5 of the best bars in Australia to drink local
Want to drink Australian made spirits? Here’s a list of the best bars in Australia to experience cocktails and spirits with a local twist.
There’s no denying that Australians can make good booze - Australian wine and beer have been winning accolades for years. Spirit drinkers however, have had to wait their turn, though that patience is paying off; the last few years have seen a growth in locally made gin, whisky and other spirits.
It’s early days yet (Australian spirits still make up less than 5% of the total spirits consumed nationally) but already there’s quite an exciting spectrum of choices available for the keen drinker. If you’re out and about, here’s 5 of the best places in the country for the cocktail enthusiast to drink local.
Bad Frankie (Melbourne)
One of the first bars in the country to start serving 100% Australian spirits and booze, Bad Frankie is still going strong, often also hosting meet and greets with local distillers as well as tasting classes on the subject. They’ve stuck with the Australian theme on the food stakes, serving up a variety of jaffles (the local version of a toasted sandwich) with fillings that evoke nostalgia, such as their signature lamington. Taste the spirits neat, in a flight or in their cocktails.
Dulcie’s Kings Cross (Sydney)
Opening in late 2018, Dulcies is Sydney’s first bar to have a 100% Australian backbar. Housed in the basement of a former strip club in the infamous Kings Cross area of the city, the decor evokes 1930s bohemia and has a cocktail list that harks back to notable places and people who have defined Sydney over the years. Like the Darling Juanita, named after Juanita Neilsen, the activist who campaigned successfully against high rise developments going up in nearby Victoria St. There’s history dotted about the place - even their bathrooms are lit up by the original neon signs left over from the previous tenant; Striparama.
Gold Bar (Hobart)
Opening its doors in 2017, Gold Bar also specialises in local spirits, wine and beer. With a rather eclectic yet cozy decor dominated by its gleaming bar counter and red bar stools, the bar also hosts fun cocktail competitions on themes that might see local bartenders being asked to create cocktails inspired by Aussie legends. Their gin of the week often features new releases from local producers across the country.
Sturt St Cellars (Adelaide)
It’s not quite a fully fledged bar on its own, but it’s located in a pub hotel. Boasting the title of the state’s only bottle shop, tasting room and bar that exclusively stocks South Australian booze, you can find Sturt St Cellars within the Kings Head Hotel in Adelaide. Owner Gareth Lewis is also an Ambassador for Premium Food and Wine in the South Australian government’s strategic priority program so you can be assured that their selection of wine, beer and spirits will be top notch. Buy a bottle to take away, or just pay a reasonable corkage fee and enjoy it there and then in the tasting space, or in the hotel’s al fresco deck.
Treasury Lounge & Bar at Como Hotel (Perth)
Although not quite 100% Australian booze, the cocktail menu at Treasury Lounge & Bar nevertheless has a heavy leaning towards local labels. It also dedicates a section to cocktails that are each named after a certain area within the state, and made with Western Australian produce and spirits. So the Margaret River is made aptly with gin made in the region, local wine, elderflower liqueur, muddled grapes and house made lemon myrtle bitters. And don’t forget to look around you - the lounge is decked out in art by Western Australia artists.