Out & About – Section 8 Container Bar

The second bar I visited while swanning around Melbourne was the Section 8 Container Bar. I was trying to avoid paying 70 bucks for a guided tour of Melbourne’s street art by trying to do a self-guided version, but the book we had may have been a little outdated. The streets we had written down didn’t seem to have any art on them, and the only saving grace was that getting to them did at least take us past Section 8 which not only had street art but booze!

Section 8 is located down Tattersalls Lane. On their website they have the tag line, “about as Melbourne as you can get”, and that is a pretty damn apt description of the place. It’s down a laneway (what cool thing in Melbourne isn’t?) and it’s an unusual set-up (the actual bar is a retooled shipping container and you sit on shipping pallets), with street art everywhere giving it a very cool yet kind of grungy look. Oh and they make a pretty damn good cocktail.


Gin again guided us in our decision, it is quickly becoming a favorite. The Purple Haze combined gin with cointreau as well as some lemon juice, maraschino and whatever the hell a “sweet purple cloud of violet” is in a martini glass. It was a very pretty drink as the cloud of violet sat at the bottom of the drink providing a nice contrast to the yellow of the alcohol soaked lemon juice. I only sampled a bit of this one and I’d be keen to try a whole one. Apparently the violet at the end was quite sweet so I imagine it was a syrup. Lemon juice and ginger can really do no wrong in my book.


Purple Haze (L), Bitter & Twisted (R)

The Bitter and Twisted was also a gin-based drink that combined Aperol, lemon, passion fruit and sugar in a tall glass. Again it looked really good, a nice bright orange color with a lot of foam, and tasted pretty damn good as well. I’m fast discovering that fruity cocktails are my thing and this was packed with fruit flavor. It was very refreshing, and probably would have been even better on a brighter day. Even though it was quite refreshing and the fruitiness made it easy to drink it still had a little bite to it which I quite liked.

Section 8 had a pretty big cocktail list with some very interesting combinations. Given more time I would have liked to have a tried more. I was pleasantly surprised that this bar, which looked like it may subscribe to the school of thought that more alcohol makes a good cocktail, was actually run by guys who have the know-how to serve you a very good drink.


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Now Serving – Tuaca Spider Cocktail

I know I keep deviating from the drinks from the Ultimate Bar Book, but I had this bottle of Tuaca I felt I should use and the book doesn’t have many Tuaca recipes.

I’d been thinking about what sort of drink I could make that was effectively a spider after seeing there are a few cocktails based on The Avengers and thought the obvious choice for a Spiderman drink was to make a spider. Trying to think what spirits would go well with both ice-cream and a soda, and what soda, was difficult until I came across the Tuaca Float on the Tuaca website. A float is the same thing as a spider in my book so it was a done deal.

tuspider 2

2 ounces Tuaca

4 ounces Sarsaparilla ( I used Bundaberg Sarsaparilla)

Mint Leaves

1/2 teaspoon sugar


1-2 scoops Vanilla Ice-cream

I added the mint leaves and sugar to the recipe. I thought the mint would go well with both the vanilla from the Tuaca and ice-cream and the licorice from the Sarsaparilla. I just did a light muddle with the sugar in the glass until I could smell the mint. Conveniently I had an old promotional spider glass to make the drink in. After muddling the mint leaves add the Tuaca, ice cubes, top with Sarsaparilla and stir. Once stirred add the scoops of ice-cream and drink!


I think the mint leaves add a little something extra to the flavor. Its very subtle but it gives it a little bit of freshness and compliments the vanilla nicely. The combination works quite well overall and it is the sort of drink where the flavor progresses overtime. At first the Sarsaparilla and its licorice tones are the dominant flavor and then as you drink more and more the vanilla takes over and the last few mouthfuls are very creamy and in this case minty.


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