An icon of the Perth bar scene, Mechanics’ Institute is a purist’s cocktail bar slinging high-quality drinks in a low-key setting.

Down a lane and up a flight of stairs, Mechanics’ Institute has been tipping drinks since the dawn of small-bar culture in WA, setting the standard as a venue centred around great drinks and good times.

The focus here is spirits, with a loaded back bar showcasing a variety of bottles, accentuated by a brief but varied cocktail list. An Old Fashioned, built with Makers Mark and served over a house-cut ice block, is refined and demonstrates proficiency with the classics.

Other offerings are more progressive in nature, like the Fantasy Colada, where tequila backs up the usual suspects of pineapple, coconut and lime. Wine and beer play second fiddle to the stirred and shaken, but expect a couple of local offerings and interesting tins.

Mechanics’ Institute has been tipping drinks since the dawn of small-bar culture in WA, setting the standard as a venue centred around great drinks and good times.

The real joy, though, comes from engaging with staff who encourage you to go beyond the bounds of the menu. Let them know what you fancy and take the opportunity to have a chat before settling into a corner or a spot on the deck. There may be no food on offer, but the option to BYO or get delivery from a variety of local eateries means the bar keeps firing on all cylinders long into the night.