Bar, Sydney

To all good things, an end must come.

The death knell has sounded. Sydney is losing an institution.

The Bayswater Brasserie is to close. While the move might not come as a surprise to everyone, the staff were left scratching their heads after receiving their marching orders and four weeks notice.

There is talk of renovation, renewal and a fresh start. I hope they keep their position as something very special in a strip that blurs comfortably into drunken sameness, but I also hope they take the chance on something new. I couldn’t stand to sit there in a place filled with echos  (and sand) of parties gone by, pining for something that has escaped, gone.

I’ve written many times about my love for the venue, its personality, charm and intoxicating nature. I will be very sad to see it go.

You can find out more (although not much more) over here.


73 Bars to visit before you die.

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The post Tales glow of media interest in the finer points of drinking seems to still be in full swing, with the Times putting up a story on the World’s Biggest Bar Crawl, a seminar put on by Angus Winchester and Simon Ford. It lists out 73 bars from around the world that you really should make a point of visiting before you expire.

Having been to but a few, I am sure that the journey will not be without rewards.

Sydneysiders are woefully underrepresented in the list, but frankly its a fair reflection when you put any of the local places up against any on this list. Happy to see my personal favourite making the list though. The only other place to make the list in Sydney was La Brasserie, which I haven’t yet visited, but is scandalously close to my work in the Surry Hills.

6 bars out of 73 is not a position that I feel comfortable with. I shall change it directly

Anyway, here’s the list:

  1. Alibi, 811 Iberville Street, New Orleans; (504) 522-9187
  2. Andres Carné de Res Restaurante Bailadero, Calle 3 No 11a-56 Chica, Colombia, (near Bogota); 011-57-863-7880. (Everything in it is recycled.)
  3. Apoteke, Tromoso, Norway
  4. The Bar Hemingway, 15, Place Vendôme, Paris; 011-33-1-4316-3365
  5. Bar High Five, in the Ginza area of Tokyo
  6. Barfly’s Club, Esterhazygasse 33, Vienna; 011-43-1-586-0825. (The cocktail list is 75 pages long, with 60 different ryes and 600 single malts.)
  7. Bayswater Brasserie, 32 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, Sydney 011-61-9347-2177
  8. Bel Ami Restaurant & Lounge, 1591 Willamette Street, Eugene, Ore.
  9. Black Friars Distillery, 60 Southside Street, Plymouth, UK; 011-44-1752-665-292
  10. Bix, 56 Gold Street, San Francisco; 011-415-433-6300
  11. Boadas Cocktail Bar, C/ Tallers 1, Barcelona; 011-34-933-188-826. (Hemingway drank here.)
  12. Bourbon, 2348 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, D.C.; (202) 625-7770
  13. Bourbon and Branch, 522 Jones Street, San Francisco; (415) 673-1921
  14. Burj Al Arab, Dubai; 011-971-4-3017-600; (World’s most expensive cocktail.)
  15. Bramble Bar & Lounge, 16 Queen Street, Edinburgh; 011-44-0131-226-6343
  16. Café Tortoni, 825 Av De Mayo Buenos Aires, Argentina 011-54-11-4342-4328
  17. Captain’s Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Hong Kong; 011-852-2825-4006. (Locale for Hong Kong businessmen; try the gunner — ginger ale, ginger beer, angostura bitters.)
  18. Carousel Bar, 214 Royal Street, New Orleans; (504) 523-3341
  19. China Club, 13/F, Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Hong Kong; 011-852-2521-8888
  20. Churchill Downs, 700 Central Avenue, Louisville, Ky.; (502) 636-4400. (For a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby.)
  21. Constellation, 96 Xinle Lu, Huaihai Zhong Lu, 5404-0970 Shanghai, China
  22. Death + Company, 433 East 6th Street, New York; (212) 388-0882
  23. Der Raum, 438 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne 011-61-3-9428-0055
  24. The Doheny, 714 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles
  25. door 74, Reguliersdwarsstraat 74, Amsterdam; 011-31-6-3404-5122
  26. Downtown Hotel, Corner of Second and Queen, Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. (Members only; 7,000 members.)
  27. Drink, 348 Congress Street, No. 101, Boston; (617) 695-1806
  28. Dry Martini, C/ Aribau 162, Barcelona 011-34-932-175-080. (Truly wonderful bar for the martini.)
  29. The Dukes Hotel, 35-36 St James’s Place, London. (The naked martini.)
  30. The Edison, 108 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles; (213) 784-3678
  31. Eighteen-O-Six (1806), 169 Exhibition Street, Melbourne; 011-61-3-9663-7722
  32. Felix at the Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong; 011-852-2920-2888. (Designed by Philippe Starck, more for the view than the drinks.)
  33. Fifty London, 50 Saint James’s Street, London; 011-44-870-415-5050
  34. Flatiron Lounge, 37 West 19th Street, New York; (212) 727-7741
  35. The Florida Room, 1685 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; (305) 672-2000
  36. The Gibson, 2009 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C.; (202) 232-2156
  37. Harry’s New York Bar, 5, Rue Daunou, Paris; 011-33-1-42-61-71-14. (A bit touristy.)
  38. King Cole Bar Lounge, St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th Street, New York; (212) 753-4500
  39. La Brasserie Restaurant, 118-126 Crown Street, Sydney; 011-61-2-9358-1222
  40. La Floridita, Obispo No. 557 esq. a Monserrate, Havana, 10100, Cuba; 011-53-7-8671300
  41. LAB, 12 Old Compton Street, London; 011-44-20-7437-7820
  42. Le Lion – Bar de Paris, Rathausstraße 3, Hamburg, Germany; 011-49-40-3347-5378-0
  43. The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore; 011-65-6337-1886
  44. Matterhorn, 106 Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand; 011-64-4-384-3359
  45. Merchants Hotel, 35-39 Waring Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland; 011-44-28-90234888
  46. Milk & Honey, 134 Eldridge Street, New York; (212) 625-3397
  47. Motel Bar, Level 1/4th Forresters Lane, Wellington, New Zealand; 011-64-4-384-9084
  48. Nottingham Forest, Viale Piave, 1, Milan; 011-39-02-798311. (Bartender: Dario Camini.)
  49. The Old Absinthe House, 240 Bourbon Street, New Orleans; (504) 523-3181
  50. Old Town Bar, 45 East 18th Street, New York; (212) 529-6732
  51. Olive Bar & Kitchen, 14 Union Park Khar., Mumbai, India; 011-91-22-2605-8228.
  52. P. J. Clarke’s, 915 Third Avenue, New York; (212) 317-1616
  53. Paparazzi, Laurinská 1, Bratislava, Slovakia; 011-42-1-25-464-0777
  54. PDT, 113 Saint Marks Place, New York; (212) 614-0386
  55. Pegu Club, 77 West Houston Street, New York; (212) 473-7348
  56. PX, Alexandria, Va. (Todd Thrasher’s place.)
  57. The Quaich Bar at the Craigellachie Hotel, Speyside, Scotland; 011-44-01340-881204
  58. Quo Vadis Club, 26 Dean Street, London; 011-44-20-7437-9585. (Private members’ club.)
  59. The Rainbow Room, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York; (212) 632-5000
  60. The Randolf, 349 Broome Street, New York; (212) 274-0667
  61. Ricks, The Taj Mahal Hotel, 1, Mansingh Road, New Delhi; 011-91-11-230-26-162
  62. Ruby, 10 Nybrogade Street, Copenhagen; 011-45-3393-1203
  63. The Savoy Hotel, The Strand, London, 011-44-20-783-64-343
  64. Schumann’s Bar, Odeonsplatz 6+7, Munich; 011-49-089-22-90-60
  65. Sky Bar, Страстной бул., 8а, Moscow; 011-7-495-694-02-10. (Great views of panoramic Moscow and rich Russians.)
  66. Tender Bar, Nogakudo Building, 6-5-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; 011-81-3-3571-8343
  67. Tiki Lounge and Bar, 327 Swan Street, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia; 011-61-3-9428-4336
  68. The Tippling Club, 8D Dempsey Road, Singapore; 011-65-6475-2217
  69. Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, 5929 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco; (415) 387-4747
  70. Vessel, 1312 Fifth Avenue, Seattle; (206) 652-0521
  71. Westin, Calgary, Alberta; (403) 699-9843
  72. Widder Bar, Rennweg 7, Zurich; 011-41-44-224-2411
  73. Zig Zag Café, 1501 Western Avenue, Seattle; (206) 625-1146

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Green ChartreuseAnyone who has tried a Lambic Beer, or Trappist for that matter, or even as a youngster sampled the delights of the Fragelico bottle, over ice with a squeeze of lime, will be certain of one thing. When monks are involved with the production of liquor, the results are very special.

Chartreuse is named for the monastery in which it was originally produced, and while production has been standardized and moved to a factory in a nearby village, the monks are still supervizing operations, though I can’t quite shake the picture over fat, drunk monks from my head when I write this.

To say Chartreuse is an acquired taste is somewhat of an understatement, 150 herbal extracts are used in the production and chlorophyl to color  the final product. Some less friendly bartenders have poured shots for unsuspecting patrons wanting a shot of something strong. (perhaps Chartreuse is, in fact, a kinder mistress than Fernet.) 

Personally, I quite like the taste myself, herby to the extreme and packing good heat, all wrapped in a finely produced package of liqueur-y goodness. 

Cocktails that use this little gem are hard to come by, but this is my particular favourite, for any number of reasons. 

Cecil Baker (Naren Young)
50ml gin (preferably one with a stronger botanical flavour and aroma)
10ml green chartreuse
10ml pomme verte
5ml passionfruit syrup
Pulp of 1 passionfruit
Stir like an old fashioned with large cubed ice
garnish with a sprig of thyme (or rosemary)

The reason this drink is so special is that if a person receiving the drink asks – who is Cecil Baker? they are given a different answer each time the cocktail is made. He was the ass double for Brad Pitt in Troy, a genius twist on the naming and preparation of a drink. 

And to top it all off, it was invented at the Bayswater Brasserie

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