Sipping cocktails at Sydney’s most sustainable bar: Re

The Thirsty Travellers were invited to the launch of Re’s new Ketel One Botanical Terrace this week to sample its unique cocktails and bar menu.

A pioneering new sustainable bar from hospitality heavyweights Matt Whiley (Scout) and Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, CicciaBella), Re is located in the newly-restored South Eveleigh precinct.

Housed in a heritage site at Eveleigh that was a historic locomotive workshop for 100 years, Re’s arched windows cast light on materials chosen for aesthetics as much as impact. A central bar and tables resembling terrazzo are made from Re-Plas recycled bottles and tupperware. Stairs – leading to a mezzanine for groups and masterclasses – and structural features are made from recycled plastic bags and milk bottles. Wood is sustainable, banquettes are clothed in pineapple-leaf fibre and elegant light fittings and wine coolers are made from mycelium. Phillipe Starck and Odger stools and chairs, meanwhile, are built from recycled and reclaimed materials.

Whiley has a sharp focus on local ingredients and sustainability, creating drinks that are strong on innovation and taste while also minimising waste. At Re, he wants to demonstrate that a venue can be built from recycled materials and run with as little impact as possible, and still exist as a fun, world-class experience.

Joining Whiley behind the bar are some of the city’s best bartenders, including World Class Australia 2021 winner Evan Stroeve (Bulletin Place), Jake Downe (This Must Be The Place; Scout London) and Ho Song (Cantina OK; PS40).

The drinks menu includes a Wimbledon Gimlet, with excess strawberries pickled then mixed into a vodka base mixed with milk-wine cordial for a drink that is reminiscent of strawberries and cream; the BP + B Old Fashioned, where banana skins form the base of a syrup and are mixed with peanut butter and burnt butter; while salvaged mushrooms find their way into an umami-rich base for the Play That Funghi Music, a Manhattan-style cocktail featuring blackcurrant-leaf vermouth, honey dashi and ant tamari.

Our experience focused on the Highball and Spritz section, which showcases Ketel One Botanical. Among the favourites was the Nectarine & Vetiver Negroni with Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange Blossom, Tanqueray, Cocci Di Torino, Campari, Nectarine and Muyu Vetiver.

The food, meanwhile, is overseen by Icebergs head chef Alex Pritchard and has a strong snack focus. Think puffed beef tendons with togarashi, house pickles, or bug tamales with schmaltz for smalls, and eggplant ceviche with salvaged padron peppers or air-fried corn ribs with miso butter for something more substantial.

The most delicious snack we sampled was the hand rolls with tuna frame crudo and fermented chilli. So moreish! We also enjoyed the rye crackers with whipped buttermilk ricotta & venison Salami, and the flatbread with wild deer nduja & cheese.

South Eveleigh is a thriving, stylish precinct filled with character and now a great bar too. Well worth a stroll and relaxing tipple.

Re is at Shop 8/2 Locomotive St, Eveleigh NSW

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