While there is plenty of history to be discovered of exactly where and when the cocktail was created, their rise to popularity was particularly notable during the prohibition years in the US. There’s nothing quite like adding fruit juice, sodas and other mixers to hide the taste of wood alcohol and bathtub gin!
Thankfully today cocktails are less about disguising questionable alcohol and more about enjoying the sense of festivity they bring to an occasion or gathering. And the best part? Balmain Peninsula plays host to a glorious array of cocktail bars, most within walking distance from your home. It’s a win-win!
Here are a few of our favourite Balmain cocktail bars, and make sure you read to the end to check out a couple of popular cocktail recipes to recreate at your next celebration or soiree.
Darling Street cocktail bars
Wilhelmina’s at 332 Darling Street is not only an ideal place to grab a classic cocktail (anyone for a Pisco Sour?), but is also a well-established eatery, renowned for its fresh, seasonable menu.
The Lodge Bar at 3/415 Darling Street is an intimate cocktail and wine bar in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Grab yourself a Cinnamon Pash or two, a shared platter, and you’ll never want to leave.
The Cottage at 342 Darling Street is the local where everybody knows your name. And with a cocktail called ‘Remember me in the morning’, you know it’s always going to be a great night here.
Cantina Bar at 350 Darling Street is where you’ll come for the authentic Latin-Mex cuisine and stay for the Jalapeños Margaritas. Hola, amigos!
Rita’s Bar & Kitchen is located in the Cat and Fiddle Hotel, 456 Darling Street. Order from their extensive sharing menu, and line yourself up for one of their signature cocktails ‒ we’ll take one Lavender Lady please!
Rozelle cocktail bars
Corner Bar is at the Rozelle end of Darling Street, number 632 to be exact, and here’s where you can set yourself up for an evening of delicious food and incredible cocktails. Cosy and intimate, it describes itself as a slice of New York in the back streets of Sydney.
Local Bar at 729 Darling Street is what a neighbourhood bar should be all about ‒ great food, a place to grab a drink, live music on the weekend and no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet.
DIY cocktails on the Balmain Peninsula
Looking to entertain at home? Here are a couple of our favourite cocktail recipes.
While normally based on vodka, a gimlet is an easy, popular choice for gin lovers ( a growing number these days, it seems). This one is a little twist on a traditional gimlet, due to the addition of St. Germain.
- 60 ml gin
- 30 ml St Germain (an elderflower liqueur)
- 30 ml lime juice
If you can’t source St Germain, you can substitute with a supermarket elderflower cordial.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the three ingredients above, and shake until it is mixed/chilled. Either strain into a cocktail glass, or into a rocks glass with ice. Enjoy!
An Italian cocktail, this one is served stirred, not shaken (sorry, James Bond).
- 25 ml gin
- 25 ml sweet vermouth
- 25 ml Campari
- slice of orange (for the garnish)
Pour the gin, vermouth and Campari into a glass or jug with ice, stirring until the outside of the vessel feels cold. Strain into your drinking glass and add fresh ice and an orange slice garnish. For drama, use a blood orange when they’re in season.
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