Any way you look at the degustation, it’s a way to try a variety of things, taste what the chef or the bartender is loving that particular month and try things you might not ordinarily try on your own. We rounded up three of our favourite cocktail degustation experiences in this fine city where cocktail bartenders know their martinis from their Aviations.
The Understudy, below the award wining 1806, takes the art of the cocktail and has a serious amount of fun with it. While you might not find an Old Fashioned on the menu, you will find tea, jam and smoke being used as often as gin.
While the regular degustation sees drinks paired to small clever bites, their monthly ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ takes things up a notch – choosing one spirit or drink and one food to match. The pairing goes three rounds head to head. November will see gin matched to high tea treats.
Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties run monthly. $50 per person, 169 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Eau de Vie Melbourne
Eau de Vie – arguably one of the best cocktail bars in Melbourne – has a whole table dedicated to the wonderful degustation. With space to keep drinks cool, and room for a large group, the table witnesses great drinks and equally great food. Dessert for them looks like chocolate and chicory brownies served with rum and raisin ice cream paired with Zacapa hot stone drink – Ron Zacapa 23 year old, Pedro Ximenez, muscovado sugar, a cinnamon quill, anise pod heated with two Japanese garden stones – nothing fancy or anything.
Eau de Vie Degustation, Wednesday – Sunday 7.30pm $150 per person, 1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne
Café Vue, the younger sibling of Vue de Monde, you could say has a thing for Friday night drinks. Each month they design a different cocktail degustation menu that runs every Friday night. The themes can be anything from sport, to Australian ingredients, and the combinations are always out there. For November the five course degustation is themed Sporting Nation and sees combinations like the Superbike Burnout served alongside Casey Stoner ‘Smoked Kangaroo’.
Every Friday night, 7pm, $95 per person. 430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne