A good cocktail isn’t just a privilege in Sydney anymore – it’s a right. We live in a city of brilliant bars offering craft cocktails, cocktails in bowls, cocktails on fire, cocktails occasionally served in the nude. The opportunity for interpretation is endless. There’s room, mind, for bars that give a straight-up old-school experience and manage to do it wearing pants. Black, the classic cocktail bar overseen by bartender Michael Chiem, is all about classy times in glamorous surrounds. The short bar means drinkers are encouraged to take a seat at one of the small settings dotted around the place. It’s table service here, if you haven’t managed to bully your way into one of the few spots at the bar. But never fear the floaty cocktail waitperson who knows nothing about cocktails – he/she doesn’t exist here. No, you’ll be served by experienced bar staff you can trust to order a Monkey Gland from (gin, absinthe, grenadine, and a dash of orange juice), or a fast, loud and boozy mix of bourbon, Triple Sec, sweet vermouth and lime (ask for the Derby) if you’re feeling a little tap-happy. Snacks-wise, we’d probably be more inclined to wander over to the bar area at Momofuku
for a bite, or a chomp over at Sokyo
. But if moving perches isn’t an option, try chef Teage Ezard’s take on a Reuben.