Heading to a bar on the grounds of it being award-winning can often be fraught with danger. But when a bar gets an unprecedented amount of accolades and recognition on a global scale, that many judges can’t be wrong. And in the case of Eau de Vie, they certainly aren’t.

Housed in the back room of The Kirketon Hotel, you have stroll through another bar to get to it, which is quite shamefully never busy. Walk past the toilets and you’re still not there, but the end of the corridor finally reveals the modest room, which houses this den dedicated to the cocktail.

Banquette and high table seating dominate the room, while the walls are adorned with glass cabinets housing those myriad awards amongst owner Sven Almenning’s prized vintage cocktail shaker selection and some of the rarer whiskies available for purchase in the country. If you’re a regular, you can avail yourself of the spirits locker, storing a bottle of your favourite whisky for an on-demand dram.

The drinks list is compiled by the bar team, who read like a who’s who of Australia’s best. Drink creation is meticulous and a focus on table service means that at peak times you might wait a while for your order. But as the great Sasha Petraske of New York’s Milk & Honey once said, “If you want your drink in under a minute, order a gin and tonic”.

There is a succinct bar menu that offers reasonable snacking that defies the size of the kitchen. South African biltong is a highly addictive snack that cleverly forces you to order another round to quench your salty thirst.

Updated: November 22nd, 2021

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