When we're not simply guzzling H2O, summer drinking is all about getting into a holiday frame of mind. Location counts just as much as what's in your glass, whether you're sipping al fresco on a so-hot-right-now rooftop, by the seashore, or on the deck of a yacht in Port Phillip Bay (please do not drink while captaining). Here are a few summer cocktail suggestions that extend past pina coladas and cider on ice (not that there's anything wrong with those on a sweltering Melbourne day!).
Downstairs it might be all about Spanish vermouth and all things fortified, but upstairs Bomba is all about their open-air rooftop and pop-culture referencing cocktail list. Get cheeky and have 'Sex With A Bearded Man', which is filled with summer flavours of peach and grapefruit, while Aperol and Cava keep things light. You know you want to.
Bomba | 103 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne
No more chasing after a creepy guy in a Mr Whippy van; Mr Miyagi grants your wish for seasonally appropriate ice-cream with the 'Godzilla vs. Mr Miyagi Spider'. It's sake and melon swirled with the vanilla frozen stuff and soda. Sorry kids, you'll have to wait a few years to try this one.
Mr Miyagi | 99 Chapel Street in Windsor
Mulled wine aficionados should thank the Spaniards for inventing its chilled-out sister, sangria, to see them through sunnier climes. Bar Nacional's version is subtly spiced, citrus-soaked and not super sweet, so you can have more than one to cool down if you find yourself on the west side of town.
Bar Nacional | 727 Collins Street in Docklands
The sipping is easy at Bar Nacional.
It has froot loops in it. What more do you need to know about Lily Black's latest madcap creation, the 'Breakfast in New Orleans' cocktail? Well, it's also frothy, light and strangely alluring if you dare to order one. You can afford to have a little fun during this season and that should extend to ditching boring bar proclivities!
Lily Blacks | 12 Meyers Place in Melbourne
Didn't we say location was almost everything? One of Melbourne's newest drinking destinations, The Emerson, offers up the fresh air and the view from their fancy rooftop, alongside their cocktail list. Sharing is caring; try their 'Sucider Mojito', soused with apple and mint and intended for more than one.
The Emerson | 143-145 Commercial Road in South Yarra
The Emerson rooftop – I can't think of a better place to sip a cocktail!
STORM IN A TEACUP
When the mercury pushes past 30, we simply don't crave a piping hot cuppa. So what's a tea-centric bar to do? Storm in a Teacup has niftily reinvented the iconic garden party drink of gin and tonic (and, can we venture, makes it even better), with an infusion of fragrant jasmine tea.
Storm in a Teacup | 48a Smith Street in Collingwood
Is there a more refreshing summery fruit than the watermelon? Captain Baxter ensures watermelon reigns supreme (over upstarts like mango or pineapple), with their 'Green Knoll' – adding the cooling fruit and green tea to a minty mojito.
Captain Baxter | 10-18 Jacka Boulevard in St Kilda
We'd climb mountains for a Grassy Knoll from Captain Baxter!
When the sun comes out, all the trashy mags start screeching about ways to harness your elusive 'bikini body' and dubious juice fasts. Oscar Cooper helps you keep up a saintly façade, allowing you to add gin or vodka to any of their delicious fresh juices. Try the pineapple-ly goodness of the 'Golden Pash'. Now that's our kind of 'balanced diet'.
Oscar Cooper | 160 Greville Street in Prahran
THE MEATBALL & WINE BAR
Summer in Capri. Those three little words can be used to sum up the evocative deliciousness that is their 'Limoncello Frizz'. It's a simple enough idea: bubbles, citrus sorbet and limoncello are combined to become more than the sum of their parts. This drink is sunshine-in-a-champagne-flute.
The Meatball & Wine Bar | 105 Swan Street in Richmond AND 135 Flinders Lane in Melbourne
Cocktail o'clock at Captain Baxter! Image credit: Facebook.
From vacationing in Italy, we now move onto the Greek Islands. Gazi also has a version of boozy sorbet on the menu, but we think you should try the aromatic 'Agapi Fizz', which pairs ouzo with rosewater. Bonus points for not having to wait until 3am or until you've finished cocktailing to chow down on a kebab here.
Gazi | 2 Exhibition Street in Melbourne
It's been almost a year since Stokehouse Cafe's beachier revamp. Naturally, their icy margarita slushies (watermelon flavour is newly getting frosty) in rainbow-lidded plastic cups are the go-to bar item. We highly recommend you enjoy one on Stokehouse's coveted boardwalk-adjacent patio, which is so close to the St Kilda foreshore you can almost dip your toes in the sand as you sip.
Stokehouse Cafe | 30 Jacka Boulevard in St Kilda
Campari house is the kind of crowd-pleasing joint that will keep all of your friends happy on a summer outing. Ask for a carafe-full of the 'Seduzione Dolci' to make them even happier. It's a sweet mix of a grocery list's worth of ingredients, with a seasonal passionfruit kick.
Campari House | 23-25 Hardware Lane in Melbourne
Alcoholic eye candy at Campari House. Image credit: Facebook.
Escape from the CBD sun that's bouncing off concrete and steel, to refresh under the laneway shade of Bar Ampere. They do adore their absinthe here, but for something mixed try a just-as-potent 'Tailspin' – a savoury herbal fix.
Bar Ampere | 16 Russell Place in Melbourne
There aren't three bears to contend with here. Only multiple levels of a maze-like dumpling restaurant until you reach Goldilocks and its pretty little rooftop. Perhaps pretend you're on a picnic – there's greenery here which helps – and order up a rum-spiked coconut/chocolate/strawberry 'Lamington Flip'.
Goldilocks Bar | Level 4, 262 Swanston Street in Melbourne
Surely the Royal Botanical Gardens are one of the best locales in which to soak up Melbourne's summer. Too bad they won't let us enjoy an adult beverage. Idea: take a trip over the road to The Botanical for a few of their berrylicious and herbaceous 'Dragon Wort Brambles' while surrounded by flora. Then skip back over to the park to lie in the sun.
The Botanical | 169 Domain Road in South Yarra
Main Image Credit: Pinterest