Moya’s Juniper Lounge
Moya’s is dimly lit and fitted with floral couches, framed photos and antique furniture. Heavy grey curtains hide the entrance to this secret gin den from the footpath, shielding patrons from the outside world and blocking out the noise of Regent Street. Settle into one of the worn mid-century lounges while you peruse the cocktail menu, where each drink has its own page and story. Or just order ac classic Negroni, featuring Tanqueray No. TEN, Italian bitters and rosso vermouth
Sit at the bar in Jangling Jack’s and you’ll promptly become friends with the bartenders. Most of the customers are regulars at this small Potts Point local, decked out with hallway runners, tasselled chandeliers and floor lamps. Lights are dim and walls are dark green. Try a Trinidad Sour, with Bulleit Rye, bitters, lemon and almond syrup. Pair it with the standout JJ’s Fried Chicken, drenched in honey and butter but retaining a high level of crunch.
Kensington Street Social
The romantic hotel bar underneath The Old Clare is an ideal spot to sit and people watch through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Dark timbers and deep-green accents add to the cosiness here. Then there’s the Cereal Killer, with Ketel One vodka, Aperol, apricot and “Fruit Loop-ed milk”. If you’re peckish, choose from umami-rich foods using key ingredients from Japan, Italy and beyond.
Walk through the hidden door in Redfern Continental and you’ll arrive at GDR. A tribute to the German Democratic Republic, it’s 1930s-themed, with wood-panelled walls, velvet-lined booths and low lighting. A disco ball adds a little something extra. Try the winter-warming Penicillin, made with Talisker 10 Year Old, lemon, honey and ginger.
Open the antique wooden door on Cleveland Street and step down to the dark basement of Sydney’s underground Viking bar and carvery. There are meat plates, walls of stone, exposed brick and grand archways. Take a seat on the fur couch in the corner and sip on your choice of one of 450 whiskies. Hungry? Ask for “leg service” – where you buy your own leg of cured meats and ask for it to be brought to your table.
Much comfier than the top-level restaurant, the basement bar at Big Poppa’s is candlelit and lined with custom-made, circular dark-blue leather booths. Hide from the noise of Oxford Street and head downstairs for a cheese plate and cocktail to match. Hip hop fans: this one’s for you. It’s the only genre played at Big Poppa’s.
Palmer & Co.
This Prohibition-themed bar has winter-warming food (mac‘n’cheese, soft pretzels) and delicious cocktails. It’s a failsafe CBD option any time of year, but extra enticing during cooler months with candlelight and a multitude of spaces to explore. The focus is on cocktails and spirits, with more than 30 gins, 80 whiskies and 40 tequilas and absinthes on offer, many of which are not available anywhere else. Ask your bartender for a Double Dutch: Talisker 10 Year Old, gin, milk, honey and coconut cream.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with World Class.