World-leading Sydney bar plans London residency


The Baxter Inn

The Baxter Inn in Sydney – one of the World’s 50 Best Bars – is coming to London this week for a four-day residency.

A special menu created by the Australian bar’s beverage director, James Irvine, will be available at The Bloomsbury Club Bar at the Bloomsbury Hotel from May 24 to 27. It will include four of The Baxter Inn’s most popular cocktails, including its Old Fashioned cocktails that are served on tap.

It is part of The Bloomsbury Club Bar’s Club Residencies Project, which was launched in November last year with a residency from The Clumsies in Athens. This was shortly followed by the first residency from New York City’s BlackTail, the bar from the team behind The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in Manhattan.

The residency will immerse guests in The Baxter Inn experience, installing a collection of racing and boxing memorabilia and a letter board menu to mirror the interior of the Sydney bar (pictured).

The Baxter Inn Old Fashioned, made with Bulleit Bourbon, sugar syrup and Angostura Bitters, will be served on draught. The other cocktails will be:

  • Dublin or Nothin’, with Jameson whiskey, fresh lemon juice, crème de pêche, fresh pineapple juice, Bénédictine and fresh ginger
  • Whiskey Apple, with George Dickel whiskey and freshly pressed Granny Smith apple juice
  • Clarence St Spritz, with Tanqueray Gin, alkalised water, marjoram-infused bianco vermouth and lemon and fresh sorrel sherbet.

James Irvine has also created new cocktails for the residency, reflecting the innovation of The Baxter Inn, with each drink playing to a sense.

Bondi Beach will represent “touch”, combining Ketel One vodka, framboise eau-de-vie, lemon juice and saltbush honey water, served on a bed of edible sand (made of pretzels, digestive biscuits and brown sugar) with a scoop of citrusy tangelo and finger lime sorbet.

The Opera House plays to the sense of sound, offering guests headphones to listen to a symphony of low-pitch Baron Ochs from Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and the high-pitch Queen of Night aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute while sipping their cocktail. It contains Pampero Blanco and Añejo tequilas, Australian falernum, bitter, pomelo juice, lime and coconut sugar.

The Botanical Gardens will arouse the sense of smell with Tanqueray gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Nonino grappa, Bittermens bitters, lemon juice, grass syrup, jasmine tea, egg white and edible flowers – presented wrapped in a scent-soaked ribbon.

The fourth is called simply Baxter Inn, mixing Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, calvados Pays d’Auge, manzanilla sherry, hay-smoked honey water, Cocchi Americano, goat’s cheese and apricot bitters with a spritz of oak essence, served alongside a visual experience “portraying Baxter Inn on a busy night”.

A bespoke food menu will be available throughout the residency taking inspiration from the signature dishes at the Sydney bar alongside complimentary takeaway pretzels that will be given to all guests.

The Bloomsbury Club Bar’s bar manager Brian Calleja said: “I am delighted to be continuing to host the world’s best bars as part our Club Residencies Project and look forward to joining forces with the incredibly talented team from The Baxter Inn.”

The Baxter Inn was named the best bar in Australasia in the World’s 50 Best Bars ranking in 2016 for the third year in a row. Renowned for its 630-strong whisky selection, it features a wall of whiskies of the world, specialising in Scottish single malts. It will be bringing one of its most exclusive whiskies to serve to guests at The Bloomsbury Club Bar.

The Baxter Inn has also been recognised at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans for best international bar team and best international spirits selection.

The Bloomsbury Club Bar is open daily from 4pm until late.

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