Button Bar – Surry Hills


Any bar that offers pistachio nuts as a free bar snack has my complete and utter loyalty – which is why Button now has a new regular customer.

Run by the folks who launched Pocket Bar and Stitch, this is a dark, moody bar that plays old blues music and 70s rock and roll. In fact, with the long wooden bar counter and the black leather booths, this feels a lot like Stitch, especially as some of the cocktails here are the same. However, the crowd is different, with the Surry Hills locals taking the place of Stitch’s more suited clientele, and unlike Stitch, there’s no kitchen serving hot dogs. Then again, when you have pistachios and cocktails, perhaps you don’t need anything else.

I order the Pleasure Vessel, which is made with Appleton rum, Grand Marnier, marmalade, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and orange blossom water ($17). The flavours work beautifully together to create a delicately tangy drink that, in an odd way, tastes a little like an amaretto sour that’s been pimped up. I also like the attention to detail here: the glassware is great and it comes with a pithed lemon peel that’s contorted into what looks like a mini sculpture perched on the glass’s edge.

My friend orders the Flying Cloud, made with Belvedere rum, lemon juice, pear juice and cinnamon syrup ($17). I can see this as being a good winter cocktail – it’s subtle yet refreshing and the cinnamon gives it a seasonal feel that makes you think of fireplaces.

We only planned to stop in for a quick drink but we like the place so much – from the wooden décor (such as the shutters that line the entryway and the multi-textured back wall) to the flagons sitting above the bar counter and antique light fittings – that we order a final cocktail for the road.

This is the Pirate Jet, made with Bacardi Superior rum, lemon and pineapple juice, mint, orange bitters, and topped with crushed ice and a float of Myers rum ($17.50). Served tall, it’s a drink where, as you go through it, the rum starts to mingle more with the other ingredients. It’s great for those who like tropical drinks such as Hurricanes, although my favourite cocktail out of the three I ordered here is still the Pleasure Vessel. Considering this bar looks a bit like a pirate ship’s galley, the name Pleasure Vessel could also describe Button as well.

Button Bar, 65 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills. Phone 02 9211 1544. Open every day until midnight

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