Warming winter brews
Chilly winter nights spark cravings for crackling fireplaces, belly-warming pours and hearty hot roasts. Here is a list of some of Melbourne and Victoria’s best winter warmers.
Top 5 mulled cider picks:
- The new Cider House on Brunswick Street offers a choice of homemade mulled ciders from the sweeter ‘Scrumpy’ through to a tart ‘Napoleon’.
- Young and Jackson’s Rooftop in the CBD serves up a sensational steaming brew of Yarra Valley apple cider.
- The Alchemist on Brunswick Street boasts mulled apple and pear cider ‘potions’.
- 99 Problems on Johnston Street serves homemade mulled spiced apple cider akin to liquid apple pie.
- Sister Bellas offers a warming brew in a cosy and casual city laneway setting.
Top 5 mulled wine picks:
- Enjoy longstanding Melbourne laneway bar Rue Bebelon’s winter mulled wine.
- Visit the new Boatbuilders Yard on South Wharf Promenade for steaming mulled wine in a thermos.
- Head to Claypots Evening Star for mulled wine with hawker style food and live music at the South Melbourne market. Also at sibling Claypots side-bar in St Kilda.
- Sip mulled wine out of fancy tea cups served from cosy-clad teapots at Madame Brussels in the city.
- Enjoy a riverside view with your hot brew at Ponyfish Island on the Yarra River.
Top 5 hot toddies, chocolate delights and other indulgences:
- The Boatbuilders Yard has hot toddies in tea pots. Choose from four different whisky bases and drink it on the deck. Hot Milo also available.
- Specialist whisky den, Whisky and Alement – formerly know as Chez Regine – serves up a mean hot toddy in the city.
- Hidden laneway bar, Eau de Vie’s winter cocktail menu includes the Ron Zacapa Blazer, using arguably the best rum in the world fired with walnut liqueur, banana glaze and porter beer - a spectacular drink deserving the theatrics.
- Bizarre but delicious: hot chocolate with cheese, a South American favourite at Sonido Café, Fitzroy.
- Monsieur Truffe, also in Fitzroy, serves a bittersweet adult take on the classic hot chocolate.
Top 10 winter warmers in regional Victoria
Regional Victoria combats the cold with some warming roasts, brews and braises.
- Gippsland has plenty of good country pubs offering hearty winter fare. Cosy up by the fireplace in the Toolshed Bar at the Outpost Retreat or get toasty at the Tinambra Hotel.
- RACV Victorian Tourism Award Winner Max’s Restaurant at Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula, offers hearty old-fashioned braises with a glass of estate wine.
- In the Yarra Valley, choose from Driven Indulgence’s Mulled Wine Tour, pot pies at Seville Hill’s cellar door, make your own mulled wine at Rochford Winery or enjoy Christmas in July celebrations at Cuckoo’s Restaurant.
- Bacchus Marsh Winery has an array of warming winter dishes, wood fired pizzas, mulled wine and mulled cider to enjoy by the wood heater.
- In the Murray region, open fireplaces at Byramine Homestead and the Border Wine Room are good spots to escape the winter chill.
- Indulge in a hearty macaroni and cheese at Baveras, Geelong and a warming local ale at Forrest Brewing Company in the Otways.
- Tuck into a Bobbie Burns Parker Pie in Rutherglen or journey along the High Country Brewery Trail and sample the region’s rich dark craft beers.
- Warm up with a decadent hot chocolate or steaming bowl of homemade soup at Ripe in Olinda after a walk in the magical Dandenong Ranges.
- Pick up a limited edition cheeky mulled cider spiced bag from Rebello Wines, Mornington Peninsula, to complement a Cheeky Rascal pear or apple cider.
- In the Goldfields, warm up by the fire with a Sunday roast and matched brews at Castlemaine’s Public Inn – think roast suckling pig with Henry of Harcourt cider or roasted Romsey beef with Blackjack Shiraz.