The Fourth Drink of Christmas: The Sugared Plum Fairy.

So it’s Christmas, so I’m hoping for a little forgiveness that my 12 drinks project has fallen by the wayside as I’ve rushed to get home to New Zealand, marry the girl of my dreams and drink some pretty spectacular bottles of Champagne along the way.

The Sugared plum fairy came out of the idea that you could combine absinthe and Umeshu (Japanese sweet plum wine.) I’ve made a number of attempts, none of them even remotely successful. I’d welcome a successful cocktail including these ingredients, but for now, just add an egg white to 60mls of Umeshu, 15mls fresh lemon juice, 7.5mls Ardberg 10 yr old, emulisify and shake hard over ice, serve in a sugar rimmed vessel.

Bar, Restaurant, Sydney


Picture 5

Toko sets the bar for modern Japanese in Sydney, while its not the same as the food I’ve enjoyed in the land of the rising sun, it does a fantastic job of showcasing the fantastic seafood that is available here. 

There are no bookings taken here, apart from the large function room out the back that’s only really available to groups of 20 plus. Arrive early if you are looking to eat, especially on the weekend. The experience of being told there is a 2 hour wait isn’t perhaps the warmest way to first experience a restaurant but the fare is definitely worth the wait.

Toko, despite high prices seems completely unaffected by the recession, so expect a crowd to go with that wait.

All of this apparent negativity is tempered by the cocktails on offer. There is a plethora of handcrafted ingredients available behind the bar, from infusions of liquor, authentic japanese ingredients and sugars, not to mention a mammoth block of double frozen ice sitting on the countertop.

Standouts for me are the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac, both great examples of modern variations on the original, they capture the essence but offer something interesting, contemporary and tasty. This one’s also a contempo classic winner:

Ume Plum Crusta

Muddled Ume plums (a salty preserved Tokyo treat) with Hennessy VSOP, plum sake and lemon juice, served with a citrus sugar rim.


The longer drinks are great too, especially when temperatures in Sydney start to climb and the out door seating area really comes into play.

Yamazaki Mule

Red grapes muddled with quince paste & ginger sugar, shaken up with Glenfiddich 15yr old, poured long with ginger beer.


490 crown street

surry hills
nsw australia 2010

Google map here.

T: +61 2 9357 6100

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