharing, Eau De Vie's got you covered. You'll never find watered down Pimm's or cheap sangria here. Rather, your shared experience might come flowing from an old-school absinthe fountain, or perhaps a copper pineapple! The crowd-pleasing Hollywood Bowl punch is presented in a more classic bowl, but its medley of vodka, citrus, rhubarb and sparkling bubbles will leave you all feeling like genuine A-listers.
Sea Urchin at The Luwow
All of the effusively vibrant tiki drinks on The Luwow's menu are well-known conversation starters. They do offer rum or tequila-soaked options for a handful of drinkers. However, we are especially fond of the Sea Urchin (gin, spicy ginger and fragrant vanilla) mixed up just for two. You might even score a creature from under the sea as your communal cup.
Zombie Horde at Brunswick Mess Hall
The Brunswick Mess Hall has a septet of punches (of the non-violent kind) to distribute among your nearest and dearest on their drinks menu. At the top end of the list is their take on a classic, rumified Zombie. We simply can't go past a drink that mysteriously lists "fire" as a garnish. Beware; what's inside this particular punchbowl can be just as dangerous (so do find five mates to share this one with).
Scorched Earth at The Richmond Yard
It's the year 2023. The world has been torn asunder by war (good going fellow jerks). We are now living - if you can call this wretched existence "living" - in a trailer-park wasteland. Thank heavens some bright spark salvaged a caravan-load of hooch! The future's not looking so bad after all... Partake in oversized billy-cans of "Scorched Earth" vodka cocktails at this post-apocalyptic bar and grill open Saturday evenings only during summer.
Need more bars? Check out the 33 Bars You Should Have Been To If You Live in Melbourne.
Image credit: Provided by Glamp