A Guide To Drinking In Melbourne

Originally published through Esperanto Magazine

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So you’ve just turned eighteen, and you’re all ready to go out drinking for the VERY FIRST TIME…right?! In a city where you can’t swing a goon sack without hitting one licensed venue or another, how the hell do you decide where to go? We feel your pain, you sweet, innocent, little first year, and we are here to help. Here is a brief list of Esperanto’s favourite nightspots, all within handy proximity to your very own Caulfield Campus. Enjoy.

The Weird and Wonderful City

Be sure to check what’s going on at the Liberty Social before you plan your outfit, because it could either be a punk gig, a rave, a goth night, a…well, who knows what they’ll come up with next. The specialty drink here glows in the dark. It WILL make your pee glow the next morning. In Summer, pre-drink outdoors at windy Ponyfish Island, which is tucked right underneath the Elizabeth Street footbridge, or while perched on a shipping crate at the tiny slice of grunge heaven that is Section 8. In winter, stare drunkenly at the life size African animals that stare back at you at the Carlton Club.

Chapel Street

Start with a late afternoon happy hour at sunny, spacious Tyranny of Distance – or if you can’t be bothered walking more than two minutes from Windsor Station, at Wonderland – before chowing down a four-dollar pizza at everyone’s favourite drinking space, Lucky Coq. Digest with a bottle of champagne and take in the excellent tunes at café/bar Yellow Bird, sip a beer at the gentlemanly Wolf and I, or pretend to be fancy at sixties throwback the Social. Really get the night started with an absinthe shot at Borsch, Vodka, and Tears (see below,) wash it down with a Guinness at Bridie O’Reilly’s, and practice your twerking (or don’t. probably don’t.) at hip hop centric Blue Bar. Finish the night, if you dare, at the trashiest of all trashy establishments, Revolver.

Music Havens

Who’s better, the Arctic Monkeys or the Strokes?

If that question triggers any kind of passionate response in you whatsoever, Ding Dong Lounge is the place for want to be. If you immediately thought, “neither have enough guitar,” consider checking out Ding Dong’s less-indie-more-rock sister venue, the Cherry Bar, especially on a Thursday night. Prefer acoustic melodies and a touch of class? The Toff in Town, fitted out with plenty of velvet and dark wood, varies between being a gorgeous setting for boutique acts and a packed club, depending on the time of night. Plus, for an easy change of scene you can always head upwards for fresh air and a cocktail at Rooftop Bar, located a few exhausting flights of stairs above.

(The correct answer, by the way, is the Strokes.)

Polish Restaurants 

If I were to tell you drinking straight vodka was a delicious experience, you would probably throw a drink in my face in shock and horror. And I wouldn’t care, because I would be drinking an orange and walnut flavoured shot from After the Tears in Elsternwick, and that shit is so good I wouldn’t be surprised if it was good for your skin. Consider taking food with your liquor to be a sign of weakness? Borsch, Vodka, and Tears on Chapel Street stop their menu after 11pm. That’s a good thing; because you’ll need the extra room for all the green faery shots you’re about to do. Like, legit, spectacular, over-70%-alcohol,wormwood-infused, line-it-with-sugar-and-light-the-whole-thing-on-fire, green faery. Pre-arrange your method home.

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