Food and drink trends change every single day in a city like Sydney, and it’s near impossible to keep track of them all. That’s why we’ve decided to invent our own (much easier to keep up with). You heard it here first, in 2017 we’re smoking our cocktails and yes, they’re just as delicious as they sound.
We’ve enlisted Bondi’s Cuban small bar slash restaurant, The Rum Diaries, to show you just why smoked cocktails are definitely a thing in Sydney—and they’ve also given us the low down on the best food pairings while you’re at it.
If you’re a Negroni purist, then we recommend you take the punt on the The Rum Diaries’ signature Mediterranean Negroni, which is a smoked twist on the classic Italian cocktail. Yes, we know there’s no rum in Negronis, but sometimes the best things in life are found in unlikely places, right? #Deep. It’s made with Mediterranean Gin Mare, Dolin Rouge Vermouth and Campari, so all of the key players are here. The first twist is the gin, which is a Spanish variety, flavoured with basil, thyme, rosemary and Arbequina olive. The cocktail starts at the bar, but most definitely ends at your table, with more than a little theatre. It’s smoked, stirred and poured over a big ol’ ice ball—garnished with a candied orange and sprig of rosemary. Trust us when we say it’s a winner.
Next up is the Zombie, which is served with fireworks (yes, fireworks) and the drink itself is no joke, because after a few of these, you may actually feel like a zombie. Hailing from 1934, this classic is the cocktail equivalent of the 11 secret herbs and spices in that, nobody actually knows what the inventor, Ernest Raymond Beumont-Gannt, actually put in the damn thing. The Rum Diaries tribute to the tropical cocktail is just as secretive; made from their Rum Diaries’ ‘Secret Zombie Mix’ along with grenadine, passionfruit, grapefruit, lime juice and those fireworks we mentioned earlier.
To soak up some of that zombie mix—and take a little breather from all the action—turn your attention to The Rum Diaries’ rum infused modern Australian fare. Our favourite dishes are the seared scallops with prosciutto, gorgonzola sauce, truffle honey and caviar for a starter, wild barramundi on pea puree with sea grapes, wild mushrooms and Element 8 Rum jus for main. Bringing it all home is the coconut panna cotta with rum pineapple caramel, toasted coconut and 22 karat angel tears.
We’re totally making smoked cocktails happen in 2017 and if you want to be ahead of the trend, you should book a table at The Rum Diaries—like, right now.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso
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