Melbourne’s cocktail culture is second to none, and if you’re looking for one of the best cocktail bars in Melbourne CBD, you’ve got absolutely no excuse for overlooking stylish cocktail mecca, Bar 1806. With two floors or softly-lit velvet seating, a cracking new food menu, and a spirit collection that would make even the most experienced bartender blush, this hidden hideout is our go-to for delicious drinks and nibbles, seven days a week.
Bar 1806 prides itself on employing some of the best cocktail minds in Melbourne, meaning you’ll never be stuck for something interesting to sip on. While their mainstays are classic cocktails and new concoctions (the ‘1806’ in its name refers to the year the word ‘cocktail’ was first noted in print, and the staff’s knowledge is top-notch), the bar’s selection of world whiskies is one of the best in the city. Drinks are served in either their main bar area or mezzanine, which can be booked out for private events, and you’ll also find a fantastic selection of mocktails, wines and beers, including the unique 1806 Blonde Ale, which is brewed by local legends, Cavalier. Needless to say, nobody goes thirsty here.
While cocktails are the jewel in this Melbourne bar’s crown, it’s the recent switch-up of the food menu that’s really blown us away. Spearheaded by world-renowned chef Nuno Mendes Gabriel—an ex-elBulli kitchen team member who’s responsible for at least one Michelin star, as well as one of Gordon Ramsay’s favourite chefs—the new 1806 menu boasts perfectly balanced flavours, fresh Victorian produce, and a range of tasters, larger plates and cheeseboards. Gone are the ‘bread and dip’ boards of the past, instead replaced with juicy pork belly bao, spiced lamb cutlets, and chilli king prawns served with local finger limes. It’s the sort of cutting-edge cuisine that wouldn’t look out of place in the world’s best foodie bar-restaurants.
Of course, the best way to wrap your mouth around the new menu is to book in for one of 1806’s seasonal degustations. The five course degustation promises an evening of exquisite dishes (vegetarian, and low fructose diets can be catered for), paired with some of the bar’s finest drinks—the ideal date or plush birthday outing for that foodie friend. You’ll find heaps of culinary events on the calendar too. Covering everything from new season produce to a six-course whisky-matched feast, Bar 1806 is certainly proving one to watch for must-book tasters and masterclasses.
Stuck for a treat for a cocktail lover? The 1806 cocktail masterclass is, hands down, one of the best cocktail classes in Melbourne. Teaching you the basics of a handful of classic and more extravagant drinks, the classes can cater for anywhere between two and 25 people (um, next office teambuilding outing?!), and of course, you get to drink your spoils at the end of the session. If the ability to mix up a mouth-watering espresso martini has been on your bucket list for faaaaar too long, lock in a date with the team at 1806 and nail that caffeinated beauty, pronto.
To book a table at Bar 1806, visit the website.
Image credit: Griffin Simm for The Urban List