For the last decade, the Black Pearl has rocked Melbourne’s socks off harder than any other bar in town. The formula is simple: great cocktails, good chat and a stellar iPod mix of doo-wop, bluegrass and ‘Ride like the Wind’ by Christopher Cross. This house of vintage glassware and cocktail excellence has always positioned itself at the intersection of professionalism and thigh-slapping fun. Legendary bar bosses Chris Hysted and Rob Libecans may have moved on, but stepping up to the plate are liquor masters Evan Stanley (our Bartender of the Year), Nathan Beasley and Sam Ng. You really want to be at the bar for maximum fun, whether you’re downstairs where things tend to escalate on a Saturday night or in the mildly more subdued Attic bar where table service keeps numbers limited. Order from the list. Each menu is months in the making and a party of Corpse Revivers and tasty things like the Condoleezza: a highball of white rum, almondy, orangey orgeat, spiced rice water horchata with fresh lime and Fernet Branca over crushed ice – it’s a Mojito by way of GitMo. You could also ask for any obscure cocktail the internets can throw at you, and they’ll make you the best rendition in town. Hell, get a beer if you want. There’s no judgment here. Just a religiously enforced no-dickhead policy and a whole lot of good times.