Five essential Melbourne bars for summer

Warm glow: It's the summer of spritz at Arbory Afloat.
Warm glow: It's the summer of spritz at Arbory Afloat. Photo: supplied

Cups up, drinkers. Summer is here. Christmas is nearly here. And a slew of very specific bars have arrived to answer the call.

Coming in hot, down on the water, Melbourne's longest bar the Arbory (1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne) has launched a 50-metre floating neighbour on the river, which will be serving margherita pizzas, lobster spaghetti, oysters and spritz to deck-bound drinkers and diners until February.

If you like your wines natural, your falafels fragrant and your drinking on firmer ground, Bar Liberty has opened its rear courtyard for summer. Drinkwell (234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy) is slinging bags – yes, bags – of grippy white, red and rose for $29 a pop alongside their usual selection of eccentric craft beers and small producer wines in their Astroturfed yard.

Gin and coffee? MGC gin and tonics (and coffee) at the MGC summer pop-up.
Gin and coffee? MGC gin and tonics (and coffee) at the MGC summer pop-up.  Photo: Supplied

Hot off the press, the team behind meaty Dexter in Preston has opened a late-night, pro-tiki American-style pizza parlour directly across the road. Takeaway Pizza (535 High Street, Preston), much like Collingwood's Lazer Pig, is uniting simple Italian snacks, vegan and gluten-free pizzas and, in a rarity for Melbourne, dancing at weekends until 1am.

For the pro-gin, Melbourne Gin Company (MGC) will be collaborating with Patricia Coffee (corner Little Bourke and Little William Street, Melbourne) in the city every Friday night from 5-8pm until February 23. It's a gin and tonic specialist, mixing MGC's dry gin with numerous tonics, syrups and Patricia's cold drip coffee to show what it can do.

Keeping on the gin theme, Union Electric is expanding its tiny Chinatown modern-tiki bar the only way it can: up. It's building a dedicated gin bar, which will open right above the original at 13 Heffernan Lane, Melbourne in the coming week. All the same sharp service and classic hip hop, just more juniper.