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A martini with three olives at Bulletin Place
Photograh: Anna Kucera

The best Martinis in Sydney

A Martini a day won't make you a spy, but it will give your evenings a high-class, vintage buzz

By Time Out editors
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Please don't ask for these shaken, not stirred. But absolutely enjoy them any other which way you like. From dirty with olive juice to wet with a twist of citrus, these are our picks of Sydney's finest, booziest Martinis. At all of these bars, the tuxedo is optional, but a little swagger in your step is obviously mandatory.

Prefer wine? Here's Sydney best wine bars, and the best cocktail bars in town. Hungry? One of the 50 best restaurants in Sydney right now should sort you out.

Nine kickass Sydney Martinis you should seek out

Bartender mixing drink at Maybe Sammy
Photograph: Katje Ford

Maybe Sammy

Bars Cocktail bars The Rocks

More bartenders should sport double-breasted dinner jackets. More cocktail bars should play jazz hits and lounge covers at conversation-enhancing volume. And more hosts should welcome guests as eagerly as owner Stefano Catino does at Maybe Sammy. Start with a Mini. At ten bucks, the pre-batched, half-sized cocktails are a clever primer. A clean and classic Martini (either vodka or gin) is just the right level of wet.  

Martini at Nick and Nora's
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

Nick & Nora's

Bars Cocktail bars Parramatta

The team did not shy away from the old world glamour that you expect from a bar named after the boozy detectives in a 1934 black-and-white movie, and as you’d expect, bartenders mix a mean Martini here, too. The Dirty Martini, with its briny olive juice, has met its match in the Asta, a sharp, savoury uptown mix in a liquid nitrogen-cooled Nick and Nora glass (naturally). The Texan vodka is infused with straw for a kind of sweet herbalness, the launch pad for dry vermouth and pickled jalapeno juice, which blows the humble olive out of the water on flavour and intrigue

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Inside at Bar Topa
Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

Bar Topa

Bars Wine bars Sydney

Don’t linger and reply to that last email, because the early bird gets the best seats that line the long counter at this compact laneway tapas bar. For anyone who loves the social aspect of an afterwork bevvy but doesn’t jive on gallons of mid-week booze, may we present this teeny Martini, a 60ml three-sipper. And it’s brought its friends: the mini Negroni, the 100ml pour of a minerally, savoury viura from Rioja; and a smashable, citrusy sangria on tap that’s served with enough ice to withstand a heatwave.

Bartender pouring drink at Continental Deli & Bistro
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Continental Deli Bar Bistro

Restaurants Newtown

Some people might say that freeing your gin Martini from its aluminium prison via ringpull might lack the panache of having it stirred down in crystal at the bar. Those people broke up with fun a long time ago. At Continental, the new deli/bar descended from the Porteno family, the mix of gin, lillet blanc and purified water super-chilled in a can with a little lemon zest is captured at the perfect dilution point where the gentle citrus, juniper and pine aromas come to the fore. Three green olives on the side let garnish fans go nuts.

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Making cocktails at Bistecca
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Bistecca

Restaurants Italian Sydney

The big drawcard here is the Florentine steaks they're cooking ove rthe open fire in the dining room, but don't discount the bar. It's more than just a holding room for people waiting for an iron hit. In fact it's worth turning up early so you can kick back with a particularly good Martini in a frosty, wide-bottomed little tumbler with lots of olives on the side. Nothing primes your for a gargantuan serve of red meat like extra cold liquor. 

Cocktails at Alberto's Lounge
Photograph: Daniel Boud

Alberto's Lounge

Restaurants Italian Sydney

Alberto’s is a very good place to really relax into your drinks. They mix a perfect Gibson which will make you feel like a million bucks as you wait for your outrageously rich cacio e pepe gnocchi to arrive. The little Italian brother to French juggernaut Hubert is a very fun spot to live the high life over tasty carbs, strong drinks and good wine in a room that is very La Dolce Vita. 

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Archie Rose

Bars Rosebery

Nothing gets more local than drinking a Martini made with the house gin, distilled just over the other side of the bonded warehouse in Rosebery. We like ours dirty and here they get the brine balance bang on. Combined with the gently spiced citrus and herbal notes in the house gin, the finished product is an excellent advertisement for the joys of white spirits in these days of whisky domination.

A selection of cocktails
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Restaurants Sydney

This sleek, high finance bar knows its audience. All the vodkas and gins on their extensive bar list are priced at a 30ml pour as well as a 60ml Martini. Nothing will make you feel more Wall Street Down Under than ordering up an impossibly tender minute steak with a spiced version of Café de Paris butter and a dry Martini made with a local Australian spirit – and letting the discussions about investment portfolios wash over you in the low-lit bar.

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The Roosevelt

Bars Cocktail bars Potts Point
The Roosevelt in Potts Point has never been commander in chief, but in its arsenal is a seriously good liquid-nitrogen Martini, called the Continental. They take the hard decisions out of the equation by using vodka and gin, Cocchi Americano in place of vermouth and a little Chartreuse to add more herbal variety and complexity to your drink. The serving suggestion recommends an oyster on the side, and it’s solid advice – hell, why not make it two of the plump and briny little bivalves.

Fancy another?

Cocktails at PS40
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best hidden bars in Sydney

Bars Cocktail bars

These bars are not the easiest places in Sydney to find. But once you've opened the unmarked door, or snuck down the winding staircase, you'll be happy you made the effort.

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