The Cliff Dive, Darlinghurst

The first time you step down the steep stairwell of The Cliff Dive, you won’t know what to expect. A large Polynesian statue greets you as you make way into the cavernous space. Inside the tropical paradise setting, your eyes will be drawn to the sunken dance floor with an underwater illusion and overhanging fish lanterns.

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L-R: Mojito, Pandang
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Dan Liechti, Bar Manager
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Monkey Hat Cocktail for Two
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Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

The Cliff Dive is the new bar/nightclub from Jeremy Blackmore and Alex Dowd, the duo behind the popular Tio’s in Surry Hills. Their latest venture is a Tiki-style venue that takes inspiration from a Papua New Guinea late night dance hall.

Two separate bars ensure drinks flow fast. You’ll see the bartenders mixing, blending, stirring and muddling. “We don’t have Boston shakers here,” bar manager Dan Liechti explains. The cocktails are designed to be easy drinking and easy to make, catering for the 290 person capacity.

About 80 percent of the spirits on the back bar are rum. The house pour is Bacardi and you can find gems such as Diplomatico Rum and El Dorado rum.

The Mojito ($10) is light and refreshing, so easy drinking that one could easily sink a couple. Bright green in colour, Pandang ($10) is an interesting flavour of apple, rum and pandan, a fruity drink without being too sweet.

A visit to Cliff Dive is not complete without ordering the Monkey Hat ($25 for 2), a mix of Bacardi white, Bacardi 8, orgeat, pineapple, lime and absinthe served in a Tiki mug especially-made for the bar. The Monkey, which is yet to be named, will tempt you into ordering another. The drink is, in one word, tikitastic.

Cliff Dive is a late night venue/dive bar that is synonymous with fun. The cocktails are crowd-pleasers and follow a similar formula to Tio’s. And if you’re peckish, you can order BBQ Pork Buns (2 for $8) from the bar. A DJ spins records from 8pm with a mix of 50s and 60s songs to the tune of hip hop on Saturday nights. By midnight, the place is heaving and with a 4 am license, the vibe turns from bar to nightclub making it a welcome addition to Sydney’s vibrant nightlife.

Cliff Dive is featured in our list of Sydney’s Best Rum Bars.

The Cliff Dive
Basement, 16-18 Oxford Square
Darlinghurst
Hours: Wed to Sun 6pm – 4am

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This article is posted on Gourmantic.com - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2016.

The Cliff Dive, Darlinghurst was last modified: January 27th, 2016 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.