Sister to Double Happiness, this three-year-old cocktail and wine bar is one of Melbourne's best kept laneway secrets – and not just due to its hidden red door and a total absence of signage. As you enter the building (a converted tailor's shop) and climb the stairs to the first floor, the mood is mysterious and exciting, highlighted by the jade-green interior and smooth, ambient tunes.
With an impressive list of liquors and speciality cocktails, drinkers are spoilt for choice; there is also a small selection of wines and imported beers. Sours are a must and the house specialty.
Upstairs, the secluded alcove in the poppy room is a visual architectural delight decorated with lavish lanterns and crepe paper trimmings. Intimacy and service are a priority in this opium den-like haven, with a seating capacity of 80 people, where the clientele tends towards a well-heeled and mixed crowd of twenty- and thirty-somethings who appreciate the ingredients in their drink. Table reservations for small groups are encouraged.
Keeping it in the family, New Gold Mountain also offers a ‘bottle keep’, where spirits can be stored for free with no time limits. Tasty snacks can also be ordered to help keep the addictive sours in check; choose from olives and cheese plates, or hot pandan chicken and fish cakes courtesy of Laksa Me.
You would be wise to try Cocktail No. 8 made with gin, ricard, pomme verte, lime and kiwi fruit. We can't guarantee it will bring you luck, but there's no harm in trying.