Bar Americano: The Perfect Cocktail Pit Stop
Bar Americano is the latest venture from Der Raum duo Matt Bax and Matt Rees. Found at the end of a laneway – a quintessentially Melbourne location — this hole in the wall American/Italian style bar may be little, but it certainly packs a punch.
Bar Americano is small, very small. The black and white floor and glossy white wall tiles give the space the feel of a traditional Italian espresso bar from days gone by. The dark wooden benches that line the walls complement the black and white and are at the perfect height for leaning. This place has the details covered. From the menu all the way to the thoughtful glass wear selection, Bar Americano leaves no stone unturned.
With standing room for only 15, Bar Americano is not the kind of establishment where you settle in for the evening. By day or by night, coffee or cocktails, Bar Americano is designed as a pit stop. It is tight, chaotic and exciting as the staff move effortlessly around the very limited space between drinkers, delivering exquisitely crafted cocktails and enlightening drinkers of new and interesting concoctions.
The cocktails at Bar Americano are beautifully put together, made with a delicate yet confident hand. The ever-evolving menu is short and precise with old-fashioned classics such as a Martini, Old Pal and Clover Club. The Ford Cocktail (gin, dry vermouth, bénédictine, angostura bitters and a lemon twist) has a heady aniseed flavor that is sure to blow the working week right out of your system and the more herbal Turf Club (gin, dry vermouth, maraschino, absinthe and a lemon twist) is the perfect pre-dinner aperitif.
Owner Matt Bax says, “Given the space, it is most certainly not our intention to be the biggest, nor will the selection of products be the largest, but we do aim to offer the best opportunity to escape from the fast pace, pre-mixed and artificial refreshments which are all too prevalently consumed pre- and post-office hours.” Bax is correct, whilst the space provides the perfect place for a quick post-work or pre-dinner drink; there is nothing ‘fast’ about this bar. Each cocktail is given love and attention by its maker, using the finest and most interesting ingredients available.
Bar Americano is an important addition to Melbourne’s cocktail landscape. It is detailed, precise and a fantastic place to forget where you are…if only for a moment.
Image by John Laurie