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By Sarah Ward
December 15, 2019
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Melbourne Cocktail Festival

Drink your way around town at this new Melbourne booze fest.
By Sarah Ward
December 15, 2019
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Finding a great cocktail isn't hard in Melbourne, but between Wednesday, February 26–Sunday, March 1, it'll become a little easier. For five booze-filled days, that's when the first Melbourne Cocktail Festival is taking over the city. If you're eager to wander between venues, sip plenty of drinks and taste the best creative tipples that this town has to offer, then you'll want a ticket.

The aforementioned roam around the city forms part of MCF's Safari Pass, which costs $20 and features 24 bars. You'll still need to pay for your cocktail at each one; however you'll receive something special for $15 a pop, with each of the participating watering holes whipping up a unique concoction. You can rove at your own pace, and you'll also score a digital recipe book outlining the method behind every drink, as well as entry to MCF's closing party.

Organised by hospitality-focused co-working space Worksmith and curated by Orlando Marzo — who earned the title of World Class Global Bartender of the Year in 2018 for his work at Lûmé — the fest will also include workshops, guided tours, seminars and art installations, as well as a tasting day event where plenty of sampling is in order.

Coming to town from London, The Connaught Bar's Agostino Perrone and Giorgio Bargiani will headline the fest and share their mixology tips, while both those who make cocktails professionally and those who just like drinking them can expect a range of other highlights — including a fermentation workshop hosted by New York's Sandor Katz and The Fermentary's Sharon Flynn.

Elsewhere on the program, Melbourne's much-loved pop-up bar Fancy Free is returning, taking over Fitzroy's Drinkwell for two days of video installations, DJs, Bar Liberty snacks and Bacardi Breezers, and Fitzroy's Rose Street market will host Marionette's Peachy Fete party with peach tea punch, peach bellinis, peach pie, peach soft serve and pretzels. You can also learn about the absinthe at Bar Amphere, drink bottomless gin punch at Gin Palace's boozy high tea, try many a caffeinated beverage at Mr Black's Bar Takeover of Beneath Driver Lane and help wrap up festivities at Whitehart Bar's closing party. There's a helluva lot more happening, too, you can check out the full program over here.

Whitehart Bar

Top image: James Morgan.

Updated January 30, 2019.

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