An Art Deco darling on the edge of Chinatown, Lily Blacks is the most polished of the Thank You Come Again bar posse. Dapper bar staff wear jaunty caps and suspenders, hand-cutting ice to order and happily chipping in with drink suggestions. Vintage glamour comes courtesy of nut-brown banquettes, curvaceous mirrors, antique lamps and absinthe fountains. Behind the bar stands one of Melbourne's broadest displays of bitters and tinctures, plus a sparkly pyramid of spirit bottles.
Pre-Prohibition cocktails are the house specialty, such as the Old Fashioned built on your choice of Cognac, rum, bourbon or scotch, served hot or cold. The Suzy Q may sound more subdued, but this all-booze assembly of gin, Suze gentian bitters, Solerno blood orange liqueur and crystallised Campari sugar is like a clear, but no less lethal, Negroni. Hold onto your hats kids: Lily doesn't hold back.
Time Out Awards