How much would you pay to imbibe your next frothy from a Viking drinking horn? At Mjolner, a Norse mythology-themed bar under Hardware Lane, a few extra dollars gets you upgraded from lowly glassware to a forearm-sized vessel, embellished with gold and set majestically upright on a custom-made frame. But the drinks you can enjoy here are just as interesting as the vibes. Try a shot of Aquavit, the herbaceous spirit elemental to Scandinavian celebration, or a $100 sour ale from Denmark. There's also mead aplenty (the oldest known alcoholic bevvy in world history), but it's the cocktails here that reign supreme. And that'll be no no surprise to those who've checked out one of the Speakeasy Group's other classy cocktail venues Eau de Vie.
Melbourne is home to plenty of tiny laneway bars and hidden bars, but here, we're celebrating the watering holes that are more than a little left of centre. Some are fun and shamelessly silly and others are so high-concept that they're verging on immersive theatre. All of them provide drinking experiences that you won't find anywhere else.