1806 The Year The Cocktail Was First Referenced In Writing
Waistcoats, cocktail shakers, dim lighting, an intimate speakeasy feel and now a very good read in the form of a cocktail book is the backdrop for some damn fine drinks at 1806.
1806 has a intimate relationship with the humble cocktail. Opening a few years back with cocktail heavyweight Sebastian Reaburn, the cocktail bar’s name comes from the year that the cocktail was first defined in print. After many awards and accolades, what’s nice to see here is they haven’t rested on their laurels. 2012 saw them shake things up – pun intended – with a brand new menu (the thing was huge, this is no easy feat) and not only a menu, but also a cocktail book from bar manager Nick Reed.
Divided into eras, the cocktail book tells you more than just what is in your drink. Expect a little bit of a history lesson, detailing everything from the first ‘punch’ to the prohibition to present day tipples. The staff know their stuff inside out, so when in doubt tell them a little about what you like, what you don’t, and sit back and watch as they stir and shake. Try a Sherry Cobbler from the early 19th century – a combination of sherry, orange, lemon and sugar. Or for a more modern day twist try a Tommy’s Margarita, served with a 100% agave reposado tequila, some lime and agave.
Wine drinkers are looked after well with a wine list that is short but considered. You might find a Scotchmans Hill Chardonnay from Geelong or a Rojo Garnacha from Spain. Or if you’re feeling lucky why not go for a bottle on Dom Perignon 2003. They also have about 15 beers by the bottle including Mountain Goat Hightail Ale, Leffe Curvee Vielle from Belgium and their own 1806 Beer brewed in Rosanna, the perfect accompaniment to a cocktail.
Bar snacks and sharing plates keep hunger at bay with favourites like chunky chips and popcorn prawns and new additions like the hummus, coriander and pomegranate served with rosemary-salted bread.
If cocktails are your thing, this is your venue.
169 Exhibition St Melbourne
Open Mon – Thurs: 5pm-2am, Fri – Sat: 5pm-5am and Sun: 7pm-2am