World Whisky Day is coming this weekend, and you better believe that some of Australia’s best drinking holes are going to be pulling out the rarities and underrated gems to celebrate. It’s the World Record Day of Whisky, and each year drams the world over are swirled, sniffed and sipped to toast to one of the most wonderfully diverse liquids of our time. There’ll be plenty of this going on around the country on Saturday 20th May (and beyond), but here are some of our top picks for the cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
The Cut Bar & Grill
One of the city’s most consistent underground steakhouses, The Cut Bar & Grill, will be pouring their classy ambiance into a World Whisky Day dinner on Sat 20th May, hosted alongside a showcase of Woodford Whisky. Head chef Joel Wootten has led the kitchen in curating a four-course menu to match up with various expressions from the Woodford family, including Distillers Select, Double Oaked & Rye, and Master Collection White Corn. It’s one of the more premium options for the day, set at $150 per person.
Bookings are essential at cutbarandgrill.com.
16 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Tokyo Bird (Surry Hills)
Tokyo Bird, the popular Surry Hills speakeasy which shares a team with Tramsheds’ popular Osaka Trading Co., are going to be offering World Whisky Day tasting flights from 1pm on the Saturday, right up until midnight. The offering here is a range of whisky tasting boards paired up with a specially created, whisky-inspired food menu, meaning you can chow on some excellent Japanese bar food along with your choice of five different flights covering world and Japanese whiskies. Our pick is the “Old & Rare” Japanese whisky flight, but it all depends on your palate.
Bookings are essential at tokyobird.com.au.
Tokyo Bird and Osaka Trading Co. are also offering up five different whisky cocktails that have been created especially in salute toe World Whisky Day by bar manager Yoshi Onishi. They each feature a dram of whisky from a different whisky producing country, so that’s Japan, Scotland, Australia, Ireland and the U.S, and are available now up until 24th May.
Commonwealth St & Belmore Lane, Surry Hills
Osaka Trading Co. (Forest Lodge)
Head on over to the historic Tramsheds revamp and make a bee-line for Osaka Trading Co. on Tuesday 23rd May, as they’ll be offering two different sittings of a special “World Whisky Dinner”. Head chef Shota Sato has created five unique dishes (with a seafood focus) to pair with five different world whiskies of the world. A ticket gets all five plus a Suntory Kakubin whisky highball and appetiser on arrival.
Bookings are essential at osakatrading.com.au.
1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
Image: Tokyo Bird
The Whisky Show (Mascot)
Sydney’s turn to host The Whisky Show (Melbourne’s version falls in August) is perfectly timed for World Whisky Day, being as it’s across both Friday 19th and Saturday 20th May. Though it’s curiously located at Stamford Plaza, Sydney Airport, this will be the spot if you want a comprehensive and festive celebration of whisky on the weekend. Over 25 exhibitors will be present alongside around 200 different types of whisky, highlighting a whole range of flavour profiles from around the world. Sessions throughout the day are limited to 500 entries each so you’ll have plenty of space to sample and swirl your next favourite expression.
Tickets are $80pp and can be purchased from the thewhiskyshow.net.
241 O’Riordan St, Mascot
Okay so they may not have any specific event planned for World Whisky Day, but Saturday’s going to be as good an excuse as any to head along to one of the best openings in Sydney so far this year. The same team that brought us The Roosevelt and Eau de Vie have opened this rustic ode to viking legend in Redfern, as much a whisky bar as it is a carvery serving up flavour-rich meats. They’ve got 250 whiskies stocked behind that bar, as well as 20 signature cocktails (many with whisky bases) so if you’re not heading along to the usual suspects like The Baxter Inn, the aforementioned, J&M or Kittyhawk to salute the world of whisky, then you’re going to want to settle into the groove here. They’ve also got a massive whisky decanter shaped like Thor’s hammer, so be sure to ask what whisky is being served from the almighty replica on the day.
267 Cleveland St, Redfern
The Baxter Inn Pop-Up (Sydney CBD)
The Baxter Inn don’t really have to do anything specific for World Whisky Day; the underground bar has been known as the spot for whisky lovers for years now and so popping by here on the weekend is a no-brainer. However, they are having a little pop-up a few days later, with a stall set up at H&M in Pitt Street Mall. It’ll be an homage to the stylish man, with the Baxter crew slangin’ cocktails while “dude food” circulates the store, a live grooming station by Men’s Biz keeps folks looking fresh, and a range of discounts are offered on menswear. Oh, and they’ll be a special in-store gig from Aussie rapper Manu Crooks.
RSVP’s are essential though so be sure to head along to the official Facebook event page.
150 Pitt St, Sydney
Dutchess (Melbourne CBD)
Head up to Dutchess on Flinders Street on Saturday 20th May and you’ll find much of the same whisky-focused revelry the bar is known for, but with an extra little something on the menu. Currently on the menu, as part of World Whisky Day celebrations, is a special deconstructed whisky cocktail going by the name of “Garden of Eden”, described as a blend of dark rum, vanilla sugar syrup and half an ounce of lemon juice on a base of Fireball cinnamon whisky in a glass that has been infused with smoke with singed cinnamon sticks. It’s served on a board with an array of accompaniments including sliced apple, spoons of cinnamon sugar and honey, a wedge of lime, plus a syringe of cinnamon syrup. It’s then on you to shape the cocktail’s flavour profile to your taste.
Level 2, 146 Flinders Street, Melbourne
The Duke (Melbourne CBD)
This historic pub will be serving up several whisky tasting flights from the Wine Bar on Level One. It’s about as simple and straight-forward as World Whisky Day events come, offering three different premium whiskys for $20 each, available from now up until 21st May.
146 Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000
Boilermaker House (Melbourne CBD)
We’re not quite sure exactly what – if anything at all – Boilermaker House has planned for Saturday to be quite honest, but just a few days after, on May 23rd, one of Melbourne’s finest whisky spots will be welcoming in a landmark 25 year anniversary celebration from the iconic Lark Distillery. The highly awarded Tasmanian distillery will be hosting an exclusive masterclass event at the bar, which features two whiskies from their core range and four of the limited release Revolution Series whiskies, hand-picked by Head Distiller Chris Thomsom.
Tickets are limited and more information can be found on the official Facebook event page.
209/211 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
505 Cellar (Toorak)
Though 505 Cellar is best known as the spot for craft beer and wine in Toorak, the bar will be pulling out some of the best best boilermakers for World Whisky Day. Offered up for $18 each, several boilermakers will be on the menu on both Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May, made up of premium scotch whisky with Hawthorn Brewing Co. beer. Pairings on offer will include Glenkinchie with Hawthorn Pilsner, Cragganmore with Hawthorn Golden Ale and Talisker Port Ruighe with Hawthorn Amber Ale.
505 Malvern Road, Toorak 3142