The Swinging Cat, Sydney

Taking inspiration from New Orleans, small bar The Swinging Cat has opened in Sydney CBD near the corner of King and Clarence Streets.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

Step into the subterranean bar and you’ll be transported to the magic, vibrancy and music of New Orleans. From the slick and impressive bar to inviting lounges, an 85 year old German piano and the warm glow of street lamps, you’ll soon forget that you have entered through what you originally thought was a Subway franchise.

The drinks menu at The Swinging Cat has two pages dedicated to the Sazerac, a historical account and four variations of the classic cocktail including The Original made with Hennessey Cognac VS, Peppermint and Makers Mark Bourbon, Smoked Honey with Talisker 12 yo whisky and Toffee Nut with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey. The Traditional Sazerac is well crafted, and comes served on an absinthe-rinsed rocks glass with Hennessey Cognac VS, Peychauds Bitters and a dash of sugar.

Signature Cocktails also follow the New Orleans / French route with the likes of Treme ($18), a take on the Cobbler, made with Sloe Gin, Cranberry and coco liqueur, smooth and balanced, served over ice. You’ll also find New Orleans Classics such as the Hurricane ($20), Ramos Gin Fizz ($18) and the perfectly balanced Vieux Carré, made with rye whiskey, Cognac and sweet vermouth.

The Swinging Cat offers table service and should you feel peckish, a range of cured meats, cheeses, pistachio and pork terrine and dumplings feature on the menu. We’re told that the New Orleans Grilled Cheese with smoked wagyu beef and Cajun spices ($14) is the bomb and well worth ordering.

Live music nights are soon to follow – the venue has only been opened for one a half weeks at the time of visit – and you can look forward to drinks such as the Smoked Chocolate Sazerac and port finished barrel aged cocktails.

There’s much to like about this New Orleans corner of Sydney. It’s moody, atmospheric and inviting. Whether you go there with friends or on a date night, The Swinging Cat is an ideal place to chill and savour the spirit of New Orleans.

The Swinging Cat
44 King Street, Sydney
Mon to Sat: 4pm to midnight


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About the author

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 since 2013, 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.