Reigniting Melbourne’s bar scene by shouting the city a cocktail.
Building on the success of the inaugural Melbourne Cocktail Festival (MCF) that launched just before the world changed in March 2020, the MCF returns in 2021 with Melbourne’s own Grainshaker vodka as Presenting Partner. The MCF will reinvigorate the city’s world-class bar scene from 12–18 April.
Some of the city’s most notable bars and bartenders will unite to quench the thirst of cocktail enthusiasts for the festival. A curated program of events will occur across the week including their signature Bar Safari, where drinkers can sample bespoke MCF cocktails created in bars across Melbourne.
A meander around some of the city’s best bars.
Each participating venue will be offering a bespoke cocktail created especially for the MCF for the duration of the festival. Registration is free and the MCF will shout a drink for the first 1000 people to register. All Bar Safari ticket-holders will be able to access each participating venue’s bespoke $15 cocktails throughout the festival. Also included in the Bar Safari registration is a month-long 10% discount on all purchases from Good Spirits online store as well as a digital cocktail recipe book.
A selection of individual experiences. Headliners include:
• ‘Waste Not Taste Lots’ at Byrdi ($120pp, 17 April): a sneak peek of yet-to-
be-opened Sydney bar RE-, a bar by award-winning Sydneysider Matt Whiley,
which will focus on sustainability and reducing waste in addition to serving
• ‘The Long Goodbye’ at Gimlet ($45pp, 12–18 April): one drink, three
flavours – a progressive journey of the Gimlet. For the full festival week,
Gimlet at Cavendish House is offering a flight of half-sized cocktails, including
their signature Gimlet and two new cocktails developed especially for the
• ‘Tropical Escapism’ at The Black Pearl ($20pp, 15 April – ticket includes
complimentary arrival drink): a tropical party in the attic of the Black Pearl.
Enjoy wine-based tropical cocktails by Nick Tesar of Bar Liberty and Felix
Woods of Black Pearl plus food by Bar Liberty’s head chef Zackary Furst.
• Good Spirits at Home: enjoy the MCF delivered to your door anywhere in
Australia. A full selection of bottled cocktails including a limited edition
creation from MCF × Good Spirits and do-it-yourself packs will be available
to purchase from 1–30 April at goodspiritstore.com.
Free registration for the Bar Safari and individual tickets for initial events will go live 12th March on melbournecocktailfestival.io. Expect weekly updates and ticket availability as more events are added closer to the launch.
The Melbourne Cocktail Festival was established to celebrate and nurture the Melbourne bar community and champion an industry that is so integral to Australia’s culture. Like many, the creators of the Melbourne Cocktail Festival and hospitality hub Worksmith sprung into action in 2020, working on various projects to support their community. Their Covid19 Hospitality Support Facebook group amassed 12,000 members within its first week and became a forum for information sharing and support. Through various projects, including their Tip Jar bottled cocktail, the group raised over $65,000, which was given to groups supporting hospitality workers who needed help.
“At MCF, we seek to celebrate the diversity, talent and nightlife culture of our great city and know that we will rebound with resilience and continue to show the world how incredible this city and its makers are,” says MCF founder Michael Bascetta.
Melbourne Cocktail Festival | 12 to 18 April 2021
Tickets & Registrationvia the MCF website from 12 March
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Images: Courtesy of MCF