For one week in April, bars and restaurants across the city will run more than 50 curated cocktail events for World Class Cocktail Week.

The program features tastings, masterclasses and themed cocktail parties, where you can meet (and pick the brains of) some of the best bartenders from Australia and around the world. This week will celebrate the skill and creativity behind some of Melbourne’s best cocktails.

Food will play a big part, too. Special degustation menus and paired cocktails will be served at some of the best bars and restaurants in Melbourne. Le Bon Ton will smoke meat while it demonstrates how to make smoked-whisky cocktails. Nieuw Amsterdam will show guests five (five!) different ways to make a Negroni.

Double Happiness will remix 1980s cocktails to a soundtrack of hip-hop classics. Eau de Vie is offering a five-course cocktail degustation, and Black Pearl will transform into a tiki oasis. Famous London bar White Lyan will also pop up in Melbourne during the week-long event, showcasing its no-ice, no-perishables approach to making drinks.

The best thing about World Class Cocktail Week is you don’t have to be a connoisseur. The week is for the curious, regardless of experience. Chris Hysted, World Class Australia Ambassador, says he’s excited to see some Heston Blumenthal-like efforts, but also to get back to basics.

“We’ll see some bars really push the boundaries of what a cocktail is, but we’ll also have masterclasses on how to make the perfect gin and tonic, too,” he says. “A common misconception is that cocktails are out of reach. A lot of our masterclasses will debunk that myth.”

Speaking of pushing boundaries, there’s an evening dedicated to bacon cocktails at The Collection in Richmond. Swine and Dine will serve drinks that incorporate homemade bacon floss, bacon sugar and bacon straws.

With more than 50 events squeezed into seven days, there is plenty of opportunity to drink, learn and get into the spirit of World Class Cocktail Week.

World Class Cocktail Week runs between April 4 to 10 in Melbourne. View the full program here.

This article is presented in partnership with World Class.