18th Amendment Bar
Sovereign Hill isn’t the only Ballarat establishment that enjoys a bit of theatre. 18th Amendment is prohibition-era American speakeasy-themed (just like its sister bar, in Geelong).
The bar occupies the old Masonic hall, with the original bench seats retained. In keeping with the secretive theme, the entrance is hidden down a narrow walkway, with hardly any sign it’s there.
The bartenders know their stuff. There are 10 signature cocktails, most with a quirky theatrical twist, and all colourful and fun. Exclusive to the Ballarat bar is the Gold Fashioned, whisky, sugar and bitters. The Club House Punch is a punter favourite – sweet and theatrical, with white chocolate spirit, raspberry, pineapple and nitro cream.
The Thomas Edison is served in a lightbulb (because of course it is) and comes with an “electric” daisy flower that you chew first to befuddle your tastebuds. Strangely enough Edison was a teetotaller, so would have no doubt approved of the selection of mocktails available here, made with premium non-alcoholic spirits.
Themed cocktails pop up regularly, such as a whisky, cacao, cream and ice-cream “choctails”.
But it’s not all gimmicks. The bar takes its whisky very seriously, and is one of only three venues in Victoria to stock Scotch Malt Whisky Society drams, some of the most peaty whiskies in the world.
For the best atmosphere come late after the restaurants close, or for a more refined and decadent visit (and to get a comfy couch) pop by for a pre-dinner sly one.
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