The Melbourne Cocktail Festival (MCF) will return in 2021 and with Grainshaker Vodka as presenting partner the festival is aiming to help reinvigorate the city’s world-class bar scene.

Taking place from 12 – 18 April the MCF will bring together some of Melbourne’s most notable bars and bartenders and serve up a wide array of amazing cocktails.

Organisers said: “A curated program of events will occur across the week including the signature Bar Safari, where drinkers can sample bespoke MCF cocktails created in bars across Melbourne.”

MCF founder Michael Bascetta added: “At MCF, we seek to celebrate the diversity, talent and nightlife culture of our great city and know that we will rebound with resilience and continue to show the world how incredible this city and its makers are.”

The Bar Safari will see each participating venue create a bespoke MCF cocktail, which will be served for the duration of the festival. Registration is free and the MCF will shout a drink for the first 1000 people to register.

All Bar Safari ticket-holders will be able to access each participating venue’s bespoke $15 cocktails throughout the festival. Also included in the Bar Safari registration is a month-long 10 per cent discount on all purchases from Good Spirits online store as well as a digital cocktail recipe book.

Registrations for the Bar Safari will be available via the Melbourne Cocktail Festival website from 12 March.

The festival will also see a range of special events, including:

  • ‘Waste Not Taste Lots’ at Byrdi ($120pp, 17 April); a sneak peek of yet to be opened Sydney bar ‘Re, a bar by award-winning Sydneysider Matt Whiley which will focus on sustainability and reducing waste in addition to serving delicious drinks.
  • ‘The Long Goodbye’ at Gimlet ($45pp, 12 – 18 April); One drink, three flavours – a progressive journey of the Gimlet. For the full festival week, Gimlet at Cavendish House is offering a flight of half-sized cocktails including their signature Gimlet and two new cocktails developed especially for the MCF.
  • ‘Tropical Escapism’ at The Black Pearl ($20pp, 15 April – ticket includes complimentary arrival drink); A tropical party in the attic of the Black Pearl. Enjoy wine-based tropical cocktails by Nick Tesar of Bar Liberty and Felix Woods of Black Pearl plus food by Bar Liberty’s head chef Zackary Furst.
  • Good Spirits at Home; Enjoy the MCF delivered to your door anywhere in Australia. A full selection of bottled cocktails including a limited edition creation from MCF x Good Spirits and do-it-yourself packs will be available to purchase from 1 – 30 April at

More events will be added closer to the festival kick-off on 12 April.

Participating Bar Safari venues include: Above Board, Arbory Afloat, Anther Distillery, Bad Frankie, Bar Margaux, Beneath Driver Lane, Bijou Bottle Store, Black Pearl, Boilermaker, Bomba, Byrdi, Capitano, Eau De Vie, Gimlet, Gin Palace, Heartbreaker, Little Lon Distillery, Molly Rose, Nick & Nora, St. Felix, Tetto Di Carolina and The Everleigh.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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