Der Raum's new little sister may be small, but she packs a mean punch

You don’t know the meaning of idiosyncratic drinking until you’ve experienced a bar that has sprung from the mind of Matt Bax. He’s the artist-bartender who put a jihad on Midori, cream and commercial cordials at his weird-science cocktail bar Der Raum (RIP), and so it should be of no surprise that this virtual cupboard of a bar that holds just ten drinkers (standing up) – and is currently concerned with faithfully replicating the drinks from Robert Vermeire’s 1922 book Cocktails: How to Mix Them – is his mad-genius creation. Bar Americano is a proper, 1920s-style Italian bar. It’s a sleek space of black-and-white tiles with no seats, just a wooden ledge on which to lean with either cocktail or espresso. By day, you can drop in for a caffeine hit, and, though they don’t encourage it, a boozy breakfast highball if you’re feeling dusty or distressed. There’s something beautifully bizarre about navigating a shopping arcade and stumbling into an alley to find a bar that seems to exist just for you. It’s here you’ll find Hayden Lambert hand carving perfect cubes of ice, or making a Martinez 1920s-style (that means your gin, dry vermouth, cherry liqueur and orange bitters mix gets a touch of extra sugar to imitate sweet Old Tom gin). Cocktail nerds, alight at this jazzy, elegant repository of cocktail history to have your gob smacked right off its hinges.

First published on . Updated on .

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

Bar Americano details

20 Presgrave Pl, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9428 0055

Nearby Stations: Flinders St

Price per person including drinks Up to $50

Open Mon 8am-4pm; Tue-Sat 8am-11pm

Bar Americano website

Bar Americano map

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