Black-tea ice cubes, sultana swizzle sticks, honeycomb, vodka, gin, rye and more all shaken and stirred and muddled and served for your pleasure - meet the drinks (and their makers) you'll find at the year's biggest cocktail carnival
Many a night has started and ended at the Civic. It's a rare venue that can comfortably straddle the gap between after-work drinks and late-night club venue, but this is a place that pulls it off by virtue of location, reputation, design and good management. In the ground level Saloon you'll find city types clustered at long tables in the early evening, attempting to shake the working day off with a Boags or a pinot grigio, but it would be wrong to dismiss the Civic as just another urban drinking hole for suits. If the cluster of disco balls or the high, tiled DJ booth doesn't give it away, the venue's website will, proudly trumpeting a long history of hosting some of Australia's most prominent rock bands. Come nightfall, the place transforms. Retro soul and disco crank in the main bar, and the basement – with its sunken dance floor and seriously good acoustics – plays host to local and international acts. There are currently weekly R&B and hip-hop nights, although a smattering of dance, house and mashup DJs also make a regular rotation. A well regarded Greek restaurant, Eleni's, sits on the premises and is worth a visit if you stop by early enough.