It may be Friday 13th but don’t be afraid, we have the perfect way to calm your nerves because it’s also World Cocktail Day! Rounding off a hectic World Cocktail Week, we at SS101 are slightly bleary-eyed and sore-headed but have done our best to bring you the pick of our favourite cocktails and the best places to sip them in Sydney.

 

Marble Bar, Hilton

One of my new favourite bars in which to dress up and indulge in total sophistication is the heritage listed Marble Bar at the Hilton. A luxurious surrounding heavily featuring, you guessed it, marble lends itself to decadent cocktails so get the girls and /or gentlemen (no lads here, please!) together and indulge. Especially as their happy hour (6pm-8pm) means all their signature cocktails are only $15! I recommend you try their new concoction, Salcha – a twist on a Bloody Mary – which was recently entered into the  Time Out Hotel Bar Awards by their equally delectable bartender, Jay Tuncer Tokmak.

Jay Tuncer Tokmak - Marble Bar (Hilton) - TO Hotel Bar Cocktail Competition_Zeta Bar_May 05- 2016-_credit_Daniel Boud_007

 

Saké Double Bay

Another out-of-the-way new fave haunt is Saké Double Bay – one of the high points of the newly resurgent scene in the area. Being a Japanese restaurant, the accompanying cocktails from the bar are very different takes on the usual drinks and feature Japanese ingredients, such as saké and umeshu. This creates really unexpected tastes, reflective of Japanese flavours with lots of citrus and fruit.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a recent masterclass to try and prepare the cocktails below and they are truly delicious – and not that difficult after all, although I was under the expert guiding hands. The lovely folk at Saké have agreed to share their delicious recipes for a few of their key creations so why not have a go? We were also given many of the delectable dishes from the menu which the drinks are cleverly designed to accompany so I include  a food pairing note. That said, it is Friday, so maybe save yourself the trouble and head on down to Saké and get one of the lovely bartenders to do all the work for you!

SAK_Cocktalis Ritz

Ritz Carlton
60ml chili-infused 42Below Vodka
30ml passionfruit puree
15ml lime juice
15ml vanilla sugar syrup
15ml egg white
Garnish: half passionfruit
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds. Add sufficient ice to half fill the shaker and shake for another 30 seconds. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with half a passionfruit.

A robust smoky dish from the barbecue, such as chicken or pork skewers, will serve the classy Ritz Carlton well because the fatty unctuousness of the meat will counterbalance the sweetness from the passionfruit.  This popular seasonal cocktail works well with many of the dishes from the  robata grill for that reason. It’s also great paired with the robata grilled pork belly with braised daikon and grated ginger because the pepperiness of the daikon and subtle heat from the ginger undercuts the summery sweetness of this cocktail.

SAK_Cocktalis & Matches_Sour

Ume Sour
60ml Umeshu Extra Years
15ml sugar syrup
15ml lemon juice
15ml egg white
Garnish: edible flowers
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds. Add sufficient ice to half fill the shaker and shake for another 30 seconds. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with two edible flowers.

A little spice works well opposite the sweet-sourness of the Ume Sour, so it pairs very well with something like chilli squid, or salt and pepper calamari or prawns. Saké’s Popcorn Shrimp makes a to-die-for companion with this clean cut cocktail.

SAK_Cocktalis & Matches_IMG_6753

Saketini
30ml Bombay Sapphire gin
30ml Chokarakuchi saké
5ml Dry Vermouth
5ml elderflower liqueur
Garnish: twist of lemon rind
Stir all spirits over ice. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and serve with a twist of lemon rind.

The Saketini (my favourite) matches perfectly with light seafood dishes, such as a calamari salad, as neither the cocktail nor the flavours of the dish fight to dominate but complement each other instead. Tuna sashimi with a hit of wasabi would work well with the herbaceousness of the gin. Similarly the light citrus notes of the Saketini would work perfectly with the Kingfish Jalapeno, which is Saké classic that features on the menu of all Saké restaurants.

 

J&M Whisky Bar

Another unusual choice but with my Scottish heritage I can’t go past a whisky-based cocktail! For World Cocktail Day, the fantastic bartenders and whisky specialists from J&M, Linda O’Rourke and Alex Orwin, came up with some amazing cocktails including –

Blood and Maria - J&M Cocktails

Blood and Maria
20ml    Chivas 12yo
20ml    Cynar
20ml    Antica Formula
20ml    Cherry Heering
20ml    pink grapefruit juice
Shake all ingredients and double strain into a coupette glass, garnished with two skewered maraschino cherries.

 

Raisin Mona Mac - J&M Cocktails

Raisin Mona Mac
45ml    Bulleit 95 Rye
25ml    Noilly Prat
5ml      Romate Cardenal Cisneros Pedro Ximenez
5ml      ginger syrup
10        mint leaves
Build all ingredients in the julep tin and stir with cracked ice. Garnish with a mint sprig, smoked raisins and dusted icing sugar.

 

Keep it Cordial - J&M Cocktails

Keep it Cordial
45ml    Chivas Extra
10ml    lemon juice
30ml    Blackberry & Celery Cordial
60ml    Soda Water
3ml      Pernod Absinthe
Roll whisky, lemon juice and cordial with ice in a boston shaker. Strain into a chilled high ball glass filled with cubed ice and top with chilled soda. Spray Absinthe over drink and garnish with a mint sprig and lemon wheel.

Highland Tai - J&M Cocktails (1)

Highland Tai
45ml    Aberlour 12yo
10ml    Cartron Apricot Brandy
10ml    Romate Don Jose Oloroso
15ml    Laphroiag 10yo
25ml    lemon juice
2ml      Angostura Bitters
10ml    Orgeat syrup

Add all ingredients and shake in a boston. Strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with cubed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig, lime wedge and one apricot leather roll up.

 

Tokyo Bird

Old Fashioned 2

Another great place for a whisky cocktail – Tokyo Bird‘s Old Fashioneds are to die for and you can pick your whisky based on your tastebuds or budget. Alternatively go for a random surprise drink with one of their Asian fusion style cocktails.

 

Assembly Bar

Zombie

The Zombie
You have to try this cocktail at the Assembly Bar. For a start, you’ve gotta love anything called Zombie and it comes out flaming! They sit half a lime on top of the drink in a tiki glass and sprinkle cinnamon sugar then set it alight! Amazing!
Happy World Cocktail Day Sydney Social 101 drinkers! Bring on tomorrow’s hangover…

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