Spirits, liqueurs, syrups, juices, garnishes, ice, fancy glassware—stirred gently or shaken furiously—there’s nothing better than putting them together to create a cocktail. From awarded underground bars in the CBD to secret ones hidden away in the Inner West, Sydney delivers in spades when it comes to serving up an excellent mixed drink.
If all of this is in your wheelhouse, then we’ve got some good news for you. Sydney’s already world-renowned cocktail bar scene is about to be showcased like never before with the World Class Cocktail Festival. Running between 28 April - 2 May, the five-day festival invites you to forget the homemade cocktails we all suffered through in 2020 and put your faith back in the hands of expert mixologists from all around the country.
On the bill are stacks of one-off events and a who’s who of Australian bars right now pairing incredible food with, you guessed it, cocktails. Taking place most prominently in and around the Sydney CBD, whatever your spirit or your mix, there’s an event catering to your pleasure.
If you want to indulge in the finer things, Paramount House and the team from Simon Johnson are offering a uniquely luxurious tasting by pairing caviar and Ketel One vodka martinis. Paramount House will also host a pop-up Espresso Martini bar, made with your choice of Columbian or Ethiopian coffee beans. If you’re after something a little more dressed down and relaxed, make your way to cult favourite kebab shop, Shwarmama, as they team up with the CBD’s Cantina OK! to serve up ice-cold margaritas alongside mind-blowing Middle Eastern delights.
A couple of Melbourne bars will be making an appearance too—Byrdi (#80 on the World’s Best Bar list) has buddied up with Butter to create a limited-edition Butter Fried Chicken (fat wash) CÎROC martini (insane!), and Above Board and Black Pearl will be doing bar takeovers at Golden Age. From South Australia, Duncan Welgemoed and the Africola team will be pouring Don Julio cocktails at Hotel Harry set to the Godlands soundtrack.
Finally, if you’re after the best of the best, Maybe Sammy will end the festival in style by hosting the “Maybe Sevilla Closing Party” on Sunday night. Ranked No. 11 on the 2020 World’s Best Bar list, the Maybe Sammy crew will be serving up Spanish-style cocktails backgrounded by live Latin music and celebrating Australia’s new Bartender of the Year before they compete in the global finals.
Make sure you check out the festival’s full program and book yourself into some events before you miss out!
What: World Class Cocktail Festival
When: Wednesday 28 April – Sunday 2 May
Where: Various bars throughout Sydney
Love a great cocktail? Work your way through this list of Sydney's best bars (and what to drink when you're there).
Image credit: Cantina OK! Instagram