The Bitters Lab has yet to be opened a full year but has already earned a reputation as a ‘lolly shop’ for cocktail enthusiasts. Australia’s first dedicated bitters and tonic store, The Bitters Lab is the brainchild of Melbourne cocktail lovers JD and Sophia.
“The Bitters Lab is designed to evoke an old-world apothecary atmosphere, harking back to the times of tonics and potions being used to cure all aliments,” owner JD explains. “It’s a place where cocktail lovers can browse a wonderland of bitters, syrups, tonics, shrubs (vinegar-based syrups), liqueurs, vermouths, garnishes and a unique range of barware and gifts.”
While the majority of ingredients available to purchase are for cocktail concoctions, the versatile selection of products can also be used to create mouth-watering cakes, muffins, dessert syrups, salad dressings, glazes and soups.
A tasting table is set-up in the store showcasing a multitude of bitters arranged by flavours, including orange, citrus, berry, chocolate, herbal and aromatic. As a huge ginger beer fan, it’s hard to go past 18.21 Spicy Ginger Beer Concentrate, a refreshing syrup with just enough kick to keep you jazzed. You can also try many of these syrups before you buy, with JD and Sophia more than happy to take questions and help you with your purchase.
When visiting The Bitters Lab be sure to sign up to their master class mailing list. Throughout the year they hold intimate cocktail classes in the shop, featuring guest experts from some of Melbourne’s best bars and brands. Recent cocktail classes have covered everything from bitters, vermouths, tonic syrups, whisky cocktails and mocktails, with the next class being held in late April.
The Bitters Lab is located at Shop 9/397 Smith Street Fitzroy, near the corner of Rose Street, and is open seven days a week.