Shake up your weekend at the best cocktail bars in Sydney!

Sydney are you ready to get into the spirit?

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 of 2023.

<strong>Cantina OK!</strong>
Photographed by Jem Cresswell. Image via Destination NSW.

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 the best margaritas and cocktails in Sydney.

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Council Pl, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Door Knock</strong>
Photographed by Ash Edmonds. Image via Unsplash.

Door Knock

Just getting to Door Knock is half the fun. Once you find the right door on Pitt Street, head 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 best underground and hidden bar, 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
<strong>Dulcie's Kings Cross</strong>
Image supplied via @dulcieskingscross Instagram.

Dulcie's Kings Cross

Despite what you may hear, Kings Cross is far from dead. In fact, a 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 the Fifty-Fifty Club, featuring Prohibition Bathtub Cut Gin stirred with an equal 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
<strong>Employees Only</strong>
Image supplied.

Employees Only

Despite the name, customers are welcome at Employees Only. 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
<strong>Gin Lane</strong>
Photographed by Trent Van Der Jagt. Image supplied.

Gin Lane

Kensington Street near Central Station has become a foodie paradise as of late, featuring all sorts of 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 just as theatrical as they are tasty. How about a Gunpowder Plot? Made with Gunpowder Tea-spiked gin, Fernet-Branca liqueur, gunpowder syrup, dandelion and burdock bitters with fresh citrus and then served in a smoking cloche with Gunpowder twigs? One of the best cocktail bars in Sydney!

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16A Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW 2008
<strong>Maybe Sammy</strong>
Photographed by Dick Sweeney. Image via Destination NSW.

Maybe Sammy

A slice of luxury in the heart of the city, Maybe Sammy has poured their way into becoming one of the best cocktail bars in Sydney’s CBD. 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. This cocktail bar in The Rocks has a selection of vintage cocktails such as the Vesper Martini which 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
<strong>Palmer and Co</strong>
Image via Destination NSW.

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
Photographed by Kobby Mendez. Image via Unsplash.


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 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 be a quirky cocktail right at your fingertips.

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40 King St Enter, Skittle Lane, Sydney, NSW 2000
<strong>Re -</strong>
Photographed by Anna Kucera. Image via Destination NSW.

Re -

The sweet taste of a good cocktail often comes with a bitter aftertaste for the environment. That’s where Re- comes in, as the world’s first no-waste cocktail bar. Whether its 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. Just 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
<strong>Zephyr Sky Bar</strong>
Photographed by Lefteris Kallergis. Image via Unsplash.

Zephyr Sky Bar

The best cocktail bars, without a doubt, are the ones that share fantastic rooftop views. If you’re looking for a cocktail bar in Sydney with a view, Zephyr Sky Bar does just that sharing a 180-degree view of Darling Harbour atop the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The added bonus here is of course 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 with 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 that the city has to offer at one of the best rooftop bars in Sydney.

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Level 12/161 Sussex St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Go sky high with our list of the 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Sydney 0f 2023. Or, for something more relaxed, grab a beer and a feed at the 10 Best Pubs in Sydney to Visit in 2023.

Feature image: Re – Bar, Sydney. Photographed by Anna Kucera. Image via Destination NSW.
This article was first published on March 27 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on September 01 2023.