My fellow Cocktail Trail girls signed up for March into Merivale’s Cocktail Express this year. An opportunity to sample four cocktails and canapes at four Merivale bars. The bars were kept hush-hush until the night, but we were grinning ear to ear when we discovered the bars were Gin Garden, Hemmesphere, Ivy Pool Bar & IvyLounge.
Our meeting spot for the start of our night was Gin Garden – a beautiful hidden gem at the back of Establishment. This little bar is filled to the brim with hanging plants, archaic columns, birdcage-like light features, tall bamboo shoots and lighted candles.
It’s one of the only bars in Sydney that serves up 24 types of gin – so it was fitting to sample their Conservatory Martini; a shaken cocktail of fresh lychees, Plymoth Gin and cloudy apple juice; my favourite cocktail of the night. It was perfectly matched with a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich bite and a crispy risotto ball.
252 George St
Next stop, Hemmesphere; upstairs from the Establishment. Influenced by the Ottoman Empire, this very intimate bar is decorated with deep leather couches, cigar filled glass cabinets, dim lighting and plenty of soft cushions.
The cocktail of choice is the Bordeaux; a mix of soda, wine and citrus served with a crispy wonton wrapper topped with prawn. Not my favourite cocktail of the night, but it was definitely a nice and refreshing change from the fruity cocktails devoured all night.
Level 4, 252 George St
The most anticipated bar of the night, Ivy’s Pool Bar. Imagine of a piece of Miami dropped in the middle of the bustling and brightly lit city – a beautiful pool surrounded by private cabanas, palm trees and white lounging deck chairs.
Their cocktail of choice was the Pink Flamingo; shaken with gin, lime, grapefruit topped with basil and served with a slice of crispy, greasy cheese pizza. One of my favourite cocktails of the night, with a bite of sweet and tang.
Ivy Pool Bar
Level 4, 320 George St
The last bar on our express agenda was the IvyLounge. The IvyLounge overlooks the Ivy Bar and adopts an elegant and simplistic approach with a 1950s influence. It’s decked out with beautiful sleek black furniture, bright coloured lounges, marble table tops and over-the-top ferns.
Our last cocktail is death in a martini glass; a mix of vodka, blackberry, orange and a dash of passionfruit. It’s matched with mini Wagyu beef burgers with tomato, cucumber & spicy house sauce – my favourite canape of the night.
330 George St
This event was apart of March into Merivale 2010.