Know You’re Over the Limit at the Melbourne Cocktail Festival

Instability is poison.

No matter how depressing the rut you’re in is, the fact remains that the rut is a source of comfort, which is why, in the same way a human, when blinded, will always walk in an arc as opposed to a straight line, we always return to pattern of behaviour in which the outcomes are knowable.

It says something nice about an inherent, unifying aspect of human nature. From a tax-evading philanthropist to a satanic meth-head with comparatively superior morals, the desire for a life structured by dependable cause and effect is universal.

Which is also why, in times as unknowable and frightening as the ones we’re currently inhabiting, the daily consumption of legal intoxicants is imperative.

Enter: the Melbourne Cocktail Festival.

One city. Five days. Countless cocktails.

Expect a thoughtful line-up of workshops, guided tours, tastings, seminars, art installations and activations – all centred around the art of cocktail-making. It’s for cocktail diehards and industry professionals alike. One of the events, Bar Safari, will be an immersive, choose-your-own-adventure through 20-plus Melbourne cocktail venues, including Black Pearl, Eau De Vie, Peaches, Cutler & Co, Bar Liberty and more.

There’ll be a day dedicated to tastings, with local and international producers, suppliers, farmers and makers showcasing their techniques. A symposium for those within the cocktail industry will feature a full-day program – including a workshop with New York’s fermentation expert Sandor Katz and Sharon Flynn from The Fermentary in Daylesford, and a masterclass in hospitality with Perrone and Bargiani. You can also hear from Jaye O’Dwyer from Behind Bars who innovates design processes for better bar solutions.

To celebrate the festival’s debut, street artist Kitt Bennett painted a 100-metre-long rooftop mural depicting a bartender and martini glass. Bennett produced the work in 70 hours over seven days using around 100 litres of paint.

We’ve no way of predicting what the next ten, five or even two years will be like.

But not once has anyone ever been legitimately surprised by a hangover.

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