18o6 is a Melbourne institution that celebrates its 8th birthday in October. As anyone living in Melbourne will tell you, 8 years is an age in bar years!
The bar gets its name from the year that the word ‘cocktail’ first appeared in print. It’s a beautiful layout with a theatrical curtain as a backdrop, giving the bartenders a ‘stage’. The walls are decorated with images of bar tools and glassware, barware and books for sale are on display. There is also an upper mezzanine floor as well as a cute little bar downstairs called ‘The Understudy’.
While other great venues in Melbourne add their twist to existing cocktails, 18o6 is a classic cocktail bar keen to share the history and origins of the drinks they serve.
Such is their commitment to passing on their knowledge, that the team at 18o6 offer a range of cocktail experiences for customers. You can choose from a cocktail degustation , a two-hour ‘Make Your Own Cocktail‘ class or the Deconstructing Cocktails Masterclass.
Recently, Kevin and the team kindly gifted me a Deconstructing Cocktails Masterclass and I jumped at the opportunity to spend 4 hours learning about booze and cocktails!
Our host Morgan, talked us through 8 types of spirit: brandy, vodka, scotch, tequila, rye, bourbon, rum, and of course Gin. He covered the history and production behind each spirit and then made a classic cocktail with it (which of course we got to taste!). We tried a sidecar, an old fashioned, a daiquiri, to name but a few, all the while picking up tips on making better cocktails at home.
Then we were encouraged to get behind the bar ourselves. With the able assistance of the staff (on hand to make sure we didn’t injure ourselves!) we picked a cocktail to recreate. I chose a White Lady. I loved having a bottle of egg white on hand, but I don’t think I get through enough to justify keeping one at home.
After a delicious lunch – open sandwiches, dips and charcuterie we stepped back behind the bar once more, to make any drink of our choosing. (I went with a Sloe Gin Negroni!)
It was a fabulous way to spend a Sunday afternoon (The Deconstructing Cocktails class is the first Sunday of every month). As part of the experience I received a copy of the 18o6 book ‘Cocktails World History as Seen Through The Bottom of a Glass’ which is a fascinating read and filled with recipes and stunning illustrations. I have ONE copy to give away to a lucky reader…it is World Cocktail Day after all!
All you have to do is leave a comment below outlining why you would be a worthy recipient. That’s it*!