When in Darlinghurst, heading up a dimly-lit staircase is always a stellar idea. Better yet, if it transports you to a warm, cosy, and vintage hideout for some of Sydney’s best cocktails. The mid-century decor of The Long Goodbye, complemented by candlelight, sundry antiques, and chesterfield lounges would have you believe you’d stepped into a page of the Raymond Chandler novel (the bar’s namesake).
Walking through, we were welcomed by an equally intimate group, eagerly anticipating a demonstration from cocktail maestro Flynn McLennan.
Also the owner of Kagura, Flynn had a penchant for bespoke liquors and spirits, as was evident in the three stellar creations of his we got to try out. We were forewarned – these cocktails were deceptive in their strength.
Starting off, we witnessed magical things being done to an otherwise ordinary prosecco flute. Coupled with gin, elderflower syrup and more, the prosecco quickly transformed into a zesty, citrusy cocktail before our very eyes.
As we savoured the last drops of this lovely first cocktail of the evening, it was as though ninjas had sneakily restocked the bar-top with a line of gorgeous coupe glasses, awaiting the next delectable concoction.
We got to go hands-on with this one, as Flynn had a couple of us behind the bar – tumblers in had – putting our bartending skills to the test. Appropriately named ‘Passion of the Spiced,’ this sweet mix of passionfruit liqueur, juice, cardamom flavoured rum had my friend – on first sip – squeal “my love for passion fruit has been renewed!’
Last but not least, was one to knock your socks off.
Served in a rocks glass, this cocktail was the perfect opportunity to showcase their uber-cool ice sculpting thing-a-magic, creating perfectly spherical ice cubes to be topped up with not one but two whiskies, an artichoke-based liquor (yup, that’s a thing) called Cynar, and just enough sherry to smooth things out.
Each cocktail stood on their own merits – each immaculately crafted and equally delicious – making it impossible to pick a favourite! But, what really set them apart was the to-die-for calibre dangerous pairing of Flynn’s mixological prowess and the authentic flavours of the natural syrup liqueurs made in-house. Using ultrasonic techniques to concentrate these flavours from the freshest of fruits, the drinks at the establishment were as unique as the space itself.
Be it a school night or a weekend, first date or a friend-date, any occasion deserving a long goodbye is perfect for a trip to The Long Goodbye.