Melbourne’s best cocktails, delivered

Published on 22 July 2020

Photo: Byrdi's bottled cocktails to go (credit: Jana Longhorst)

Fancy something, well, a little fancy to enliven your next dinner? The city’s bars might not currently be able to serve you in person, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still here to shake and stir your evenings. Whether it’s via pick-up or delivery, several of our very best homes of mixology are finding ways to keep the cocktail hour alive – all in moderation, of course. Here’s a selection of some of our favourites.

Whisky + Alement
Here’s a sentence for the ages: “A tasting pack of three whisky-filled juice bags”. Russell Street favourite Whisky + Alement has always been devoted to the idea that greater knowledge brings greater pleasure, especially as far as single-malt whiskies are concerned, and just because you’re doing your tasting on the couch at home rather than at the bar doesn’t mean you have to miss out. They’ve put together a variety of whisky flights, small tastes of different drams all linked by different themes, whether it be the Highlander Collection, the Collector’s Drams or the wishful drinking of the Antipasto Picnic.
Available for pick-up Wed-Fri 1pm-6pm at 270 Russell St, Melbourne. Delivery available throughout Australia.

Black Pearl
Not only does this Brunswick Street cocktailian landmark offer its Michter Manhattans and Shower Martini (Bombay Sapphire, dry vermouth, seasoning and garnishes) to go, it’s also created a booze-free Negroni, the Impossible No-groni, made with Lyre’s Dry London Spirit, Italian Orange and Aperitif Rosso. And move over mulled wine: Black Pearl is warming you up with its Kingston Negroni featuring a double-whammy of Appleton’s signature and 12-year-aged rum, along with the usual suspects and a touch of honey.
Available for pick-up Thurs-Sun at 304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, or delivery within an 8km radius.

Bar Americano
Bartending pencils. Vintage ceramic musical decanters. Wes Anderson-inspired keychains. It was marching to the beat of its own drum that established Bar Americano as one of Melbourne’s most essential (and most tiny) laneway bars, and so it is with its online store, a highly idiosyncratic collection of merch and trinkets from across owner Matthew Bax’s various contributions to the art, culture and nightlife of Melbourne over two decades. If you prefer your art and culture in purely drinkable form, though, don’t worry – the bottled Negronis, Brooklyns, and of course the signature Americanos are as good (or better) than any you’ll find anywhere else in the world.
Same-day delivery in the CBD, courier service everywhere else.

Mr West
What’s more fun than a magnum? A bagnum. To the uninitiated, that’s a 1.5-litre pouch of pre-batched deliciousness that Mr West has created under its Good Spirits house label. A definite step up from your early adventures with booze in bags, the Espresso Martini comes with its own cocktail shaker for maximum freshness, while the Negroni is made with Poor Tom’s gin and Mr West’s own vermouth. Boom.
Available for pick-up Mon-Sat, noon-9pm at 106 Nicholson St, Footscray, or delivery throughout Australia, with local express delivery also available.

Byrdi
The doors to this ambitious new bar are closed right now, but thanks to distribution via Blackhearts & Sparrows, the radical likes of The Lamington (Australian sugarcane spirit, cocoa butter, coconut oil and raspberry vermouth), the Bee Pollen Refashioned (cane spirit infused with wild bee pollen, sugar and Byrdi bitters #1) and the Fennel Pollen Sazerac (brandy infused with wild Australian fennel pollen, lemon peel, sugar and Byrdi bitters #2) are yours for the sipping whenever you please.
Available for pick-up seven days 10am-5pm at shop GD075, Melbourne Central, 211 La Trobe St, Melbourne or delivery within 10km radius of Melbourne CBD, Tues-Sat 4pm-10pm. Purchase online or in-store at Blackhearts & Sparrows.

Provenance
A night at Provenance is the centrepiece of many a weekend in the High Country. But just because you’re not enjoying the restaurant’s liquor cabinet after one of Michael Ryan’s multi-course menus, that doesn’t mean you can’t pair a Provenance cocktail or two with your own cooking. The online Provenance Grocer is slinging bottled Martinis, Brooklyns and Reverse Perfect Manhattans, as well as the house grenadine, made with pomegranates grown in Ryan’s own backyard.
Delivery throughout Australia.

The Everleigh
One of Melbourne’s early entrants to the bottled cocktail game, you can rest assured that The Everleigh’s operation is slick. Would you expect anything less? Order a pre-batched Martini with the glassware to match, splash out a freshly shaken Chet Baker or Tattletale, or send someone a gift that they’ll definitely use: the Happy Hour at Home kit, with cocktails, glassware, ice and garnishes included. What’s more, every suburb in the delivery zone qualifies for free delivery.
Available for delivery Thurs-Sat, 5.30pm-9.30pm, to suburbs within a 6km radius of the CBD.

Above Board
Looking to add some structure to your week? On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays cocktail hour is courtesy of Above Board. The tiny but mighty Collingwood bar is mixing takeaway tipples for collection three times a week with a line-up that includes classic Martinis and Negronis, Above Board best-sellers such as the HSL Special, plus Jasmines, El Diablos, Aviations and more. Pick your poison and chill the glassware.
Available for pick-up Mon, Wed and Fri at 306 Smith St, Collingwood. Limited delivery slots available to Fitzroy and Collingwood.

The Elysian
One of the (many) cons of lockdown is being unable to dip into someone else’s much fancier and wider collection of booze than your own. Thankfully, The Elysian understands that all too well and, despite the whisky bar’s doors being closed, the team are keeping the good times going. You can indulge your love of fine whisky and aversion to dropping $500-plus on a bottle right now with takeaway drams and sample packs from the bar’s extensive range. Curious about single-grain whiskys? Perhaps you’re more of a Speyside fan? Or if you can’t decide, you can get a global sampler containing a mix of old and new world examples. Virtual tastings are also on offer.
Available for pick-up at 113 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, or delivery throughout Australia.

Bonny
Sure, Bonny has a cracking range of beers but this Fitzroy bar also knows how to mix a great drink with those beers. Take the Emery. Hops are added to tequila and tepache, the fermented pineapple drink that hails from Mexico, to create a delicious sweet-sour refreshment. For those who like even more pucker, the Harper is a blend of sour beer, vodka, hibiscus and umeshu. Or you can play it a little straighter with a hopped Negroni.
Available for pick-up Mon-Fri 4pm-8pm, Sat noon-8pm or Sun noon-4pm at 177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Delivery to select suburbs daily 2pm-4pm.

Capitano
Your favourite Melbourne Italian-American bar-pizzeria comes to the party with pizza, pasta, wine and – yes – Italo-American-accented cocktails. Passionfruit wine flavours the Rosato Spritz, there’s olive leaf and olive-oil gin in the Olive Oil Martini and no prizes for guessing what’s in the Tiramisù Milk Punch. *Adds to cart.
Pick-up available Mon-Weds 4pm-9pm, Thurs-Sat 4pm-10pm at 421 Rathdowne St, Carlton. Delivery to select suburbs Thurs-Sat, 6pm-9pm

Romeo Lane
Light some candles, turn down the lights: Joe Jones is in the house – and he brought drinks. From the bolthole named the 2020 Bar of the Year by Time Out come drinks to go both classic and contemporary. The core Martini, Old Fashioned and Manhattan lines are complemented by the Passionfruit Daiquiri (fresh!), the Peach Negroni (peachy!) and the mighty Penicillin (topical!). Paralysed by indecision? Consider The Seven-Day Weekend – 10 of your favourites for $150.
Order before 2pm for 3pm pick-up from the bar or opt for delivery (for a minimum of four drinks).

By Emma Breheny and Pat Nourse