Black-tea ice cubes, sultana swizzle sticks, honeycomb, vodka, gin, rye and more all shaken and stirred and muddled and served for your pleasure - meet the drinks (and their makers) you'll find at the year's biggest cocktail carnival
Is this bar Sydney’s best kept secret? If their lack of signage and basement location is anything to go by, then the answer is yes
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Walk straight into Regent Place, adjacent to Event Cinemas on George Street, past the excellent ramen shack Ton Ton Noodle, and glide down the escalators. You’ll pass the Miss Chu Vietnamese Tuck Shop (“you ling, we bling” is spray-painted on the wall) where fans line up for rice paper rolls and pho. When you see the fairy-lit gardenette, with AstroTurf and outdoor furniture, you’re at Assembly. It’s a beautifully curated bar. Crystal punch bowls and dainty glasses are arranged within old upturned packing boxes, along with a straight-shooting selection of quality booze. The vintage glassware shines in neat rows under some very well selected lighting. Carbon footprint be damned – we want to know where these guys are getting their Edison-style incandescent globes from. Try a Problem Solver (rye, maraschino, Bénédictine, Fernet Branca, orange twist), which is described on the menu as “the solution to (and in some cases the result of) all life’s problems”. We’re inclined to agree: it’s an unctuous mix of some of our favourite things all in one glass and a perfect way to start – or end – your night. Or perhaps a Bosom Caresser is more your speed. It’s a shake-up of Cognac, Grand Marnier, grenadine and egg yolk and “more socially acceptable to have in your hands and could even lead to the real thing…” Sold!