Cosy Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange reborn with whiskey-Infused renaissance

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Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange, one of Adelaide’s oldest and established bars, has been reborn this year with a new larger whiskey range, extended opening hours and a fresh approach.

“The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange has been reborn,” says owner Colin. “There’s more whiskey than ever before and we’re getting busier. While the bar has been around for years, we’ve given it a fresh feel.”

There are now over 230 whiskeys sourced from Australia, America, Scotland, Japan, France, India and other countries behind the bar.

“Although whiskey has always been popular, we have seen an increase in the varieties and styles available in recent times. Whiskey is also flexible enough to be used in many beverages. We have an extensive selection and the team here can even educate you about the different whiskey styles and how they are made,” says Colin.

While whiskey may be the bar’s speciality, it also stocks over 40 gins, and has a large list of vodkas, cognacs and brandies, and tequilas and mezcals. Before we jump into a huge number of cocktails, each of which tells a special story – like books written on the walls of the bar.

Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange is not some kind of library, it is about swapping. Imagine yourself choosing your favorite drink while choosing a book right on the wall. This is a great exchange, whether you’re looking for a quiet moment of relaxation alone or aiming to share it with a friend or loved one.

And to fit in with the theme of being surrounded by great literature on the walls of the bar, the entire cocktail list is named after classic films and books that fit the story of the bar. Imagine the ‘Elementary Cocktail’ made with peated scotch and Pedro Ximenes or enjoy the ‘Drink Me Cocktail’ with duck fat rum, cherry sake and pineapple, which quotes a classic line from Alice in Wonderland.

“When the bar was originally established, there were some differences from the beginning. There are hundreds of books that people can relax with. “They can enjoy a glass of wine or spirits in one hand while flipping through a book in the other,” says Colin.

“There are books on everything from dreams to Richard Branson, to travel books – there are all kinds of books to look at.”

Of course, that aspect is only part of the setup. It has become a great new place for sophisticated yet casual drinking in Adelaide. Although it is a quiet and small bar perfect for relaxing after a busy day, it is located next to sister bar A Social Undertaking and on a street that has become very popular.

“There is a lot of redevelopment going on on our street at the moment, Gresham Street will be shining soon as the redevelopment is completed in the new year,” says Colin.

“It’s really a beautiful place to sit and relax on the road.”

Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange
Where: 27 Gresham Street, Adelaide SA 5000
open: Monday and Sunday – Closed
Tuesday – 5 pm to 11 pm
Wednesday – 5 pm to 11 pm
Thursday – 5 pm to 12 midnight
Friday – 5 pm to 2 am
Saturday – 5 pm to 2 am
more info: Click here

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