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Like cocktails at home but hate mixing? Dreams do come true.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of good taste and good fortune must be in want of an at-home cocktail bar. However, in all honesty, how many hosts would be happy to slave away at said bar all through the night, mixing cocktails for their guests, instead of mingling with them?

Photo from Gearpatrol.com

Enter pre-mixed, bottled cocktails. Unlike the premixed drinks most of us have experienced way back (ahem) in our misguided youth, the new wave of bottled cocktails are expertly crafted in small-batches using high-quality, often locally-made, spirits.

In no particular order, here are our (all-Australian) favourites:

1. The Everleigh Bottling Co.

Crafted by the clever people behind The Everleigh in Fitzroy, and Heartbreaker in the CBD, each of the 4 cocktail varieties-- Old-Fashioned, Negroni, Martini, and Manhattan-- are sold in 85ml square glass bottles, packaged in a box which brings to mind the sensuous world of luxury fragrances.

2. The Aussie Tipple Co.

With a strong emphasis on collaboration with local distilleries, The Aussie Tipple Company creates new twists on traditional formats of cocktails, like substituting rum for whisky in their Old Fashioned. Cocktails are available to purchase in 100ml or 1L format, the latter which is perfect for entertaining thirsty hordes at a party.

3. Melbourne Martini

Pre-mixed espresso martinis and margaritas in a jar. Does it get more Melbourne than that? The jar concept has proven to be very popular among festival-goers, but  truth-be-told, I can see those 100ml jars being right at home in an esky at a BBQ.

4. Starward Whisky

New World Whisky Distillery is a Melbourne-based craft whisky distiller, who happens to periodically release limited-edition, whisky-based, high-quality bottled cocktails. Their current bottled cocktail product is the Cask-Strength Boulevardier, a well-balanced mix of whisky, Campari, and sweet vermouth, their take on the Negroni.

We would never dream of telling you what to do, but we do believe that a certain brand's small-batch, premium snacks of wonder wouldn't be out of place among these bottled cocktails. On the top shelf of your bar cart, naturally (hint).

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