Welcome to the Ballarat cocktail hour!
After much research (wink, wink!), here is our go-to list of bars and restaurants serving the city’s top tipples this summer.
Now all you have to decide is where to start your cocktail crawl!
The 18th Amendment Bar
14 Camp Street, Ballarat
Cocktails reign supreme at The 18th Amendment Bar (pictured above), which pays tribute to Chicago’s speakeasy bars of the 1920s and 30s. This hip new bar invites patrons to “enjoy our concoction of prohibition elegance interlaced with modern innovation”.
Be tempted by: The Boardwalk Empire (whisky, creole bitters, almond syrup, cloudy apple juice, smoke)
121 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat
Renowned for its European-inspired dining, Lola is the baby of Australian television personality Gorgi Coghlan and her husband Simon. Part of The Provincial Hotel, Lola boasts an impressive line-up of cocktails, aperitifs and booze-free cocktails. And make sure you acquaint yourself with Clara the cocktail caravan in the hotel’s courtyard.
Be tempted by: Lola Bramble (gin, blueberries, lemon, syrup, cassis)
Moon and Mountain
220 Mair Street, Ballarat
Any weather is cocktail weather at Moon & Mountain. The contemporary Asian eatery draws inspiration from south-east Asia’s hawker dining bars. Its current summer menu features eight cocktails plus three cocktail jugs.
Be tempted by: Ichiban Fan(apple and cardamom-infused Haku vodka, umeshu brandy, lime, soda, apple fan)
42-44 Main Road, Ballarat
Mr Jones knows a good cocktail. The modern Asian dining kingpin boasts an extensive list of cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails, including the Mojo (lychee liqueur, Bacardi rum, mint, lime).
Be tempted by: Thai Tommy (Espolon tequila, lemon, Thai basil syrup)
Main image: Mr Jones’ Mojo cocktail (@bradley.de.vries)
The George Hotel
27 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat
Head to The George Hotel (pictured above) for a killer cocktail menu which includes non-alcoholic options, live music and a range of classic pub meals.
Be tempted by: Miss Piggy (rose gin, Chambord, egg white, homemade raspberry and kaffir lime syrup)
Mitchell Harris Wines
38 Doveton Street North, Ballarat
They might be best known for their wine but the team at Mitchell Harris can also serve a mean cocktail. The 140-year-old former produce store/tentmakers/motor workshop provides the full wine bar and dining experience in the heart of the CBD.
Be tempted by: MH El Pablo (Mr Black Spirits coffee liqueur, Herradura Resposado Tequila)
36 Armstrong Street North, Ballarat
For a South American flavour hit, make your way to Pancho in Ballarat’s Eat Street. Team your margaritas and pisco sours with tostadas, arepas and tacos and you’re guaranteed a night to remember.
Be tempted by: Toronja Sour (gin, grapefruit, lime)
319 Mair Street, Ballarat
Another Mair Street must is modern Italian restaurant Ragazzone. Think handmade pasta, local cured meats, seafood and more.
Be tempted by: Roberto (Cynar amaro, grapefruit, orange bitters, smoked cola)
Delacombe Town Centre, corner of Glenelg Highway and Cherry Flat Road, Delacombe
If you like your cocktails served with a big splash of fun, Dr Fill is for you. Known for its loaded tacos, hotdogs and fries, the Delacombe eatery has a rotating menu of alcoholic slushies, with flavours including Watermelon Cruiser, Orange TicTac and Skittle Bomb. Its rotating drinks list includes Sex on the Dole, Frosty Fruit cocktails and even alcoholic hot chocolate.
Be tempted by: Curly Wurly Espresso Martini