I’m not really sure how we decided to make a trip to Eau De Vie, but I guess that really doesn’t matter because we’ve wanted to go for quite some time and trying to remember the finer details after spending a few hours at The Argyle seems all too difficult. Nestled in a nice leafy part of Darlinghurst Road, Eau De Vie – like many of the newish speakeasy style bars popping up all over Sydney (FINALLY ! ! !) – is hidden away at the back of the Kirketon Hotel and you wouldn’t be thought of badly for not noticing it at all.
When you first see the bar it really just emanates the feeling of a relaxed cocktail bar with its mad furnishings and dark lighting. The main bar is to the left with a large bank of tables down the middle adorned with bar stools and a very comfy looking lounge area to the right. We settled in at the bar and picked up the hefty tome that is the drinks menu. It is quite comprehensive, albeit at this time of night after a solid afternoon of drinking it may have been a little too comprehensive. I just didn’t have the mental capacity to really pinpoint what cocktail I felt like and in the end opted for Luke Reddington’s award winning ‘Bloomsbury Bitter’.
Bloomsbury Bitter – Tanqueray No. Ten gin, amaro, yellow chartreuse, honey water, white grapefruit, spiced lager syrup, egg white, topped with soda ($19.00).
I could tell right away that this was not what I felt like, but it had nothing to do with the drink and all to do with me. Nice and bitter with a great egg white foam on top it really looked the part and would no doubt be a great drink to drink outside on a warm summers day but for me not on a chilly spring night.
Eau De Vie Dark & Stormy – Havana Club especial, bespoke ginger beer, a house blend of spice rum and other “secret ingredients” ($17.50).
Lex’s first drink was the Eau De Vie Dark & Stormy. Nice homemade ginger beer but just like me Lex wanted something a little fruitier/sweeter/sour and not as spicy. She only ordered it because it sounded like something I would like, and all the memories of Der Raum flooded back where all my cocktails were better than hers.
Southside – Tanqueray No. Ten gin, mint, lime & sugar syrup ($17.00).
For our second round I decided to do the smart thing and just ask our waiter for something refreshing and sour. The Southside was his response and it was definitely the right suggestion. Think Mojito but with gin, and as with all gin cocktails I have ever seen made at Eau De Vie it would be the sublime Tanqueray No. Ten. Anyone who knows me is aware that during summer I have a ‘slight’ Mojito addiction and my backyard bar tending duties have me reducing palm sugar syrups, muddling limes and bruising mint leaves all over the place. Just like its white rum cousin the Southside is just crisp and refreshing and the exact drink I wanted.
Crusta Reserva – Pampero rum shaken with lemon, pineapple and maraschino ($16.50).
I wish I had seen the Crusta Reserva on the menu and ordered it as well because when I had it down at Der Raum it was awesome. And it had been Der Raum’s little nod to Eau De Vie by featuring the EDV version in their menu. A very Lex style cocktail, sugar rimmed, sweet, sour and crunchy little licks of sugar crystals. Quite a favourite of mine too.
The Contender – Strawberry infused Tenqueray gin, honey, mandarin & rosemary syrup shaken with lemon juice ($17.00).
Not much to say here, I remembered someone ordered it, and I forogot to take a photo of it… that is all.
Duck liver parfait ($14.00).
Wow, even after many cocktails the richness of the duck was still awesome. Packed full of flavour we all were lathering up our crusty bread as fast as we could manage with this great parfait. I really loved the tiny dill pickles and nobody minded me devouring every last one. Something I will definitely order next time we are at Eau De Vie.
Charcuterie plate ($18.00).
After grabbing a charcuterie plate last time we were at Wine Library and realising it was a winner we decided to order it as soon as we saw it on the menu. Such a nice plate to pick from while sipping away on drinks.
Again with the pickled veggies I was gifted the lions share and once again I loved every bit. The meats were just all melt in your mouth, rich and salty the crunchy sour pickled veggies and some sweet cocktails this round made it all fit nicely.
After our food ran out and our second cocktail was all but gone we decided to call it a night and head back into the city. While our view of the night may be a little skewed due to being quite inebriated all I can say it has left a lasting impression and all I seem to be doing is thinking about when I will return and what cocktails I will order.
Eau De Vie
229 Darlinghurst Rd
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 9357 2470
Eau De Vie Website