Our top picks for World Class Cocktail Week 2016 in Sydney

Get ready for seven days of fine drinking as the annual World Class Cocktail Week comes to task Sydney’s best mixologists with highlighting the city’s fantastic bar culture. In the past few years, Sydney has truly stepped up to rival Melbourne’s scene of small bars; add this to the big pub revival that’s happening, as well as plenty of other notable drinking holes around the city and you’ve got yourself one of the best platforms for this program, with over 40 curated events planned. Melbourne already had its turn in early April, and now Sydney takes the reigns from today, Monday 9th May to Sunday 15th May. You’re going to have a hard time trying to fit in all these events, so let us suggest a few, whether they be one-day-only shindigs or specials running throughout the week!

Barrio Cellar (CBD)


When: Monday to Friday; Saturday
Tickets: HERE.
Address: Basement Level, 58 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

It’s no secret that Barrio Cellar is a favourite over here at the AU, and that’s for a very good reason. The perfect marriage of good Mexican street food and a huge range of Tequila and Mezcal makes this a must for those who like a bit of zest and salt with their cocktails. From today until Friday the bar team will be offering three special Don Julio Cocktails paired up with a small bite, with customers able to choose from a base of Blanco, Reposado, or Anejo, starting from $12.

Their event for World Class Cocktail Week will take place on Saturday from 5pm: a Tequila Masterclass focused on three Don Julio Tequilas and teaching guests how to pair these up with Mexican food. Tickets are $70pp and you’ll learn how to match each Tequila with the perfect Mexican meal, teaching you how to taste and make a variety of different Tequila-based cocktails.

Surly’s (Surry Hills)

When: Wednesday
Tickets: HERE or call on 0477 012 828
Address: 182 Campbell St, Surry Hills

Surry Hills BBQ hotspot Surly’s will be putting on a night of American BBQ paired up with boilermakers for their World Class event. Taking place on Wednesday from 6:30pm the event will be offering up some smoked goods like the kitchen’s popular Pork Spare Ribs and Cape Grim Beef Brisket along with a couple of boilermaker cocktails made using Bulleit Bourbon and Dickel Whisky. A soundtrack of live country, blues, and folk will be coming at you from The Sweet Jelly Rolls. Tickets are priced at $65pp and include food and two boilermakers.

The Owl House (Darlinghurst)

When: Tuesday to Sunday
Tickets: HERE or call The Owl House on 9357 5060.
Address: 97 Crown St, Darlinghurst

Another one of our absolute favourite small bars in Sydney, The Owl House, will be making full use of their new Head Chef Luke Sankey, who will be working with the bar team to design a food and cocktail pairing menu that features matches between four classic cocktails and some of the kitchen’s best food. The four-course degustation will focus on pairings of cocktails made with Julio Tequila and Bulleit Rye Whiskey among other spirits. This one will set you back $95pp.

The Swinging Cat (CBD)

When: Saturday
Tickets: HERE
Address: 44 King Street Sydne

Herb Armstrong, son of Louis Armstrong, will make a special appearance at The Swinging Cat to help them celebrate World Class Cocktail Week. The New Orleans inspired basement bar will be hosting Armstrong and his jazz group, The Royal Street Krewe, to celebrate jazz culture, soundtracking plenty of New Orleans styled cocktails available from 7pm to late. Expect Sazeracs made with Bulleit Rye Whiskey, the bar’s signature Hurricane, and a twist on the Ramos Gin Fizz using Tanqueray Gin. Tickets will be $60pp.

KSS VS Clare Bar Smackdown (Chippendale)

When: Monday
Tickets: FREE
Address: 3 Kensington St, Chippendale

Head to the excellent Kensington Street Social from 5pm tonight and they’ll be pitting their best bartenders up against two of the Clare’s best from just across the lobby, resulting in three exclusive cocktails that will be available for the “one night only” event. Claire Bar will be working with Tanqueray Gin while KSS will make use of Ketel One Vodka. The team that sells the most cocktails wins, and guests can either purchase all three at once for $40 or purchase them individually.

This Must Be The Place – World Class Winners (Darlinghurst)

When: Monday to Sunday
Tickets: N/A
Address: 239 Oxford Street Darlinghurst

This Must Be The Place is the love child of two previous Bartender of the Year winners, Luke Ashton and Charlie Ainsbury, who both represents Australia in the world class grand finals (Ashton in 2013, and Ainsbury in 2014, with him doing it all again later this year as the current World Class Australian Bartender of the Year). Both famed bartenders will be recreating their competition-winning drinks for throughout the week (3pm – 12am daily), marking the very first time these concoctions have been available for consumer purchase. Each drink will be presented with a take-home card outlining the challenge for which that drink was made, plus the inspiration and thought process behind it. Cocktails will start from $21 each, or you can grab a flight of three for $60.

Rockpool (CBD)

When: Monday to Saturday
Tickets: N/A
Address: Burns Philp building 11 Bridge Street Sydney

From 12pm Monday to Friday and from 6pm on Saturday, Rockpool’s bar will be condensing breakfast, lunch, and dinner into one menu, taking you through a full day’s worth of meals for a four-course meal, starting with brekkie and ending with a dessert cocktail. Breakfast will be Caviar with Blinis and a Ketel One Vodka cocktail made up with mint, vanilla, citrus, and Andr√© Jacquart Champagne. Lunch will then present a Chicken & Clam Ceasar Sandwich with a cocktail made from Tanqueray Gin with roasted clam juice and spices. You’ll be getting Short Rib with potato dauphines, celeriac remoulade, and a Talisker Whisky cocktail for dinner, finished with Rosso Vermouth that’s been mixed with cherry brandy and orange. Finally, a dessert cocktail to finish it all off will bring in Don Julio Reposado Tequila mixed with agave-scotch ale reduction, chocolate bitters, and Lagavulin Scotch mist.

Icebergs (Bondi)

When: Sunday
Tickets: HERE or call on 9365 9000
Address: 1 Notts Ave Bondi

For $75pp you can gain access to a special brunch thrown at Icebergs Dining Room & Bar from 10am to 11:30am to cap of World Class Cocktail Week for another year. The iconic space will be filled with a selection of breads and pastries before multiple courses including an extravagant Fruit Salad, your choice of Ocean Trout with roe and culture cream, or Frittata with porchini mushrooms, goat’s curd, and kale, and some Aged Proscuitto with organic hen’s egg, radicchio jam & focaccia. The ticket price will include one cocktail each: either the No. 242 with Tanqueray gin, grapefruit and basil; or the No. 280 with Tanqueray gin, lemon, mint and prosecco.

For a full list of events head to Broadsheet HERE


This content has recently been ported from its original home on The AU Review: Food & Lifestyle and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT theaureview.com.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.