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
George the cockatoo now rules the roost at this backstreet Glebe pub. Long may he chew the handbags of unsuspecting ladies. When George isn’t waddling up and down the bar ruffling his feathers and cracking open lemon seeds or resting on the shoulders of the pub's regulars, he’s got his own massive branch to perch on in the corner of the tatt-filled room. Forget Shady Pines or the Norfolk. The Friend in Hand is the original Sydney dive bar – there are more taxidermied animal heads, old street signs and countless other bits of weirdness than you can point a stick at. And best of all, the beers aren’t $8 apiece. They keep their lines in pristine nick here, so expect crisp-and-cold schooners of Reschs, Coopers, Old and Fat Yak. There’s Bulmer’s cider on tap too. The Friend has all the usual pub trappings you’d expect from an early opener (doors swing at 8am Monday-Friday) including pokies and a TAB but they also host a bunch of events you’re unlikely to find in other Sydney pubs. There’s life drawing on Mondays, poetry readings on Tuesdays, crab racing on Wednesdays and the famous Mic in Hand open comedy night on Thursdays. There’s a fireplace to get toasty in front of during winter and plenty of outdoor areas to cool off with a fistful of frosty beers in the warmer months. What more could you want?