Heading across the ditch for a drink or two? Last year’s best bar Listopedia was all about international offerings – from Barcelona to Singapore – now it’s all about the local offerings. Whether you want to hit up the classics in a Melbourne dive bar or get serious in the Sydney cocktail scene, here’s my Listopedia of Sydney and Melbourne’s best of bars.

The Everleigh, Melbourne

Setting the benchmark of service in Australia. It’s no surprise to learn Michael Madrusan fine-tuned his craft during years spent with NYC’s Milk and Honey. The classic vibe (quintessential speakeasy) and perfect drinks make it hard to venture elsewhere in Melbourne. If you’re after a serious and perfectly executed drink, this is the place.

Beaufort Bar, Melbourne

What words can one use to describe this joint? Pirate Dive Bar just doesn’t seem to capture it. Wild fun, great service and a wonderful selection of hooch – they also boast a mean kitchen. One of the best drinking times to be had in Melbourne but enter at your own risk. You have been warned.

Gerald’s Bar, Melbourne and San Sebastian

Brilliant wine, tunes and food. All served with a knowing smile. A favourite among industry folk in Australia and now that they’ve just opened a San Sebastian branch, I’m certain the Euro food scene will embrace them in a similar manner.

Bulletin Place, Sydney

The result of super talented individuals, great produce and plenty of passion. Most would argue these guys consistently serve the best cocktails in the city. The liquid delights are derived from a list of five seasonal cocktails which are prepared daily. A must-do when heading to Australia.

The Baxter Inn, Sydney

Many say this is the best whisky bar in the world. The grown up bar of the Swillhouse Group is by no means any less fun given the serious accolades. More whisky than you could ever remember, slick classic drinks, all executed and served with that signature Swillhouse charm. It’s a benchmark of the industry, worldwide.

Ramblin Rascal, Sydney

These cheeky talented degenerates all hail from the Swillhouse alumni. Think of them as the cheeky little brother to Shady Pines. Don’t be fooled by the outrageous hipster factor – these guys mix a mean drink and should be commended on their commitment to customer satisfaction. Don’t plan anything early the next day.

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.