Classic cocktails on the old Tastevin site, served late, late, late
As sad as we were to see Tastevin bite the big one and go to that late night French bistro in the sky, we are pleased to see this little cocktail lounge take its place. Up front, it’s a little restaurant serving British-y, bistro-y stuff like Yorkshire puddings, soda bread and confit duck. Having tried a few of the bar snacks like their deep fried olives on a schmear of labneh (why would you serve a crisp little fried snack on wet dairy?) and a chicken liver pate that requires some dedicated knife action to break into, we’d suggest heading straight out the back and sticking to cocktails.
Harriet Leigh’s running the bar here at the moment. You might remember the five-foot-something bundle of trouble from her time at the Hazy Rose. What that means here is that you can most likely expect your Stinger (Cognac, crème de menthe, peppermint bitters, shaken with an egg white) with a side of fun chat. The drinks lists, overseen by co-owner Simon McGoram, is pretty much a series of nerdy bartender favourites all around the $20 mark (ouch) with some girly stuff thrown in as an aside.
So there’s your Trinidad Sour (one of our favourites, and exceptional for its full shot of Angostura bitters along with the usual whisky, lemon and sweet syrup) and the ever-crisp-and-refreshing Puritan (think of it as a semi-dry gin Martini with the addition of yellow Chartreuse). If you want to get a little silly, there’s the banana bread Old Fashioned (banana bread soaked in rum, whisky, salted caramel syrup, chocolate bitters). Want it flirty and fizzy? Try the Sgroppino: Messina lemon gelato, vodka, sparkling wine and passionfruit. It does exactly what it says on the packet: it’s sweet, refreshing and served in a Champagne glass.
Word is this is a late night bar, mainly frequented by the Sydney hospitality crowd (they have a 6am restaurant license, so it’s become one of the only places in town bar workers can get a post-shift snifter). That means bartenders swinging from the chandeliers post 1am, but a sophisticated lounge for after-office cocktails.