Time Out Melbourne

You're here, you're thirsty and you're ready for some superb drinkin'? You've come to the right place

If you’re a cocktail rookie on a fact-finding mission, take yourself to 1806 – the prettiest booze school in the land. Sit at the long, ornate bar, behind which is a twinkling rainbow of liquor bottles theatrically framed by velvet curtains, and prepare to get learned. The menu is literally a book starting with drinks from the year 1806, and detailing the history of cocktail mixing right up to those heady recent times when we were all smashing Cosmos (remember those?). Here you can relive every fun-filled second of the 1800s, and the 1980s, and eat a toasted chicken sandwich while you do it. Bartender Andy Wren has taken the reins from the recently departed Nick Reid, and the jovial Scotsman is handling the ridiculously long menu pretty well. A Gibson – a Martini served with a cocktail onion – is all savoury tang, and they’ll do justice to a rye, sweet vermouth and bitters Manhattan. The banter can be a little drink-centric, which doesn’t make this our top pick for a solo drinking mission. But most punters are here plus one or plus many, and they’re all happily getting their feet wet with Southsides and tiki drinks and putting them up on the soft couches. Hardened drinking professionals may have graduated to the Everleigh, but this classic bar is still our pick for entry-level cocktail enthusiasts.

Updated on 3 Nov 2015.

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

1806 details

169 Exhibition St, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9663 7722

Open Mon-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri 4pm-1am; Sat 5pm-1am; Sun 6pm-1am

1806 website

1806 map

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