Christmas cheers: the best after-work drinks in The Rocks
THE DOSS HOUSE
Chateau Tanunda serves what may be Australia’s best red wines in heritage surrounds in The Rocks. This charming little cellar door is hiding away on Nurses Walk in a sandstone building, with a cellar stocked full of fine vintages from the Barossa region’s oldest and most acclaimed winery. If you like full-bodied, smooth Shiraz, we’d argue this is the best place in the country to taste it - red is the colour of Christmas, after all.
Your new favourite spot has opened in The Rocks just in time for a little Christmas Merriment. Hickson House is a distillery and bar in a restored industrial brick building right near the harbour in The Rocks, with a gigantic selection of hard-to-find spirits, including their very own Hickson House Gin, distilled right in the bar.
For jolly good times and atmosphere, stay down in the larger, main bar; or for a quiet catch up and a bite, head up to the intimate mezzanine bar which seats 40. Whatever you do, make sure you check out their awesome distillery which can be viewed from the bar.
Christmas is all about community and generosity, both of which The Keel has in spades. This intimate rum bar doesn’t just pour drinks - they support four charities per year and operate with sustainability in mind.
They are serving a seasonal menu with highlights like rum-cured snapper and freshly shucked oysters. But the real highlights are the rum cocktails, concocted by expert mixologists and guaranteed to make you feel jolly this Christmas.
Frank Mac’s is an old school cocktail and gin bar, inside a lovingly restored two story sandstone heritage building on George Street. The interior is achingly cool, a cross between a historic library and an illicit speak easy - but the best part is what’s behind the bar. These guys stock Sydney’s best gin selection, with over 80 botanicals from Australia and all over the world. The bartenders know their stuff too, mixing a selection of cocktails that are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.
ENDEAVOUR TAP ROOMS
A brewery, bar and restaurant with seating out on the cobblestones, so you can soak up the festive atmosphere inside and out. Endeavour Tap Rooms brew their signature, experimental Endeavour beers in-house, with nine taps on rotation, and they also pour seasonal cocktails and NSW wines from the keg, as supplied by their favourite winemakers. Plus, you can fill your belly with a range of smoked produce from the land and sea, served feast-style and accompanied with vibrant salads and house-made sauces.
Take the first doorway on the right in Kendall Lane, follow the stairs and you’ve found Mrs. Jones. Sitting above one of Sydney’s oldest pubs, Mrs. Jones is a modern, open-air terrace where you’ll find great cocktails and awesome vibes. Toast to the season with a delicious jug of rosé sangria (French rosé, Martini Riserva Vermouth, grenadine syrup, lime, mint and rose petals) and take a sit overlooking all the action of The Rocks Christmas Markets below.
Settle in on The Glenmore’s famous rooftop and soak up the incredible harbour views with a refreshing cocktail in hand. There’s Pimms cocktails and espresso martinis on tap, and a kitchen serving up classic pub grub with a modern twist. With panoramic views across the water and overlooking the Sydney Opera House, it’s an incredible spot to unwind after work and toast to the season as the sun sets around you.
THE AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE HOTEL
If you fancy a cold schooner, a little sunshine and an after-work yarn head to The Australian Heritage Hotel. One of the oldest pubs in Sydney, this charming watering hole serves over 130 craft beers and gourmet pizzas made with surprising Aussie ingredients, from crocodile to kangaroo.
Feeling a little sophisticated? Pop into Bar Lulu, a stylish and intimate cocktail bar located above Luna Lu restaurant in the heart of The Rocks. They serve fiery Chinese cuisine made with the freshest Australian produce, as well as creative cocktails like the Juane de Poire - a new-world old fashioned featuring Chinese yellow wine and gin. Grab a plush blue velvet booth and settle in for the night!
A sandstone heritage building in the heart of The Rocks has been transformed into a nautical-themed cocktail bar. This stylish multi-level venue is perfect for your after-work tipple - it has an expansive balcony perfect for catching afternoon sun, a huge drinks list and a regular line up of some of Sydney’s best DJs (if the after-work drinks escalate into a night out).
El Camino Cantina
In Mexico, they celebrate Christmas for an entire month, from December 12 until January 6. El Camino are keeping the fiesta going all summer, with their famous Tex Mex food, signature margaritas, cold Mexican cervezas and huge selection of mezcals and tequilas. See you there amigo!
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