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
Prop up this inner west bar and get into frosty beers alongside great pub grub
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The Carlisle Castle is the very definition of an old faithful pub. Nothing much changes here and nothing needs to. They have 18 beer taps with a handful of double-ups and a single, alternating tap for special brews, one-offs and limited edition beers. Balmain pale ale put in an appearance for a while, and the crisp Coopers 150th birthday Celebration Ale is currently getting a run. $8.50 is the most you’ll pay for a glass from the short, domestic wine list and they also have tradie happy hours in the afternoons, which is perfect for anyone getting off work early or Uni students who have managed to resist the gravitational pull of the Courthouse and discover this back street gem. The Carlisle is one of the few places where you can take a seat at the long, public bar and banter with the barkeep without getting in the way of service, and with a whiskey in hand you’ll find yourself swapping sporting anecdotes with the locals before you know it. Speaking of sport, there are big TVs for competitive types and they get cranked right up if there’s a game of significance on, but generally they are kept to a low, unobtrusive hum. For entertainment they have trivia on Wednesdays, two pool tables, a big buck hunter machine and a golf arcade game if that’s your idea of fun. And just when you thought this place couldn’t get better, they tack on one of the best pub bistros around - huge pub pies, a cracking fish burger and usually something slow cooked. If you are feeling a little skint they also have a shiny silver pie warmer at one end of the bar for a good old-fashioned hunger buster.