The Baxter Inn

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Words by Dave Kerr on 27-Sep-2016

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Address: Basement 152-156 Clarence St, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 16:00-01:00, Sun-Bank Holiday Closed
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails, Fun/atmosphere, Late night, Spirits
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar nibbles
Owned by: The Swillhouse Group


The Baxter Inn might be hidden in a basement, which is itself hidden down an alleyway in the heart of the city, but that does not mean you won't have to wait in line. But it's worth the wait: what's finally revealed underground is a seven-tiered back-bar hosting 456 bottles (mainly single malts) along with a selection of boutique beers and a line-up of capable cocktail bartenders.

Add to that a strong offering of iconic Australian red wines from the cellar, and good options by the glass, and there's something for everyone of the liquid variety. It's hard to go past a well-balanced whisky sour, but the fresh, on-demand juicing policy can tempt to you into a whole new realm of flavour: gin and fresh apple juice being particularly good.

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The d├ęcor references '30s Boston speakeasies, the walls adorned with pictures of heroic boxers and cabinets stacked with their make-believe trophies. Low brick archways separate the bar from the floor and seemingly the serious drinkers from the casual ones. Perched at the large expanse of mahogany, you'll be given a bottomless enamel bowl of pretzels, which pair incredibly well with a smoky malt and strong stout. The vibe is always alive with a strong showing from bartenders and bankers alike.