The Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange
1/27 Gresham St, Adelaide, SA 5000
08 8212 6979
The Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange is a small, European-style bar in Adelaide’s bustling CBD, focusing on spirits from around the globe, expertly crafted cocktails and a worldly selection of books.
It’s the first venue for owners Roman and Marina Tazhdynov. After making the move to Adelaide from Moscow, the pair wanted to create a space similar to the traditional speakeasy bars of Europe they were used to. They envisioned a space where people could simply come and while away the hours, a charming, old-world refuge from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Marina is an avid reader herself, who has always dreamed of a place where she could enjoy a great book, in a beautiful setting with an amazing drink in hand. But books aren’t just part of the interior; they’re featured heavily across the venue’s drinks list, too. The comprehensive cocktail list is broken down into three parts, including Literature, Stirred and Shaken, Bibliotheca’s Signatures, and All Time Classics.
Each cocktail featured in ‘Part one, Literature, Stirred and Shaken’, is inspired by a book, whether it be dedicated to a famous quote, theme or protagonist. The Lolita is a young twist on an old Manhattan, with “childish notes of strawberry infused bourbon, Chamberyzette and black walnut bitters”. The Master & Margarita is a dedication to Roman and Marina’s favourite book of the same name – a strong blend of smoked mescal and génépi (wattle) liquor.
For something a little lighter, both in strength and in character, the Drink That Shall Not Be Named is dedicated to everyone’s favourite boy wizard; a balanced, sweet and savoury potion of butterscotch, whisky and a touch of pumpkin fizz. It’s the next best thing to Butterbeer.
Bibliotheca’s signature drinks include a Pomegranate Tini, an inspired, sweet-tart blend of pomegranate, lime juice and gin; the best-selling Pink Moustache, a blend of gin and dubonnet sour with rhubarb bitters and raspberry dust (there’s that moustache); and the award-winning Peach Perfect, complete with apricot and rum sours with a herby, dry twist of vermouth.
An extensive range of spirits is complemented by carefully selected wines and beers, plus a menu of mouth-watering treats including cheeseboards, meat platters, pickled mussels with seaweed salad, or a wheel of deliciously oozy baked Barossa camembert, served with homemade lavosh, orange marmalade and walnuts.
From Wednesday to Saturday you can also tuck into small share plates like house-cured salmon with cucumber, cream cheese and lime gel, or tapas style chorizo served with guacamole, hot tomato sauce, Spanish onion and coriander on a grilled baguette.
Equal parts library-themed bar with a real book exchange, European-inspired tasting menu and literary-themed cocktails, Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange is a touch of old world charm in Adelaide’s industrial playground.