The Swinging Cat has opened its doors on King Street, Sydney CBD ready to seduce customers and passers by with a Southern, soulful charm. The clandestine underground bar pays homage to the character of one of the great cocktail culture spots in the world, New Orleans. Like the city that inspired its inception, this bar is built upon 4 things: classic cocktails, music, art and atmosphere. Specialising in sazerac cocktails, The Swinging Cat is bringing an authenticity and sophistication to Sydney’s diverse drinking landscape.
Inspired by his trips to the cocktail capital, Licensee Pete Fisher is excited to see the place living and breathing. Fisher has over 2 decades of experience in hospitality having worked at Hemmisphere and Zeta Bar. He has also consulted on a number of successful international bar openings over the past few years. Now 8 years in the works, this passion project has evolved into one special space, with instant atmosphere and an electric energy.
Old fashioned French street lighting, each hand made in New Orleans, light the interior. Original artworks give the space a quirky personality and hint to the bold, black magic culture so well known in Nola. Luxurious lounge seating makes it easy to stay for a few rounds of drinks, while a pressed tin bar coaxes clientele with an impressive array of alcohol and apothecary equipment for cocktail making at its finest.
Offering both classics and playful creations, the cocktail menu is one you’ll simply have to work your way through over time. Their Old Fashioned ($18) is smooth and strong with rolling notes of citrus while the aromatic Peppermint ($19) is a romantic mix made with Maker’s Mark Mint Julep, Sazerac brandy and swirled with a teaspoon of sugar. Before either of these drinks are made, a generous wash of Absinthe coats the glass to add depth and layers of citrus, aniseed and sweetness.
The Hurricane ($20) is another show stopper, muddled with tropical fruit flavours, white and dark rum. It arrives in a tall, shapely glass, decorated with orange slices, drunken cherries and mint. If you’re looking for a clean crisp taste, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the Bienville ($19), a zesty dance of lime and passionfruit flavours. For something a little more rich, try the Treme ($18) a take on the cobbler combining Sloe Gin, cranberry and coco liqueur served over ice.
Head Chef Richard Duff captains the kitchen and with experience working alongside Gordan Ramsay you know it’s going to be good. The menu is modest however covers a lot of ground for bar style dining with cured meats and cheese boards and silk shrimp dumplings. Try Duff’s famed New Orleans style smoked Wagyu Beef and Swiss Chess melt spiced with Australian bush Chutney and Chipotle. This winning combination is known to sell out of a night.
Mixing high-end bar and table service with intimacy and quality cocktails, this New Orleans speakeasy is a master of seduction. It’s the ambience of this pocket style nook, the complex tasty cocktails and the deep double bass blues-funk that will have you returning all nine lives and more.
The Swinging Cat
44 King Street, Sydney 2000