Cocktail Party

Top 5 Cocktail Bars In Sydney CBD

Are you a Sydney local who fancies a drink (or two) after a long day at the office?

RELATED: Best Romantic Date Ideas in Brisbane

Look no further! We have tracked down some of the cities best cocktail bars to unwind at with an after-work beverage, and all of which you can really let your hair down until it’s time to do it all over again.

The Baxter Inn

Where: Basement, 152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney

We recommend: Whiskey and Fresh Apple Juice

Often hailed as one of the best cocktail bars in the entire city, there is no way you can be disappointed with a statement like that. While the focus is on whiskey and wine, the bartenders specialise in all kinds of cocktails and the 1950s music is sure to get you in the party mood – that is, if you can find the underground bar.

Top 5 Cocktail Bars in Sydney CBD

Eau de vie

Where: 229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst

We recommend: The Noble Experiment

Located in the bustling suburb of Darlinghurst, Eau de Vie serves up some of the most interesting cocktails in the entire city. There’s no chance of ever getting bored in this establishment, just take a look and see how your cocktails are made!

Top 5 Cocktail Bars in Sydney CBD

The Butler

Where: 123 Victoria Street, Potts Point

We recommend: Air France

Although The Butler is a relatively new bar located just east of the city centre, it deserves a visit for more than just its views of the Royal Botanical Gardens. With a long list of cocktails, which are sure to land you Instagram’s popular feed, they are accompanied by a tasty cuisine of modern Australian food.

Top 5 Cocktail Bars in Sydney CBD

Stich Bar

Where: 61 York Street, Sydney

We recommend: The Smokey Rocket

If you’re ever working near Wynyard, then Stitch Bar is the place to be. With a broad range of cocktails on offer, there is bound to be something you like. Definitely try The Smoking Rocket if you love a gentle fusion of whiskey and tequila with a pinch of lime and chilli.

Top 5 Cocktail Bars in Sydney CBD

Gazebo Wine Garden

Where: 2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay

We recommend: Giggly Rose

You’ve probably made it to the Winery in Surry Hills before, but nothing beats the charm that is Gazebo Wine Bar. If the French garden isn’t enough to lure you in, then the cocktails will.

Top 5 Cocktail Bars in Sydney CBD

Images via Ecouzi and Chanel Bags And Cigarette Drags

April 2, 2015

The Lazy Hostess’ Easy Hors d’Oeuvres Ideas

Self-styled kitchen vixen, Babe Scott, has just released her new book, The Lazy Hostess, the ultimate guide to getting you through the party season in style – without much fuss. It’s packed with practical and sassy tips, like these easy yet impressive hors d’oeuvres ideas that are perfect for cocktail parties, summer entertaining or for when unexpected guests drop in.

We think The Lazy Hostess would make a great Christmas present for your BFF, sister, mum or aunty.

Excerpt from The Lazy Hostess by Babe Scott. Published by Random House, RRP $29.95.

If you scour the contents of your fridge and pantry you might well be able to create an instant cocktail menu supplemented by a few items bought from the corner shop. For instance, there are any number of foodstuffs you can pair with toasted baguette slices to create yummy crostinis. Chances are you will also have at least some of the ingredients to create if not ‘Pigs in Pashminas’ then another doughy delight.

If you have leftover soup or even canned soup, you can heat it up and serve it warm (not scalding) in shot glasses. If it’s a chunky soup, put it in the blender until it’s smooth so your guests don’t encounter any choking hazards as they ‘shoot their soup’. Just make sure whatever soup you serve is seasoned well. You can add a dab of sour cream to roasted red pepper, butternut squash, pumpkin or mushroom soup for extra zing.

Make sure you also put out whatever snacks you have to hand. They don’t have to be fancy. I like the faithful old standbys that have been around since my grandmother was getting soused at her sneak-a-spot-of-sherry quilting club: pretzels, salty roasted peanuts, almonds or any mixed nuts. You can also offer bowls of plain potato crisps, Ritz crackers, Twiglets, breadsticks, olives or any other goodies you have on hand. In a fit of desperation, I’ve even been known to put out bowls of Froot Loops.

Delicious Dips

You can also create delicious dips from leftover packet soup. Just add a tub of sour cream to almost any packet soup: for instance, onion, mushroom, vegetable or tomato. Simply blend the sour cream and soup mixture together in a food processor and add salt and pepper to taste. If you are running short of sour cream, you can substitute yoghurt, cream cheese or even mayonnaise for up to a third of the sour cream.

Serve these dips with leftover vegetables cut into crudites, which is a fancy term for veggies cut into strips and served with dip. You can use baby sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber, peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, and even spears of romaine lettuce.

There are also plenty of pre-made dips you can buy if you are pressed for time. Among my own personal faves are hummus, taramasalata and aubergine, but you can’t go wrong with any flavour that takes your fancy.

Just use your imagination and you won’t have to stretch your wallet or walk too far to create a mouthwatering menu.

Pimp your Popcorn

While plain old popcorn works a treat, you can add almost anything to it to give it a bit of zing. Just have a look at whatever herbs, spices and seasonings you have skulking around in your pantry and sprinkle them on to your popcorn after you’ve added some melted butter to help them stick.

The following are a few simple ways to give your popcorn some pizzazz.

First, you will need salted, butter-free, microwavable popcorn. Pop 225g of kernels for each recipe (which will make a party-sized bowl of popped popcorn). Then melt 60g of butter to coat it before adding the flavouring. As an option, you can also add 60ml of olive oil to lightly coat. Throw it all in a large bowl while warm and mix. You can also add some finely chopped chives or parsley to give some colour.

Parmesan Popcorn
40g grated Parmesan cheese
Toss with buttered popcorn

Mexican Style
1 tbsp fajita seasoning
Toss with buttered popcorn

Paprika Popcorn
1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Toss with buttered popcorn

Curry Popcorn
1 tsp curry powder
Toss with buttered popcorn

lazyhostess

November 25, 2013

Bring Back Cocktail Hour

Self-styled kitchen vixen, Babe Scott, has just released her new book, The Lazy Hostess, the ultimate guide to getting you through the party season in style – without much fuss. It’s packed with practical and sassy tips to ensure your parties are talked about (for all the right reasons), with everything covered from invites and playlists to who to invite and how to get rid of guests who just won’t leave!

We think The Lazy Hostess would make a great Christmas present for your BFF, sister, mum or aunty.

Excerpt from The Lazy Hostess by Babe Scott. Published by Random House, RRP $29.95.

I’m on a mission to bring back Cocktail Hour. This tradition is the height of retro chic and adds a little sparkle to even the dullest week. It’s the perfect excuse to put on your glad rags and rev up your blender. Furthermore, cocktails are the perfect social lubricant. If you want a passport to popularity, then hosting a semi-regular Cocktail Hour is the best way to do it. It’s also an ideal way to lump a bunch of people together without too much fuss. It will help you build and cement your social circle in a way that only an alcohol-propelled party can.

Cocktail Hour can be a fairly intimate affair or a big, thrashing, swinging-from-the-chandeliers event. It’s an opportunity to quaff cocktails and snack on finger food while mingling with other guests. In theory, cocktail parties go from two to three hours.

However, my soirées usually last long into the night. On my invitation I generally put a start and end time of 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., but I’m nearly always trying to crowbar the laggards out the door at well past midnight.

Since there are bound to be a couple of last-minute no-shows, invite one extra person for every ten guests who say they are coming. Make sure your friends also know you are not Ivana-berich Trump and to bring a bottle of plonk. Work out what you need and let each of your guests bring a contribution to the beverage quota. Remember: the purpose of this event is to up your fun quotient, not to land you in the ‘pour’ house.

A Sinfully Sexy Invitation
It’s worth emailing a proper invitation. Simply calling on the phone or sending a random text doesn’t convey a sense of occasion. Nor do the generic invitations you can find online. A gorgeous invitation will make your event stand out and will also convey right mood. The invitation should evoke old-school glamour and a sense of excitement. It should also clearly set a dress code. You want your friends to know they can’t just turn up in their flip-flops for a beer but should do their best to look foxy.

Spruce Up Your Space
Arrange furniture so that guests can move around the room easily and engage in a little impromptu dancing later on in the evening. Clear debris from whatever surfaces you can so guests have somewhere to leave their glasses and you have somewhere to put snack bowls. Make sure your guests can clearly see the snacks and offer them to people when you’re doing the rounds.

Set up a table for beverages, as well as a separate station for finger food. Preferably, position these stations on opposite sides of the room to cut down on people traffic. Make sure there is some seating around the sides of the room for guests who need to catch their breath from dancing like the possessed. Throw a couple of tablecloths over your stations to spruce them up. Put one or two citrus-fruit halves, cut side down, on the table for people to stick their used toothpicks into. If you don’t have enough serving plates, then improvise – cutting boards, picture frames, lightweight mirrors or even large books. You can also often buy beautiful vintage platters and serving plates from antique stores for next to nothing.

Decorative Touches
Decorate with some festive bunches of flowers if you like, even if you borrow them from the garden of a green-fingered neighbour. Vine leaves also work a treat and create a Bacchanalian effect. If you are an artsy-craftsy type and want to save money, consider creating vases out of old bottles by purchasing a bottle cutter. Or you could put a handy friend to the task. You can also make votive candleholders and even drinking glasses

Smooth Soundtracks
Music helps your guests unwind and gets them into a celebratory mood. A great soundtrack is crucial for to a memorable night. The tunes selected should ideally match your theme and the atmosphere you want to create. The best way to manage the music is to create a couple of playlists for the party so you can strike the right mood. The earlier one can be a bit more mellow and then as things rev up put on a party mix.

lazyhostess

November 18, 2013

Cocktail For The Weekend: Rhubarb and Berry Sour

This refreshing cocktail from rooftop hotspot Cafe Sydney is perfect for anyone who likes a touch of sour in their drink.

 

Ingredients
60ml Chambord

30ml Fresh pressed lemon juice

10ml Sugar syrup

Dash of Rhubarb Bitters

Egg White

Method

Dry shake to whisk then shake with ice and single strain into a cocktail flute. Garnish by squeezing lemon zest oils over the drink for aromatics.

What are you looking forward to drinking this weekend?

March 9, 2012

Cocktail For The Weekend: Royal Cha-Cha

How delicious (and decadent) does this look? Award-winning bartender Jason Soto serves The Royal Cha Cha cocktail at Sydney’s Wildfire Restaurant – why not try your hand making it this weekend?

Ingredients

30ml Chambord

20ml vodka

10ml egg whites

10ml lemon juice

20ml rhubarb, vanilla & apple puree

Method

Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass.

Garnish with a raspberry powder and melted marshmallow.

What’s your signature cocktail?

March 2, 2012

Cocktail For The Weekend: Cointreau Caress

What has only 2 ingredients, and tastes like a liquid chocolate orange cake? The Cointreau Caress is just the cocktail when you want something sweet and indulgent.

 

Ingredients

75ml Cointreau

75ml Irish cream liqueur

Method

Pour the ingredients into a tumbler glass. Sprinkle grated dark chocolate over the top.

What’s your favourite sweet cocktail?

January 20, 2012

Cocktail For The Weekend: Chambord Mimosa

The weekend has landed and that means brunch. Whether you prefer granola and egg white omelettes or the full English, nothing goes down lovelier than a sparkling Chambord Mimosa.

For each mimosa:

1/2 oz Chambord Liqueur

Fresh orange juice

Champagne or sparkling wine

Add Chambord Liqueur and orange juice to bottom of flute glass. Top with Champagne.

What’s your favourite cocktail with brunch?

January 13, 2012

NYE Cocktail: Chambord Lemonade

With only 3 ingredients, the Chambord Lemonade is the easiest crowd-pleasing cocktail. Stir up a pitcher and greet your guests at the door with a glass in hand – it’s the best way to get the party started!

Serves: 1 45ml Finlandia® Vodka 15ml Chambord Liqueur 90ml lemonade Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge. To make a larger quantity, simply increase the amounts and add to a pitcher. Garnish with lemon wedges and raspberries.

December 30, 2011

Christmas Cocktail: Lychee And Mint Muddle

This refreshing lychee cocktail has so many uses: try it with canapés, as the base of a fruit punch, in a frappe or as a mocktail without the sparkling wine!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp honey or caster sugar

20 fresh lychees, peeled and deseeded

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup of ice

750ml bottle of sparking wine, or lemonade for mocktails

Method:

Blend honey/sugar, 10 lychees with mint leaves and ice. Place into a large jug and top with sparkling wine (or lemonade if using). Halve remaining lychees and add to the mix. Serve in chilled glasses.

To make a frappe, place honey/sugar, 15 lychees, mint and 2 cups of ice in a blender for 1 minutes. Pour into a large jug and top with lemonade or sparkling wine.

What’s your favourite cocktail to serve at Christmas?

December 23, 2011

How To Match Christmas Food With Wine

So you’ve stocked the fridge with bubbly and someone’s brought a bottle of rose, and hold on, Aunty Mary will only drink Shiraz. How do you match Christmas food and wine? Easy, just follow our dish-by-dish pairing guide.

 

Canapés

Most finger foods go well with sparkling wine or Champagne. Our tip? Have a few extra bottles of bubbly in the ice bucket as it always goes down quicker than you plan.

Seafood

Try a refreshing riesling or sauvignon blanc.

Creamy pasta and chicken

Verdelho or viognier have lovely textures that match white meat and cream-based entrees.

Christmas ham

A buttery chardonnay that’s not too heavy on the oak is a great partner for sweet, succulent ham.

Roast pork or turducken

Merlot or tempranillo pair well with roasted white meat.

Roast beef

Open up a bottle of Shiraz before the meal and let this heavy hitter breathe, then sit back and enjoy the feast!

Vegetarian dishes and salads

Rose is amazing with summer vegetables, herbs and stir-fried greens.

Christmas pudding

Young ports aren’t as cloying as more mature vintages, but still allow you to relish the sumptuous fruit and spice flavours of traditional pudding.

Cheese plate

Gewürztraminer has lovely aromatics that pair beautifully with the richness of cheese.

Pavlova and summer desserts

A dry Champagne goes hand-in-hand with summer fruit, light pastries and pavlova.

December 22, 2011

A little Respect for The Cocktail, please!

When I was knee high to a grasshopper (the insect kind, not the drink containing crème de menthe), my father bought me a “mocktail” (a non-alcoholic concoction of fruit juice, crushed ice and grenadine) at a restaurant. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the delectable delights decorated by those tiny umbrellas and toothpick-skewered cherries. A cocktail is not only about what’s on the inside. It’s definitely a book to be judged by its cover. If it doesn’t have garnish, it’s not a cocktail in my opinion! You can’t shake together a mix of sweet spirits, cream, juice and ice, stick it in an ordinary glass and guzzle it down. There has to be some effort, some pizzazz, some style put into these delicacies! So, as a self-described expert on the consumption of these wicked potions of sin and merriment, I would like to shine a spotlight on the Cinderella of the bar and offer hints as to enjoying her correctly.

When buying cocktails
1. Don’t bother going to a pub, where the barman looks like he’d be more comfortable in a blue singlet and a pair of stubbies.
2. Know your stuff! Don’t embarrass yourself by saying “I want one of those thingies that has the three different coloured layers in it”. The bar attendant is going to roll his eyes when you’re not looking and give you way more of the non-alcoholic liquid than the stuff you really want.
3. Be prepared to pay top dollar! If you think a cocktail should cost anything less than $7, stick to pre-mixes. It takes skill and top quality ingredients to make a good one. You wouldn’t ask a highly regarded pastry chef to whip up a batch of shake-n-pour pancakes, now would you?
4. Now’s not the time to be fussy. If you like your drink a certain way, it’s fine if you’re talking martinis. But a “Sex On The Beach” is made to a formula! You can’t deviate from the accepted norm or it simply is not “Sex On The Beach”. If your thing is to add and subtract ingredients, stick to ordering Whoppers with extra cheese and without pickles.
5. Expect and demand your cocktail in a glass. Anything offered up in a fruit should be reserved for poolside on the Lido Deck of the Love Boat.

Drinking cocktails
1. If your goal is to get drunk, you don’t need to do that in style. That’s what beer and hard spirits are for. Please, when partaking of cocktail indulgences, show a little class. They should be sipped with finesse, coveted for the way you look while drinking them, and enjoyed to the smallest puddle in the bottom of the glass.
2. Save the garnish for last. Try to refrain from munching on the pineapple piece, the cherry and the orange slice until the end. There is an exception to this. A delectable pina colada is even more divine when you can dip the skewered cherry into the froth and lick it a few times. Just do it tastefully!
3. No licking the inside of the glass, or tipping your head back as far as you can to retrieve the remaining dregs of your cocktail. For goodness sake girl, just have another!

By Gina Luca * Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing.

More Eat and Drink

Great competitions, beauty, travel, love life, entertainment and more, delivered to your inbox for free!
Subscribe to the SheSaid newsletter

June 10, 2003

Cocktails of the Month – Classic Warming Cocktails made from Chivas Regal

Scotch is becoming the drink to have in your hand. Even the girls in Sex In The City are sipping it. I road tested a few and even managed to secure the recipes.Chivas Continental

Pour 30mls of Chivas Regal over crushed ice, fill with espresso coffee straight from an espresso machine and add a splash of sugar syrup.

Chivas Cooler

Pour 30mls Chivas Regal over crushed ice and add ginger ale to suit, squeeze a lime wedge and drop lime shell into the drink

Chivas Crush

Put 30mls Chivas Regal, 20 mls fresh lemon juice with 50mls fresh apple juice and a dash of sugar syrup. Tip with a splash of ginger beer and fresh mint leaves.

If you can’t be bothered making your own you will be able to find a selection of Chivas ‘Classic” cocktails over the winter months at the Martini Bar, W Hotel and Monkey Bar in Sydney and Purple Emerald and Chaise in Melbourne.

September 2, 2000

Cocktail of the month – Long Island iced tea

Having a drinks party, turning 30 or just needing a change from the Sex in the City girls all time drink? Cosmopolitan. Than get your cockatil shaker and start makin some Long Island Iced Tea’s.
Ingredients:? ounce vodka

? ounce gin

? ounce light rum

? ounce tequila

? ounce triple sec

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Coke to top

1 lemon slice for garnish

Method:

Place all the liquors and lemon juice into a cocktail shake with ice. Shake and strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with Coca Cola and garnish with lemon.

August 2, 2000

Cocktail of the month – Caipirinha


One of our all time favourite drinks, we recently found this super slick drink at the very cool restaurant and bar, Long Grain in Sydney, The Caipirinha. It is made from Brazilian rum and is very refreshing. The best idea for any New Year’s party is to make this South American favourite punch-style. Your friends will be begging for more.

Ingredients

1 lime, washed

2 teaspoons superfine sugar

2 ounces cachaca

Method

Cut the lime into eighths and place the pieces in a small tumbler. Add the sugar. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, crush the lime wedges. Continue to muddle the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the glass with crushed ice, or very small ice cubes, and top with cachaa. Stir gently.

April 2, 2000

5 Favourite Sexy Cocktails

Warning: save these potent drinks for a laugh with friends, not to serve when the in-laws drop by!Screaming Orgasm Generously pour equal parts of Baileys, Vodka, Kahlua. Stir over ice and strain into glass.

Sex on the Beach

1 oz. Vodka, 3/4 oz. Peach Schnapps, 3/4 oz. Chambord. Then add a splash each of pineapple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice. Shake well and serve.

Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against the Wall

3/4 oz. each: gin, vodka, Southern Comfort and Galliano. Add a splash of orange juice Shake and pour in large glass. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry or strawberry.

Slippery Nipple

Equal parts of: Sambucca & Baileys. Layer in a shot glass.

Tie Me To The Bedpost

1/2 oz. each of: Midori, Absolut Citron, Malibu Rum. Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

March 1, 2000