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Raise a Glass: Melbourne Was Just Named One of the Five Best Drinking Cities in the World

According to drinks publication 'Punch', the Victorian capital is among the world's most travel-worthy drinking destinations for 2023.
By Libby Curran
January 13, 2023
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By Libby Curran
January 13, 2023
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Love the fact or not, as far as top-notch tipples and world-class watering holes go, Melbourne just kicked a serious goal. Here to add a little more fuel to the 'which city does it best?' debate, the Victorian capital has outranked all other Australian counterparts to nab a spot in Punch's 2023 guide to the world's most travel-worthy drinking destinations.

The international drinks publication has revealed its Where to Drink in 2023 wrap-up, naming Melbourne as one of just five cities worldwide. Also making the unranked list were Buenos Aires in Argentina, Portugal's capital Lisbon, Osaka in Japan and, flying the flag for the United States, Madison in Wisconsin.

Nick & Nora's by Brook James

Punch's drinks connoisseurs selected their top five locations based on their ability to deftly balance long-held traditions and old-school sensibilities with fresh, forward-thinking philosophies. "The results are often surprising, sometimes frenetic, tense, even bewildering, but never boring," Punch explains.

As for what specifically earned Melbourne a spot in this year's lineup, the publication cited its penchant for the unpretentious, its new-school take on casual service and the cultural diversity that continues to shape its drinks scene. That broad assortment of genres proved a wining formula, too — whether you're into divey rock 'n roll joints like Heartbreaker, sophisticated cocktail haunts like Nick & Nora's, intimate wine bars such as The Moon, or something in between, Melbourne's got a drinking den to suit.

The city's commitment to sustainability and innovation also scored a shoutout, as did its famed pub culture — according to Punch, "rivalled only by the U.'s, with a diversity and familiarity that feels particularly Australian."

Pearl Diver Cocktail & Oysters

The publication also shared its top three picks for Melbourne's must-drink cocktails, naming the espresso martini (no shocks there), the New York-style sazerac and the Melbourne-born Japanese Slipper.

This boozy new badge of honour comes after Melbourne scored a slew of drinks-related accolades in 2022. CBD bar Caretaker's Cottage nabbed a spot in latest's edition of The World's 50 Best Bars extended 51–100 list, Pearl Diver's Alex Boon was crowned 2022 winner of the Patrón Perfectionists Australian Cocktail Competition and Nick Tesar of Bar Liberty took out the title of Australia's Best Bartender.

Bar Liberty by Brook James

Check out Punch's full Where to Drink in 2023 list over at its website.

Top image: The Moon.

Published on January 13, 2023 by Libby Curran
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