Whiskey and whisky might be specialties, but Mechanics Institute still has fun around the edges.

You won’t get an Espresso Martini or frozen Margarita at Mechanics. It’s not its thing. Whisky and whiskey are. At last count there were 200 labels, including Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old, in a constantly expanding range.

But there’s still scope outside of the specialty: choose a cocktail off the list or let the spirit guide you – barkeeps can tailor a bespoke drink, maybe a smoky Negroni made with mezcal instead of gin. Add freshly pressed apple juice for 50 cents to whatever you like.

There’s plenty of good booze at this quirky laneway bar with rooftop terrace above Flipside in William Street, but food adds another string to their bow: order a burger and chips off the menu and have it brought to your table. In the summer, sit outside on the deck and enjoy the sights and sounds of Northbridge.

Mechanics has long been revered as one of the city’s finest bars and today it’s still a leader in the mixed-drinks business.