The hardworking boys from the Shady Pines Saloon, Anton Forte and Jason Scott are serving up top-notch drinks in this whisky-focused bar.

In true New York or Boston bar tradition, it is rather difficult to find. Located at in the basement of a building at the back of an unmarked alleyway off Clarence Street, this drinking den – full of character and people – is an unexpected surprise for the first time visitor.

A dark, linear space, the interior features a bar that runs almost the full 10 metres of its length. It’s perhaps one of the best and most well-stocked and tiered bars we’ve seen for a while. The initially overwhelming list of 156 choices of whisky (featuring everything from Talisker 10 year old to Ardbeg Uigeadail) can be deciphered by the helpful staff. The menu is not, however, limited to whisky. It also includes all the favourite spirits and cocktails (and a large beer and wine list too). The crew at the Baxter Inn are just as happy to mix up a killer negroni as they are something more bespoke, like a Talisker 10 Sour. For those of more discerning tastes, a concealed cellar carries some of Sydney’s finest wines, cognacs and whiskeys and also provides a space for tastings.

The service is friendly and knowledgeable and the atmosphere remains intimate and tightly packed. Although there isn’t currently any food served, like the free peanuts at Shady Pines, complimentary pretzels are on offer.