The recommendation for Eau de Vie came from the guys at 1806. It's not the easiest bar in the world to find being hidden at the back of the Kirketon, a boutique hotel in Darlinghurst.
Go in, cross the foyer ignoring the bar to your left, pass through the forbidding black doors with nothing on them, show no interest in the toilets and head through more anonymous doors to find a cosy low lit bar. Alternatively stroll up to the desk and ask for Eau de Vie, brooking no refusal.
The trouble is absolutely worth it. These guys know their stuff and have a very well stocked bar. We had a quick look at the menu & then callously discarded it, after all competent bar staff had recommended it. That and we were ordering classics, if they weren't good we would be leaving.
A gimlet, A Manhattan & A Gibson. The Manhattan was of course to the same exacting specifications as ever. The Gimlet provoked discussion, this one was made with Rose's cordial& lime juice and proportions were discussed. The Gibson was served on the side, some thing I wholly approve of, it keeps the gin cold but doesn't dilute it.
From there things got pretty technical, Old fashioneds were talked about & made, and we dived into the odder areas of some old books which led to me drinking a Hanky Panky. An all but forgotten variant on a perfect Martini that requires the addition of Fernet Branca. Its a damn fine drink and if you can get Fernet or have a friendly bar that has it give this a go (I'll be talking about another forgotten drink tomorrow).
What can I say, its a comfortable, well stocked bar staffed by people that know their drink. The prices are what you'd expect, some of the top shelf additions will push the cost over $50 (aus) per drink, but you don't have to go there. Oh the desk staff ? They are really friendly & told us where to get some great seafood.