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Top 10 Best Cocktail Bars in Sydney 2022

Bar sprinkling juice over cocktail. Photography by Maksym Fesenko. Image via Shutterstock.

Get into the ‘spirit’ and take a sip from the best cocktails in Sydney!

A great cocktail is a welcoming gift to all, perfect for celebrating achievements or whenever your tastebuds yearn for something exciting. Whether you want a drink sweeter than chardonnay or a tastier bitter blend to substitute your lager or IPA, cocktails never disappoint. Sydney is no virgin on this matter, featuring an eclectic mix of bars serving up some scintillating and fun concoctions for your wild heart. Looking for the perfect night out? We’ve come up with a list of the best cocktail bars in Sydney.

<strong>Maybe Sammy</strong>
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Maybe Sammy

A slice of luxury in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Maybe Sammy has poured their way into becoming one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney. Taking inspiration from the roaring 50s and Hollywood glamour for their interior décor, Maybe Sammy has a vibrancy and style unlike anything else in Sydney. A selection of vintage cocktails such as the Vesper Martini are juxtaposed with fun modern twists like the Pacific Highball. So dress to the nines and say ‘yes’ to Maybe Sammy.

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115 Harrington St, The Rocks NSW 2000 Open Wednesday - Saturday
<strong>Re -</strong>
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Re -

The sweet taste of a good cocktail often comes at with a bitter aftertaste for the environment. That’s where Re- comes in, as the world’s first no-waste cocktail bar. Whether the brutalist marble benchtop or the glasses themselves, the stark modern interior comes as the result of exhaustive reuse and recycling. What isn’t recycled is the menu, which is a mix of old staples with new flavours for a one-of-a-kind experience, including the Chocolate Manhattan or the Rhubarb Negroni. A short walk from Redfern Station, don’t waste the chance to visit this modern Australian cocktail bar!

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2 Locomotive St, Eveleigh NSW 2015 Open Tuesday - Saturday
<strong>Cantina OK!</strong>
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Cantina OK!

At the end a narrow laneway mostly used for delivery trucks is one of the most exciting and unique cocktail bars in Sydney Located inside a tiny garage, Cantina Ok! is a micro mezcal mecca specialising in rare Mexican spirits. With room for only about 20 people inside, there is a warm and inviting energy as you sip on vibrant cocktails not found elsewhere in Sydney. Be sure to get in early to try some of some of the some of the best margaritas and cocktails in Sydney.

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Council Pl, Sydney NSW 2000 Open Monday - Sunday
<strong>Zephyr Sky Bar</strong>
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Zephyr Sky Bar

The best cocktail bars – without a doubt – are the ones that share fantastic rooftop views. Zephyr Sky Bar does just that, sharing a 180-degree view of Darling Harbour atop the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The added bonus here, of course, is their cocktails. They have a smart collection of classics and a wild collection of signatures, including a specialised list of gin and tonic mixes. We recommend their Zephyr Red Sangria: Cognac, vermouth, dry orange curacao, orange juice, red wine, fresh seasonal fruits, topped with ginger beer and lemonade – served to share in a punch bowl. Bask at the beauty of Sydney from Zephyr, one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney with a view.

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Level 12/161 Sussex St, Sydney NSW Open Tuesday - Sunday
<strong>Gin Lane</strong>
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Gin Lane

Kensington Street near Central Station has become a foodie paradise as of late, featuring all sorts of a food and drink inventions. Gin Lane is no exception, specialising in both foreign and locally produced gin to spectacular effect. But while you’ll surely come for the G&T’s, you’ll definitely stay for their unique signature cocktails that are as theatrical as they are tasty. How about a Gunpowder plot, with Gunpowder Tea-spiked gin, Fernet-Branca liqueur, gunpowder syrup, dandelion and burdock bitters with fresh citrus – served in a smoking cloche with Gunpowder twigs?

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16A Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008 Open Tuesday - Saturday
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PS40 is an experimentally fun bar on Skittle Lane, serving up the classics as well as a few courageous and seasonal cocktails for your tasting pleasure. Their latest concoctions include favourites such as the rum-filled Jean Claude Pandan, or the banana bread infused Breakfast Negroni, delightful surprises sure to make any night just right. Their seasonal cocktail menu also means while you can never be too sure what you’ll find, it’s guaranteed there’ll always a quirky cocktail right at your fingertips.

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40 King St Enter, Skittle Lane, Sydney NSW 2000 Open Tuesday - Saturday
<strong>Door Knock</strong>
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Door Knock

Just getting to Door Knock is half the fun. Once you find the right door on Pitt Street, head on down the flight of stairs and along a concrete corridor. Follow the signs until you reach a hefty entrance featuring a cute pineapple acting as a door knocker. Knock twice and wait, then soon you will enter the classy realm of Sydney’s underground, better known as Door Knock. May we recommend My Ex Paloma, a bittersweet cocktail consisting of hopped mezcal, smoked grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, agave, sea salt and a jello worm. You’ll be knocking regularly to get into one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney.

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70 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000 Open Monday - Saturday
<strong>Employees Only</strong>
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Employees Only

Despite the name, customers are welcome at Employees Only. Well, heartily recommended, actually. Employees Only is one of the latest flagship bars from the original establishment in New York, one of the world’s best cocktail bars. Its roaring 20s Art Deco interior mixes well with an upper-class hipster vibe; think Great Gatsby if set in Surry Hills. Classy cocktails like the Amelia – shaken blend of vodka, elderflower liqueur and puréed blackberries – are a delicacy sure to make any weekend.

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9a Barrack St, Sydney NSW 2000 Open Tuesday - Saturday
<strong>Dulcie's Kings Cross</strong>
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Dulcie's Kings Cross

Despite what you may hear about, Kings Cross is far from dead. In fact, few watering holes are still going strong as the cabaret cocktail bar of Dulcie’s Kings Cross. No need to Google what “bohemian” looks like, just head to this bar for an evening soiree and you will find out. Do you want something a little daring? Go for Fifty-Fifty Club, featuring Prohibition Bathtub Cut Gin stirred with a 50/50 balance of Regal Rouge Bold Red and Castagna Vermouth, then finished with Marionette Dry Curacao and a dash of cacao and macadamia bitters.

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44B Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point NSW 2011 Open Monday - Sunday
<strong>Palmer and Co</strong>
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Palmer and Co

There are a handful of hidden secrets in Sydney; they exist in sheltered laneways, dark corners, and through dimly-lit doorways. Palmer and Co, however, is stashed behind a metal doorway somewhere along the skinny Abercrombie Lane. Inspired by the speakeasy bars of the Prohibition-era, Palmer and Co will have you transported to the frisky 20s with its deep leather booths and exposed brickwork. Their selection of ‘Lost and Forgotten’ cocktails are a true delight, giving you a hearty cocktail not found anywhere else in Sydney. The booze will be running wild when you head on down to Palmer and Co.

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Abercrombie Ln, Sydney NSW 2000 Open Tuesday - Sunday

For those wanting to pair a great drink with an even better view, here are the 10 best rooftop bars in Sydney. And for with a taste for gin, take a look at the 17 best gin bars across Australia.

Feature image: Photographed by Maksym Fesenko. Image via Shutterstock.
This article was first published on March 27 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on August 10 2022.