Time Out Melbourne

This hidden CBD treasure sells joy in liquid form

It's easy to miss the entrance to this propaganda-themed hidey-hole. Look for the giant red Chinese characters on the glass sliding door, right next to the stairwell leading up to elegant sister bar New Gold Mountain.

Civilised after work drinks will be had here (well, at least until your third martini). Bring along a handful of mates to keep you company, but not too many – this isn't Melbourne's largest venue. The action happens in an intimate, well presented space: walls are lined with luxe leather banquettes and spunky 1950s Communist-kitsch posters. If that sounds too fancy, rough it on a work-camp issue three-legged stool.

A small list of ten or so specialty cocktails follow the Chinese theme to a tee – think chilli vodka, coriander, fresh lime and dry ginger ale if you want to walk the spice trail, or try one of four martini options ranging from traditional to lychee.

Double Happiness offers what the manager claims is “the best espresso Martini in Melbourne”. It’s a bold claim in a town that takes its coffee and its cocktails so seriously, but he may be right – it's punchy, boozy and creamy in all the right places. Beer lovers should try the exclusively imported Bia Hà Nôi – a giant and well-priced rice lager from Northern Vietnam ($10 for 460ml).

There's no food on offer but you can sate your appetite at any one of the many dumpling houses in a 500-metre radius. In true Communist style, please form an orderly queue.

Updated on 3 Nov 2015.

Double Happiness details

21 Liverpool St, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9650 4488

Price per person including drinks $50.00 to $100.00

Open Mon-Wed 4pm-1am; Thu, Fri 4pm-3am; Sat 6pm-3am; Sun 6pm-1am

Double Happiness website

Double Happiness map

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