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Summer in Sydney is getting an upgrade with a cherry blossom bar by the harbour

Light coloured cocktails with botanical ingredients around them
Photograph: Stuart Garske

The MCA have got it all worked out. Not only have they been killing it with their major summer blockbuster exhibitions over the last few years, like Grayson Perry and Yoko Ono retrospectives, but they also know that people cannot live on art alone, which is why every summer they transform the MCA's ground floor terrace bar into an oasis themed around the exhibition. This year, it's turning Japanese.

Cherry Blossom Bar will be opening alongside the Tatsuo Miyajima exhibition, whose name might ring a bell because he was the artists behind the massive room installation ‘Death Clock’ that was a part of the MCA's 2012 exhibition Marking Time. This time round he's taking over a gallery with his LED installations, performance works, paintings and drawings, and after you've had your fill of creative works, you can retire to the bar for sake and snacks.

On the drinks front, you'll be able to quaff Japanese beers and whisky alongside their famous rice wine, and the cocktail list will feature Japanese ingredients, like a nashi pear whisky highball made with citrus, ginger and lemongrass (hello, summer refresher). In addition, local distilling legends Archie Rose will be supplying a gin designed to blend with sake for more cocktail experimentation. 

Snacks-wise there will be edamame, chicken karaage, gyoza and the ultimate bento box to keep those cultural fires burning. 

If the art alone will get you to the MCA, the Cherry Blossom Bar is a bonus. If you are the kind who needs a little encouragement to dive into our city's cultural offerings, let the promise of Japanese cocktails and dumplings draw you down the Quay for art, drinks and eats. 

Cherry Blossom Bar is open Thu, Fri 4pm-late; Sat, Sun noon-late, Oct 28-Mar 5.

Want more culture in your life? Check out the must-see art on show in November.