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Shaken, Stirred and Sipped: Local Cocktails You Need to Try

See & Do

1 Apr. 2022

With the Melbourne Cocktail Festival happening from the 4th to the 10th of April, it’s the perfect time to celebrate all things cocktail making- and our region has no shortage of incredible cocktails.

Home to some incredible distilleries, all serving up their incredible creations such as Killik Rum who create hogo rum, originally a Jamaican style that’s easily identifiable as a flavour created by wild fermentation. Killik Handcrafted Rum is proud to be the first Australian hogo rum distillery and enjoying their range of cocktails at the Belgrave distillery is a must-do.

Named the world’s leading gin producer by the IWSC in London, Four Pillars has been producing a range of quality gins since 2013. Stop into their home in Healesville and grab a paddle of mini-G&Ts and sip away in their gin garden. Or book a tasting and discover your favourites before stocking up for your home bar. A firm favourite with locals, their Bloody Shiraz (pictured above) is a crowd-pleaser.

New to Balgownie Estate, Restaurant 1309 at Balgownie offers not just great wine and cocktails, but exceptional food and fresh seasonal local produce. Their decadent new cocktail and wine bar means you’ll need to put this one firmly on your ‘to try’ list. The list of specialty cocktails from popcorn negronis to jalapeno margaritas or the chocolate brownie espresso martini is to die for.

And if espresso martinis are your jam, Black Vice Roastery in Hurstbridge makes an unforgettable one - they’re coffee professionals after all. While you’re there check out their Holy Martini (pictured above), made with their exclusive Holy Trinity Blend, Kilik Rum and all kinds of goodness. Heavenly (pun intended!)

Naught Distilling has been handcrafting gin in a variety of flavours as well as delicious batched cocktails. While you can grab their incredible gins at a variety of stockists around Australia (handy when you’re not local), we suggest popping into their bar in Eltham and taking a journey through their classic gin cocktails. Try the Naught Saturn (pictured below), we're confident it'll be a new favourite.

An itinerary must, Paradise Valley Hotel is an ideal spot to sit back in the open-air beer garden and enjoy a cocktail while the iconic Puffing Billy historic train passes by. Based in Clematis, you can expect pub classics here with a refined edge as well as top quality local wines, beers and a cocktail list that must be tried including their Caramilk Punch (pictured below). A quirky twist on cocktail making using full cream milk, rum, honey, citrus and more to produce a sweet sensation we're sure you're gonna love.

Located next to the popular historic Cameo Cinema, Cognoscenti Food and Wine is a cosy neighbourhood restaurant located in Belgrave. They pride themselves in serving spectacular food, signature cocktails such as their Moulin Rouge (pictured below), and a carefully curated selection of local and international wines. Why not make it a date and sip a cocktail, grab a bite and see a show?

Last but certainly not least on our list, Coombe Yarra Valley is a destination for great cocktails, incredible wines and acres of stunning gardens. Once the home of the Victorian-era Australian operatic soprano, Dame Nellie Melba, this beautiful property now hosts weddings, wine tastings and of course is home to an incredible restaurant where you can order up their signature Peach Melba Bellini (pictured below) paying homage to the Dame herself.

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