Sydney rooftop venue Smoke Bar at Barangaroo House has a new cocktail menu that evokes nostalgia with unexpected flavours such as chicken salt and Hawaiian pizza.
The inspiration for the ‘Memory Vol 1’ menu comes from moments such as enjoying chicken salt on fish and chips, eating oranges at halftime and smelling freshly cut grass.
Drinks Digest dropped into Smoke to sample it and wasn’t just reminded of our youth, but also what a stunning spot it is for a sunset drink.
Our favourite cocktail on the menu was the Hawaiian or Margarita, made using house-made bacon-infused tequila; caramelised pineapple; Cointreau; roasted-tomato syrup; and lime. Served in a margarita glass with a dehydrated bacon rim and a shot of Coca-Cola on the side, it’s inspired by the team’s memories of Friday night takeaway pizza washed down with soft drink.
Bar manager Jai Lyons popped over to explain the unexpected benefit of the Coke shot which, when sipped with the cocktail, really brings out the pineapple flavour in it. Delicious!
We also loved the Livin’ is Easy, which evokes the scent of freshly cut summer grass. It’s made with house-made mandarin vinegar; house-made karkalla (sea herb) and rose geranium cordial; Bombay Premier Cru gin; and Aperol. Force carbonated to add some bubbles, it’s served tableside with a spritz of cut grass scent and a plantable card.
We didn’t have a chance to try the Chicken Salt Martini made with Four Pillars’ olive leaf gin and a house-made chicken salt sherry and rice syrup and garnished with a deep-fried potato twill, Smoke’s modern take on the humble chip. But it looked delicious.
And we’re keen to return to sample the Save the Day, which echoes how we all felt when that ice cream truck tune came within earshot. Raspberry horchata (a creamy Mexican drink made by blending milk, rice, cinnamon, and raspberry); vanilla whey; vodka; and Saint Feliz aperitif are shaken and strained into a highball and topped with raspberry and vanilla foam. Then, add your choice of classic soft serve topping – 100s and 1000s or flake.
Lyons said: “Memory is all about a fun and playful way to reminisce about things that are universally Australian and make every sip a trip down memory lane.
“As a team, we wanted to really push our creativity – all have an element of theatre when served and we’re making all syrups, vinegars, purees, infused spirits and wines, and liqueurs in-house using techniques including sous-vide, clarification, switching, force carbonation, and cold infusion.”
Smoke also serves fabulous bar snacks – we sampled the explosively flavoured tempura zucchini flower stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, the togarashi popcorn with spicy sichimi salt and the kingfish tartlet with jalapeño and roe.
Head to Smoke to try the limited edition ‘Memory’ cocktail menu. You’ll find the bar on Level 2, Barangaroo House, 35 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney.