Spied: an upstairs room of boisterous boys, bottles of beer in hand on a Friday night. Unlike most nights here, they didn’t appear to be local. Beers, by the way, are craft; the list is changed frequently so is written up on the wall. About a third of the regulars drink wine which is ordered into the likes of “safe” “for the adventurous” and “to impress.” We – my friend Kari and I – couldn’t resist the scrumptious food but chose wisely – vegetarian antipasti – to save our kilojoules for the more important and even more scrumptious cocktails from bar manager Ben Blair. He’s a tequila man, so try his incredible Revolucion ($18).
The drink that had me glued to my bar stool though Nouveau Riche is just about to hit the cocktail menu. I came back for seconds and thirds. It seems to be an update of the current Black N Blue which uses Johnnie Walker Black. Nouveau Riche Blair says, is a double entendre as it refers to the new money of Bondi and also to the Gold of Johnnie Walker. This whisky cocktail is at the same time silky and elegant yet complex. In this, Blair revives the shrub – a maturation of cherry oleo sacchurum and vinegars and also employs a rinse for added depth. Had they not thrown me out at midnight, I’d still be there drinking this one!
We reckon these are some of the best cocktails in Sydney so despite previous plans that night to go elsewhere, we ended up staging a Corner House sit-in until closing.
An excerpt was published in my weekly BAR FLY newspaper column for the Alternative Media Group.
281 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW Australia
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