We’ve pinned down the city’s top bartenders, bar managers and sommeliers to find out which drinking holes they inhabit. This Must Be The Place, Charlie Parker’s, Bulletin Place, PS40 and Maybe Frank all surfaced across the board.
Head sommelier at Justin Hemmes’s Fred’s and Charlie Parker’s in Paddington Caitlyn Rees says she doesn’t go out to drink wine unless it’s at a restaurant – 10 William Street is her favourite.
For cocktails she leaves the house for This Must Be The Place in Darlinghurst, which has recently reopened as This Must Be The End with a post-apocalyptic theme. “I only ever drank classic cocktails before I started going here. Their signatures are really, really good. I drink the Belafonte Spritz in summer when I’m in the mood for something lighter,” she says of the drink infused with fino, Tanqueray No. 10, lemon, prosecco and basil. The Backwoods [with bourbon, hay-smoked honey, ginger wine and mirin] is good [when I’m in the mood] for something boozier. They change the offering pretty regularly too, so I like to try their new drinks as well.”
10 William Street
10 William Street, Paddington
This Must Be The Place
239 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
The co-founder of Continental Deli Bar and Bistro, Michael Nicolian, has helped make Mar-tinnies (a tinned Martini) famous. He frequents Earl’s Juke Joint for Piña Coladas, Sazeracs [a New Orleans variation on a cognac or whiskey cocktail], or a glass of radikon. A Chimay beer is also high up on his list.
“The greatest original cocktail I’ve had is the Banana Old Fashioned at Porteño. It’s super rich, decadent and tasty.” It comes with banana-infused Jack Daniels and smoked-maple syrup.
50 Holt Street, Surry Hills
Earl’s Juke Joint
407 King Street, Newtown
“This Must Be The Place’s new list is absolutely ripping, but [its] Man Down takes the cake. It’s a riff on a classic Negroni but with quince gin, mandarin Campari, golden berry and a cider reduction.”
“The cocktails are always approachable and perhaps the biggest plaudit I can hand them is that they’d impress both your grandma and nerdy bartender at the same time.”
“I rarely stray from beer or shots of cheap whiskey, but a Rattlesnake (a rye whiskey-sour with absinthe) at Shady Pines Saloon always seems appropriate.”
Level 1, 10–14 Bulletin Place, Sydney
The Dolphin Hotel
412 Crown Street, Surry Hills
417–421 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Shady Pines Saloon
Shop 4, 256 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
15 Bligh Street, Sydney
Naomi and Ben Hickey
The Hickey couple behind The Roosevelt in Potts Point are often seen at The Baxter Inn enjoying a round of cocktails. “We cannot leave without having a Penicillin or three … it cures all ailments.”
The Baxter Inn
152–156 Clarence Street, Sydney
96 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Jacoby’s Tiki Bar
154 Enmore Road, Enmore
The bar manager at Mjølner says her week wouldn’t be complete without a couple of Martinis. She’ll go to This Must Be The End for a classic Gin Martini, and for cocktails she’ll visit PS40, Eau De Vie and Charlie Parker’s.
Eau De Vie
229 Darlinghurst Road, Sydney
380 Oxford Street, Paddington
Owner of Bart Jr., George Woodyard, loves 10 William Street for natural wines, “particularly their orange guys,” he says. For cocktails he frequents Jangling Jack’s for the Tribidad Sour. Jim Beam rye whiskey is muddled with almond-and-orange syrup, lemon and Angostura bitters.
175 Victoria Street, Potts Point
“For me, it’s Jangling Jack’s for a nice, relaxed drink at the bar in a friendly and professional environment,” says Eau De Vie’s manager Francesco Turrini. “The cocktails at Charlie Parker’s are banging,” he says. Maybe Frank and Door Knock come a close second.
Door Knock Bar
70 Pitt Street, Sydney
Hong, the bartender at Fujisaki Japanese restaurant in Barangaroo, loves PS40. “[It] has a really creative and interesting approach to cocktails,” she says, flagging the Trash Punch as one that’s close to her heart. She’ll go to Charlie Parker’s for the experimental vibe and a sparkling nectarine wine.
“The Sazerac at Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern; the Coffee and Cigarettes at This Must Be The End; the Gin Espresso Martini at The Barber Shop; Morpheus at Beta Bar; Lobo Plantation’s Great Pineapple Debate; and Since I Left You’s Single Plum, which is floating in perfume and served in a man’s hat.”
Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern
199 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
The Barber Shop
89 York Street, Sydney
209 Clarence Street, Sydney
Since I Left You
338 Kent Street, Sydney
Luke Ashton and Jake Down
The staff This Must Be The End must have the last word on drinking habits. Ashton, the co-owner, likes Maybe Frank for an apertivo (“Americanos made by Italianos”). Bartender Down thinks cocktails from Dead Ringer are obligatory, whereas PS40 is the venue for a Breakfast Negroni. He relies on Rambling Rascals for a tinnie. Both agree that Bulletin Place does a mean dry gin martini.
413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills