Best Cocktails NSW Australia

Grain Bar – Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Grain Bar – Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Monica Tindall

I’m no stranger to a good cocktail, and with Grain Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney making it to Boothby’s Top 50 Bars in Australia list, how am I to resist?

We’re back home for Chrissy staying at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and soaking up all the Aussieness I’ve missed for the past year, food and beverage, especially included. 

Located adjacent to the hotel lobby, Grain Bar is abuzz with activity. The music is upbeat, and we’ve heard there is sometimes a special “closing show” with live harmonic tunes if you’re lucky. The relaxed atmosphere is flawless for catching up with friends or, in our case, easing our way back into the city after an overnight flight. The staff are friendly and attentive, and the whole place has a warm, inviting vibe.

The bar can be accessed directly from the hotel, but there’s also a street entrance. The location is central, and the quality of drinks and service is top-notch, making it one of the busiest bars in the city. A perch at the bar, cushioned corners and communal tables gift a variety of experiences. Our favourite roost, though, is a spot for two by the semi-open glass wall overlooking the junction where Circular Quay meets The Rocks meets the CBD, where we can see the action and watch the trams glide quietly into station.

Grain Bar Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Grain Bar Sydney
Best Cocktails NSW Australia
Best Cocktails NSW Australia
Variety of Seating

Grain Bar Sydney

Sarath Nair, Beverage Manager, just joined Four Seasons Hotel Sydney in November, and he has already infused himself into the “grain” of the place. He was formerly at Copitas in Bengaluru, which gained 38th place in Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2023, Number 2 in India’s 30 Best Bars in 2022, and a slew of other awards. He sees hospitality as “sharing people’s emotions. People go out for a reason, whether it’s to celebrate, build relationships or any other number of motives. It’s our job to be here for them.” 

The bartenders are fantastic, too. Knowledgeable and passionate, they help us navigate their extensive whiskey selection (over 200 labels) and choose cocktails just as attractive to our palates as they are to our lenses. 

Cocktail Menu

Grains are the stars of the show here. They use everything from wheat and oats to sorghum and triticale, not just for the cocktails but for the bar food, too. It’s a classy celebration of all things grainy. At the moment, the theme is very literal, but in the near future, the direction could go in any number of grains, promising some exciting evolutions.

Assistant bar manager Marco explains the menu. It’s divided into sections, making it easy to find something to your taste. Check out Dawn Harvest for sweet and sour drinks, Full Day’s Sun for fruity and refreshing, Dusk for spirit-forward and sweet drinks, Aged in Grain for one of the largest barrel-aged programs in Australia, Royalty for those wanting to show off (think AUD 790! for the Sazerac made with Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac), Whisky Flights, Wine, Beer and Low Alcohol and No Alcohol beverages.

Grain Bar Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Marco – Part of the Friendly Grain Bar Team

Grain Bar’s signature cocktail, “In Like Flynn” (AUD 28) is a must for Instagram enthusiasts. Eucalyptus-infused gin is covered with an edible sugar paper print of a koala. It’s an iconic taste of Australia both in taste and presentation. It’s made with the bar’s own Grain Original Dry Gin in collaboration with Bondi Liquor Co. It’s fresh and zesty with a juniper-dominant nose and a subtle hint of finger lime and grains of paradise.

Best Cocktails NSW Australia
In Like Flynn

22nd Century (AUD 26) is another recipe the Grain Bar team is particularly proud of, gaining the 29th best cocktail in Australia on Boothby’s list of 2022. Pulled like teh terik to aerate the drink, it turns out to be hubby’s fave with Botanist Gin, Monkey 47 Sloe Gin, Lillet Blanc, Dutch Cacao, Muyu Jasmine Verte and lemon.

Best Cocktails NSW Australia
22nd Century

I can also recommend the Blue Collar Roots (AUD 26) for its gorgeous, vibrant hue and delicious earthy appeal with a splash of lime peel freshness. The blend of beetroot-infused Barsol Pisco, De Kuyper Apricot, millet and habanero is very elegant sipping.

 Blue Collar Roots
Blue Collar Roots

Extensive Whiskey Collection

Grain Bar boasts an impressive selection of over 200 whiskey labels and exclusive partnerships with top brands. The Michter’s Whiskey Flight (AUD 45) is a standout choice. As ambassadors for Michter, they present a curated tasting experience featuring three 15ml shots of distinct whiskies: Michter’s US1 Unblended American Whiskey with barrel-rich aroma and subtle sweetness, Michter’s US1 Sour Mash blending rye and bourbon notes, and our top pick, Michter’s 10 Years Bourbon, aged in oak barrels with a robust vanilla scent.

Michter's Whiskey Flight
Michter’s Whiskey Flight
Best Cocktails NSW Australia
Macallan Trolley

Food Menu

In addition to its impressive cocktail and whisky selection, Grain Bar offers a diverse food menu to complement our drinks. A notable choice is the Prawn & Avocado Tacos (AUD 22), featuring finely chopped prawns and avocado seasoned with chilli, garlic, tomato, shallots, and lemon, all enclosed in crisp wheat tacos. Hubby is rather fond of the Wagyu Slider (AUD 15), where a soft white bun holds a house-made beef patty, pickles, cheddar, lettuce, and mustard mayo.

Grain Bar Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Prawn & Avocado Tacos
Grain Bar Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Wagyu Slider

Grain Bar Review

If you’re down to discovering unique drinks, having a laugh with friendly locals, and soaking up the real Sydney vibe, Grain Bar is your spot. It’s more than a bar; it’s an experience, and I’m definitely making it a regular stop in my gourmet travels. Cheers to unexpected finds!

Reasons to visit Grain Bar, Sydney: fantastic service crew; solid grain concept that’s done well, yet not over the top; must try their own label of gin; and you can’t leave without sipping and snapping a shot of koala-adorned In Like Flynn.

Grain Bar
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
199 George Street, 2000 Sydney, NSW, Australia
+61 (2) 9250-3100
[email protected]

Grain Bar Sydney Opening Hours
Daily from 4:30 pm

Find more recommendations for travel to Australia here and stay up-to-date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations for Malaysia here and here.

One Comment

  1. If I am not wrong, In like Flynn was the name of a movie a long time ago starring Sean Flynn, son of Erroll Flynn.

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