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
Crush a fewlamb
quesadillas alongside a world-famous view
First published on . Updated on .
Drinking in this Sydney-est of bars on a glorious Sunday afternoon can feel a little like being trapped in an ad for riesling. There’s the ridiculously gorgeous vista – hello, you tiny-looking Bridge climbers! – that sun dropping slowly into the western horizon, hundreds of skinny folk clinking dewy glasses full of yellow goodness and even a fourpiece plucking out a loungey version of ‘Here Comes the Sun’. If that all sounds fab to you, you’ll love this place – and you probably come here often. Newcomers will likely see the people before they see the bar when they step off the little elevator down to the Opera House concourse. Because if it’s a weekend in Sydney and the SES aren’t getting calls, this place is going to be packed with people eye-snipering each other for a table outside. And for good reason. There’s all of the above, plus friendly, quick and dastardly good-looking service at the large outdoor bar – grab a schooner of the fruity Opera Bar Organic Ale while you’re there – and some fine cocktail-making coming out of the huge red-backed bar inside. Our Jungle Love (Zubrowska bison grass vodka, Manzanita apple and cinnamon liquer) comes with a thin slice of cinnamon-dusted apple and all together tastes like a cold, drinkable bit of apple Danish. File it under ‘Shouldn’t Work but Definitely Does’. Still, with the sun and the wine-ad vibe, we’re feeling the vino more than the strudel cocktail, and the list here is small, strong and mostly antipodean. But Opera Bar’s secret weapon is not its list or its location (arguably one of the best views on Earth). It is its food. In an area of town where restaurants on the same price level mostly serve rubbish, this Matt Moran-co-owned bar offers consistently solid fare. We snacked on lamb quesadillas that had us a week later asking a friend, “Hey, want to go to the Opera House for some quesadillas?” It’s a sentence that shouldn’t work, but definitely does.