Sydney’s best watering holes

From panoramic views of the Opera House to hidden-away backstreet venues, these are the best places to quench your thirst in the Harbour City.

EDGAR staff February 25, 2015

With the Cricket World Cup taking place in Australia until March 28, there's never been a better time to visit the host nation.

As well as being good at sports, if there's one thing the Australians are famous for, it's their incredible aptitude for a stiff drink, and, as you would imagine, the country's most populous city, Sydney, is hardly short of options for places to quench your thirst.

Here's our pick of the best bars in Sydney:

Opera Bar (also main image)

Adjacent to the city’s iconic opera house, this riverside bar is an absolute must visit. While the prices are on the steep side, you will stuggle to find anywhere in the city with a better view.

One to try: Sydney Sling - West Winds Sabre gin, pomegranate, fresh lime, mint, bitters, soda.

Details: operabar.com.au Opera Bar, Sydney.

The Botanist

Born from Sydney’s recent restaurant revival, The Botanist is a bar that is as cool and modern as you will find. Drinks are flavoured with botanical infusions and the menu is made for sharing.

One to try: Professor Plumb’s Miracle Elixir - Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, Pampero Especial Rum, peach liqueur, pineapple, guava, lime, orgeat & angostura bitters topped with ginger beer.

Details: thebotanist.com.au The Botanist, Sydney

Blu Bar on 36

Here in the Gulf, we know a thing or two about panoramic views, but even we were impressed by the vista and elegance of the Shangri-La’s showpiece bar.

One to try: Rosemary Old Fashioned - Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, cherry herring and Noccelo stirred up with rhubarb bitters and rosemary.

Details: 36levelsabove.com.au Blu Bar on 36, Sydney.

Hemmesphere

Tucked away in one of Sydney's classiest hotels - the Establishment - Hemmesphere is all about luxury, from the plush leather seating to the expertly mixed cocktails using some of the most exclusive ingredients going.

One to try: Ivy League - Hennessy XO, Galway pipe, chocolate bitters

Details: merivale.com.au/hemmesphere Hemmesphere, Sydney.

The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room

A choice of more than 30 shucked-to-order oysters are the star attraction of this charming Aussie watering hole. Communal tables encourage the sharing of food and conversation over one of the bar's excellent signature cocktails.

One to try: Oyster shot - The fresh oyster of the day, Don Julio Blanco Tequila, fresh pineapple, coriander, jalapeño and mint.

Details: themorrison.com.au The Morrison bar and Oyster Room, Sydney.

Bulletin Place

Among the glitz and glamour of some of Sydney's more upmarket drinking spots, it's refreshing to see a bar that's all about the cocktails. The cosy venue is only big enough to accommodate groups of eight or fewer, and it gets so popular that it simply won't take bookings.

One to try: Havana Goodtime - Dark rum, port, passionfruit, pineapple.

Details: bulletinplace.com Bulletin Place, Sydney.

The Cut Bar & Grill

While the New York-style steakhouse serving premium Australian beef is, of course, a big hit with the meat-loving locals, the bar is an experience in itself - serving experimental yet delicious cocktails seven days a week.

One to try: The Ginger Gent - Gentleman Jack, Massenez crème de gengibre, egg white.

Details: cutbarandgrill.com The Cut Bar and Grill, Sydney.