Union Electric

This Chinatown bar boasts an ever-changing cocktail offering and a rooftop gin garden.
Marissa Ciampi
March 03, 2019


Union Electric has secured its spot as a firm favourite among cocktail bars in Melbourne's CBD for years now. But the laneway bar is always serving up something new, including an ever-changing drinks offering and a new rooftop gin garden.

This haven for gin lovers is open from noon until late daily and maintains the exposed brick facade of the heritage-listed main bar. Expect the same level of cocktail service on the roof, too — just with a focus on gin instead of rum.

At heart of this no-frills Chinatown venue remains a dedication to Aussie producers and an undying love for Bill Murray, which is to say that the bar doesn't take itself too seriously — though the extensive cocktail offering is certainly high-end. Concoctions range from the Lola (Bombay Sapphire, curacao, coconut cream and ginger) and the Golden Bay Breeze (Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, chardonnay and apricot and bay syrup) to the U.L.B. (mezcal, vermouth, agave nectar, lemon and bitters).

There are also classic tiki drinks — including daiquiris, zombies, mai tais and piña coladas ($19–20) — plus a menu of highballs and spirits mixed with fresh apple juice.

That's not to mention the collab cocktails, which include one from the crew at Double Happiness called The Great Leap Forward (lychee vodka with ginger beer, mint and lime) and one from the team at The Woods Of Windsor called the Aviation Fizz (Plantation 3 Stars rum, French violet liqueur and maraschino).

Apart from an extensive list of liquor, there are two beer taps featuring Aussie brews and a good amount of wines by the glass and bottle. While the venue is no longer serving up dumplings, it still encourages BYO food from local eateries — team favourites include Ling Nam and Juicy Bao. Just don't rock up with a kebab — that's a big no-no here.

Images: Jake Roden/Visit Victoria. 


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