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Person making cocktails at the Time Out Hotel Bars competition
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

Meet the bartender: Christian Comparone, Zeta Bar, Hilton Sydney Hotel

The bar manager at Zeta Bar is the mixing mind behind some of the city’s most colourful cocktails

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For almost a decade Christian Comparone has been developing drinks to transport and inspire his customers. At Zeta Bar, he blurs the line between kitchen and bar. “Every cocktail comes from a twist of a classic cocktail – respecting that recipe – but we’re deconstructing flavour from food dishes into the drinks,” he says. “If it’s good to taste, it’s good to drink.” Harnessing his experience as an interior designer, he also tries to recreate a sense of place through taste. His Havana’s Market cocktail transforms a Mojito with honeyed vinegar to balance sweetness with acidity, and takes the warming scent of rosemary to match the refreshing burst of grapefruit. “It tries to recreate the experience of when you walk into a South American market, full of rustic ingredients and aromas.” It comes wrapped in a paper bag, so you don’t feel too far from the marketplace.

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