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World Class Cocktail Week – Sydney

Home > Sydney > Cocktail Bars | High Tea | Music | Restaurants | Workshops
by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
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Down the rabbit hole into Wonderland
Cocktails have been a long time favourite of mine and it's good to see a whole week dedicated to a series of events around these shaken and stirred drinks. Brunches and leisurely lunches, high teas with a twist and cocktail parties are all set to delight during the last week of May.

World Class Cocktail Week
Image courtesy of World Class Facebook event page

Masterclasses, music and marvellous concoctions, from Japanese cocktails to tea-inspired cocktails, can be found at the best places to eat, drink and play in Sydney. Below are some highlights of what's on.

First We Take Manhattan

If martinis and manhattans are your cocktails of choice then head to Potts Point to learn how to order and make different varieties of these world famous drinks.

First We Take Manhattan
Image courtesy of First We Take Manhattan Facebook event page

The Roosevelt bar and diner, once an infamous club, was originally opened by underworld figure Abe Saffron in 1947. It channels 50's and 60's art deco, candlelit tables and vintage cocktail equipment, and is the venue for 'First We Take Manhattan'.

A beautiful setting, despite its origins, for an intimate evening of sipping and savouring cocktails and some food.

When: Weds 27 May, 7.30pm
Where: 32 Orwell St, Potts Point
Cost: $75 (includes cocktails and food)

Cocktails Through Time - Cocktail Tasting

Cocktails Through Time
Image courtesy of Cocktails Through Time - Cocktail Tasting Facebook event page

Eau de Vie, a 1920's style bar with moody lighting, glass cabinets and leather seats, is going to take you on a time travelling journey through the history of cocktails. Start off with some pre-prohibition era gems and work your way through the Tiki and disco era to modern day creations.

For the price below, you'll get 10 mini cocktails plus light bar food.

When: Thurs 28 May, 7.30pm
Where: 229 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
Cost: $95

A Bush Tucker Experience in the City

The early days of Australia saw rum as the currency and bush tucker being eaten, so here at Riley St Garage you will endulge in this country experience in the city with a burger and a Les Hiddens Rebellion Cocktail. Blended with native Australian flavours, such as Lemon Myrtle and Lilly Pilly, it combines Bundaberg Small Batch Rum, Leatherwood Honey and Chandon Sparkling.

As the venue name suggests, this is a garage, which has been refurbished into a sleek bar and restaurant. It is a great pit stop for an express lunch.

Riley St Garage
Image courtesy of Riley St Garage Facebook page

When: Tues 26 May - Sat 30 May, 12pm-5pm
Where: 55 Riley St, Woolloomooloo
Cost: $24

Japanese Cocktail High Tea Event

The Garden and Atrium of the Crane Bar is the perfect setting for a high tea and some cocktail indulgence. It's light and airy, half indoors and half outdoors, with luxurious chairs you won't want to get out of.

This venue serves Japanese fusion cuisine and signature cocktails in a great atmosphere. For World Class Cocktail Week they are putting together a batch of hand crafted cocktails to tempt you along with some delicious canapιs.

When: Weds 27 May – Sun 31 May
Where: 32-34 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point
Cost: $49
Bookings: 02 9357 3414

Whiskey Jam @ The Animal

Live music and good times are to be had at the Newtown Hotel in their upstairs rock-inspired meat eatery, The Animal. They are showcasing the Rock 'n' Rye, a cocktail made of Bulleit Rye Whiskey that's topped with rock candy, orange and cinnamon.

When: Thurs 28 May, 6pm
Where: 174 King St, Newtown
Cost: Free entry
Bookings: Not required

The Art of Hand-Chipped Ice Balls

Learn how to make ice properly, carve from a large block and chip into ice balls at Tokyo Bar. Afterwards, enjoy a Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Scotch Whisky with your own ice ball creation.

This Japanese style laneway bar also serves beers, cocktails and yakitori - chicken with other morsels on skewers cooked over charcoal.

When: Mon 25 May, 6-7.15pm
Where: Commonwealth St, Surry Hills (entry on Belmore Lne)
Cost: $65
Bookings: - leave name, mobile & number of people

Sunday Brunch Club at Icebergs Dining and Bar

Breathtaking views of Bondi Beach, intimate and elegant dining at the legendary Icebergs with a three course menu, and No. 114 Breakfast Martini, and your set for an unforgettable experience.

Bondi Icebergs Club
Image courtesy of Bondi Icebergs Club Facebook page

Icebergs focuses on regional Italian food with an ever- evolving menu that celebrates seasonal flavours. At this outing, you'll enjoy a selection of breads and pastries, a citrus salad and a choice of smoked trout or grilled piadina with frittata or organic egg and other accompaniments to round out the dishes.

When: Sun 31 May, 10-11.30am
Where: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach
Cost: $55
Bookings: 9365 9000 or through website

Bitter and Twisted

The Rook, a cool rooftop spot that specialises in lobster and liquor as well as burgers, is the scene for a workshop where you'll learn to make a standout Negroni. The history behind the drink is explained and some tips are provided for making this part gin, part vermouth rosso and part Campari cocktail at home.

Wood walls and painted murals make this an interesting venue to relax in and soak up your time.

Bitter and Twisted, The Rook
Image courtesy of The Rook Facebook page

When: Sat 30 May, 2pm
Where: 56-58 York St, Sydney
Cost: $35
Bookings: 02 9262 2505

Frida's Sunday Fiesta

Playa Takeria is all Mexican in its atmosphere, murals and dishes, where food will be matched with Don Julio Margaritas and creative cocktails throughout the day.

Playa Takeria
Image courtesy of Playa Takeria Facebook page

Their burritos have been voted the best in Sydney by Timeout Magazine and this vibrant restaurant also delights the taste buds with tempting tacos, tostaditas, and quesadillas.

Don't forget dessert if you can fit it in because they have Churros Condesa - spiced Mexican donuts with cajeta caramel, strawberry and mayan melted chocolate.

I Love Mexican, I do, but that's also the name of another dessert - corn pudding with strawberry Chile de Arbol salsa. Interesting mix.

Speaking of names, the Playa element comes from the Caribbean beach resort town of Playa Del Carmen in eastern Mexico, a popular tourist destination, and Takeria means a Mexican restaurant specialising in tacos.

Wear your sombrero, dress up in Mexican chic and enjoy this delicious day out.

When: Sun 31 May, 12pm-10pm
Where: 132 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
Cost: Free entry
Bookings: on website

All in all, there's lots of flavours and encounters to choose from. Other options include a Boston Tea Party, Bloody Mary brunches, jam jar cocktails and cooking. A virtual bar tour allows you to do a cocktail crawl around the city using a map on your phone. Each participating bar will have a special $10 cocktail to try at your leisure.

Cheers to a great week!

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Why? For the love of mixed drinks
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