Libation, Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Libation, Brunswick St Previously known as The Bar with No Name and for whatever reason it now has a name. Libation’s definition is The pouring of a drink offering as a religious ritual, fitting for an establishment which brings high quality drinks down from their pedestal. Its decor is understated and elegant with antique style furnishings and a great view out onto the busy corner of Johnson and Brunswick St or a back room if a little privacy or intimacy is more to your liking.

The selection of booze is everything you would expect for any high calibre cocktail bar in Melbourne. The fridge is stocked with a great range of beers from a range of boutique breweries, Moo Brew Pale Ale being a standout. The wine list has been carefully crafted from local wines, the house red, white and sparkling even sport Libation brand as is happening across the town.

The range of spirits is where Libation really shines. There is no great collection of single malt whiskey or agave tequila but the back bar covers a lot of ground.A few flavours of absinthe opens the account backed by a range of liqueurs and syrups that look like they see some use. Maraschino liqueur is a bottle rarely seen on the backbar of establishment in these parts and Luxardo is a particularly good brand. 42 Below, Grey Goose and Belvedere cover the bases with every flavour of vodka imaginable. 10 cane rum has a major presence on the shelves but doesn’t outshine the Havana Club 8 year-old or the Angostura 1919. Gin-wise the offering is solid, the shelf holds Tanqueray, South and Hendricks as well as the old favourites, Bombay and Plymouth.  Where the gin-shelf is lacklustre, the whisky shines. Laphroaig, Glenmorangie, Asyla and Dewars  backed up by all the styles of Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal, Glenfiddich and Jamesons.

imgp5322 The cocktail list is a contemporary affair but the classics are well represented. Sitting at the bar on a quiet afternoon your drinks will be served by knowledgable and friendly staff who are happy to have a chat but this isn’t always the case.  On weekend nights the service won’t be as personal but happily the quality doesn’t flag. Despite a recent Sunday being busy, the request of a Mint Julep was given a strange look, a few whispers behind the bar and the recipe confirmed. The end result was garnished beautifully, tasted great but lacked bitters, an easy omition.

This bar is another gem in Melbourne’s small bar scene, intimate and full of character it would be a crime to compare it to the top end cocktail bar’s like Der Raum and 1806. Its beauty lies in its straightforward, down to earth approach which brings well made cocktails, good wine and beer at good prices to everyone.

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18 Responses to “Libation, Brunswick St, Fitzroy”

  1. kate commented:

    hey i’ve never been here but i’d noticed that it is had undergone a name change and a bit of a revamp, i thought it must have been taken over! i think i might have to drop in for a drink!

    perhaps a perfect place for a blogger cocktail/party thing! i think it sounds like a great idea, count us in!

  2. Amanda commented:

    I have walked past this place so many times and thought about dropping in but we ALWAYS end up at the Everlyn. Maybe next time I can convince some people to try somewhere new.

  3. Karl & Rob commented:

    Rob and I stopped here whilst over for the Grand Final in 2008. Great staff, great atmosphere and we WILL be back in 2009!

  4. kate commented:

    Yes it sure has changed hands…now a lesbian bar …

  5. ivan commented:

    Great place! It’s not really a lesbian bar more like a bar that welcomes EVERYONE (unlike some of the bars on Brunswick Street)! Yummy cocktails without the price or pretention of somne venues.

  6. Michael commented:

    I agree Ivan. It is a great place, and though sometimes as a guy in there you can feel a little outnumbered, but everyone is always in great spirits. Definitely worth dropping in to when you are in the area.