The cocktail world moves fast. Keeping up with what’s new and interesting is becoming increasingly more difficult. We’re here to help.

Closed Loop Fizz at Bouche on Bridge

This new and unpretentious fine-dining restaurant has a 60-seat underground cocktail bar with a drinks list as cutting edge as the food being served above.

“Taking classic cocktail flavour combinations and replacing them with contemporary substitutions works well for me,” says bar manager Matt Linklater. These replacements include by-product from Bouche on Bridge’s kitchen.

“Consciously minimising waste without compromising flavour has been the overall goal,” he says. One of the ingredients he takes from the kitchen is the water used to cook potatoes, which he sweetens with various sugars. “It tastes remarkably similar to maple syrup,” says Linklater. “On its own it has a faint scent of potato, but in the drink, it just adds a rich sweetness.” It’s the star ingredient of Linklater’s Closed Loop Fizz featuring hand-pressed lemon, Australian oloroso, whisky, dark ale, and chickpea brine (used for texture as a vegan egg-white replacement).

“It's garnished with wattle seed and is reminiscent of a grownup mochaccino,” he says. “The potato water lends a certain silkiness to the drink. It’s essentially magic.”

Bouche on Bridge

Yale Fence at Moya’s Juniper Lounge

Moya’s Juniper Lounge is Sydney’s newest and most casual gin bar, in atmosphere anyway. In product it’s as serious as the best.

“The most exciting thing for me about cocktails is the product availability right now,” says co-owner Charles Casben. “There are so many new distilleries, wineries and breweries popping up that the potential ingredient list is endless.”

That ethos is best summed up by one of the bar’s newest cocktails, the Yale Fence. It’s a mix of local barrel-aged gin (from Settlers in McLaren Vale), Bonal (a fortified wine bittered with cinchona bark) and pommeau de Normandie (an apple-based fortified wine that’s now made by Small Acres in Orange).

“It's a drink that's been slightly altered from the original which came from [David A.] Embury's Fine Art of Mixing Drinks [an influential cocktail book first published in 1948],” says Casben. “It gets a bit of street credit because it's not a drink that pops up very often.”

Moyas Juniper Lounge

Blueberry Sour at Bar Brosé

Everything served here is simply what the Bar Brosé team likes to eat and drink. The cocktail list is no different. “I’m not a massive fan of the whole ‘molecular’ vibes, or this ‘mixologist’ stuff,” says bar manager Ed Loveday. “I wanted to keep things really simple, putting a few house twists in here and there, and using fresh, seasonal produce with house-made syrups, infusions and tinctures.”

The best example of this is the restaurant’s seasonal sour, which now is a blueberry mix. “We muddle blueberries, add two nips of gin, lime juice, blueberry syrup, a handful of Thai basil leaves and a bar spoon of this crazy raspberry eau de vie from Stählemühle Distillery in southern Germany,” says Loveday.

Bar Brose

The Polynesian Pearl Diver at Kittyhawk

The second venue from the rum fans at Lobo Plantation is all about rum, rye and having a bit of fun. “By being cheeky and not taking yourself too seriously I think you can push the boundaries with flavour combinations without polarising people,” says Kitty Hawk’s Simon Audas.

His drink of the moment is The Polynesian Pearl Diver. “This is a bit of a Django Unchained reference,” he says. “It’s ordered in the movie but no one actually knows what it is. Hence we felt the need to create it.” It’s made with white rum, orange juice, lemon and Audas’s homemade coconut-lemon butter. “I love butter so what’s better than the chance to put it in a drink,” says Audas.

Kittyhawk

This article is presented in partnership with World Class.