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A cocktail bar that regularly features in critics’ top 50 lists around the world, a bar that even more regularly wins in similar ballots at a national level. Such a place is surely a gold medallist in Sydney. That place is Eau de Vie, a 1920s themed cocktail bar par excellence, whose two distinct but equally sophisticated rooms are to be found down Darlinghurst Road. The Main Bar here packs in over 500 premium spirits, while the Whisky Room is a comfortable, husky-voiced shrine to the water of life that also functions as an archive for this Sydney cocktail bar’s huge treasure trove of the world’s finest whiskies. Needless to say Eau de Vie’s bartenders (let’s dispense with the neologism mixologist, please) are also global players, more than capable of taking that top shelf nectar and whipping up all the classics plus never-before-imagined concoctions with equal aplomb. Treat yourself to this one.
Nice and cosy, liked the variation in seating areas. Staff were not as enthusiastic as I would have hoped. They were rather mechanical. I had to ask for water 3 times before I received it.
On the plus side we were a little late for our booking and they kindly held our table but... the service was terrible. The maitre de was rude and there was not one item of food on the menu that was available. We were 8 professional women prepared to eat and drink a considerable amount and yet we were repeatedly told our table was booked from 10 and we would have to vacate. Meanwhile there were plenty of other tables available. Such a shame as we loved the venue. Wont be coming back.
Great service, great atmosphere. Drinks are a good price for the quality you are getting. Good food options, the boards were delicious. Will be returning!
Eau de Vie oozes sophistication; it’s a Sydney cocktail bar that’s cherrypicked the best of the Golden Age of the cocktail, both in terms of their top-flight drinks selection and the atmosphere of their Darlinghurst Road hideaway. But this peerless understanding of what classic cocktail bar actually means is precisely why Eau de Vie is at once impeccably turned out, elegant as all hell, but – there you go – also the epitome of underworld, Prohibition-era charm, where the line between the virtuous and the fallen is as muddled as mint and sugar at the bottom of a Boston. You can have a damn good time here, and this is all thanks to their rogue’s gallery of cocktails, a long, long list that covers all the traditional bases and shoots for the future, thanks to their steady-handed and never effusive embrace of molecular mixology. Oh dear, that term again. Let’s put it this way, Eau de Vie’s bartenders know their Chambord, and their liquid nitrogen, and they aren’t afraid to use it.
For those in Sydney who consider themselves connoisseurs of whisky or whiskey or both, Eau de Vie is probably a household name, much to the chagrin of their teetotal or simply less erudite fellow householders. Eau de Vie’s Malt Masters is a VIP club dedicated to the water of life, offering discounts to members across the bar’s vast range, all chronicled in the Eau de Vie’s own Whisky Club Book. Members also receive discounts on Eau de Vie Appreciation Society events, monthly tastings covering topics as diverse as absinthe, tequila, whisky, tequila… and other examples drawn from the alcoholic cosmos. Admittedly, this Society caters to a specific interest group, but those wanting to get their hands dirty, or at least a little damp, are encouraged to sign up for Eau de Vie’s famous cocktail classes. The ultimate way to slip into Eau de Vie’s jazzy, netherworldly mood is to book out part or all of their opulently appointed Darlinghurst Road premises for a private function. Besides the Main Bar and the Whisky Room, Eau de Vie also houses The Apothecary, where Eau de Vie’s more avant-garde creations are revealed. This is an inimitable place for a casual drink or a night of boozy exploration.