Review: Black Market Cocktail Bar

IMG_0194By our newest special guest contributor M!

The first time I walked into Black Market I didn’t notice it, looking back retrospectively I guess I was on a date so there was nothing to notice.

The second time I walked into Black Market it hit me, hidden away from the prying eyes of society in an intimate and sophisticated setting were couples.

Only couples.

They were huddled around candlelit marble tables on mini chesterfield chairs or sitting side by side along the green leather benches, obviously this was a popular date nightspot with the locals. After my initial shock, and a few awkward stares I was able to relax and appreciate my surroundings.

Playing low in the background was the sound of 60s and 70s funk and soul music which compliments the vibe of the bar and catered to the soft conversation surrounding me. Upon ordering my drink I noticed the bar top was polished brass, with a tiled mirrored ceiling above it, enabling onlookers to watch the action behind the bar from their seats.

As the name suggests, the bar is inconspicuously placed in Canberra’ New Acton precinct and offers delights hard to find elsewhere. With a focus on rare spirits and innovative cocktail practices, the drinks bring a form of theatrics to the eventing.

And with names like “Cruising down the street in my six-four” (Pineapple Rum/Coconut oil infused Rum/Toasted Coconut syrup/Orange/Lime, served in a golden pineapple) and “Rattlesnake” (Tequila/Sweet Vermouth/Orange/ Pomegranate Molasses/Habanero Bitters) it’s hard not to be intrigued.

Every now and again my eyes would wonder back to the tiled mirrored ceiling to see what others had ordered and what I should get next.

The bar attracts a slightly older audience, who can appreciate the atmosphere, table services and craftsmanship on offer.  The barmen are friendly and only too happy to answer questions about the bar, drinks or simply have a chat. I spoke at length with one about Canberra’s nightlife scene and his enjoyment for creating the unusual.

Mentioning the meet ups that bring together some of Canberra’s best chefs and cocktail makers to create an evening of opulence and fine dining (I already asked it’s invite only).

We also discussed the numerous event nights Black Market features. Like it’s collaborations with Ali King- Desserts, Cakes and Events, which bring together a sumptuous cocktail degustation of three original Ali King dessert courses matched with tailor made Black Markets cocktails.

And the bar’s upcoming masterclass with Lachie Beange brand ambassador for Archie Rose Distilling Co, guaranteeing for an informative and tasty evening.

Whatever you’re looking for Black Market has something to entice the connoisseur in all of us for a drink that’s a bit unusual, a bit fancy and very worthwhile.


  • Hours: Black Market is open Monday – Thursday 17:00 – 00:00, Friday– Saturday 16:00 – 01:00 and Sunday 16:00 – 00:00
  • Location: downstairs, below A.Baker. Look for the Black Door and lift in the courtyard facing Hotel Hotel, or entry via A.Baker. Tell them the Martini Whisperer sent you!
  • Website page here
  • Black Market’s Facebook page
  • Instagram @blackmarketbar


About our Special Contributor



M is a Gin fan who works in policy, in that order. Not satisfied with the ordinary she dabbles in writing, photogrphy, dancing and modelling.

Her obsession with experiencing new things will one day ruin her life, but for now it makes her a great companion on a night out!