by Jonathan Leeming in Cool Travel on Saturday 1 February 2014

The Rabbit Hole Bar on Elizabeth Street in Sydney’s CBD takes its name from the hole down which Alice plunges in Lewis Carroll’s famous book. Doug Laming, the 25-year-old manager and co-owner, chose this name not because of the bar’s location – tucked away below street level – but as a result of the weird yet wonderful culinary and alcoholic creations that can be found there. Specifically, the vast array of incredible molecular cocktails.

Inspiration from some of the world’s best cocktail mixologists, accompanied by extensive research and a genuine passion for what Laming and his team do, have resulted in a cocktail list which captures the imagination and caters to the most discerning of taste.

They ‘make use of textures to change the way one thinks about drinking; using everything from foams to alcoholic powders to spheres to jellies’.

Cooking from the age of 11, and working in kitchens from 12, Laming was a licensee at 21 and named NSW Bartender of the Year soon thereafter. He tells me that, with the Rabbit Hole, he ‘wanted to do something different, that would ensure it sticks around’.

Amongst the drinks he recommended were:

Jellied G&T: Solid Hendricks gin served on a cucumber slice with a rose crystal;

Doug Laming’s Margarita: Spherified pearls
of Souza Gold tequila and Cointreau Caviar, served with finger limes and
a small dusting of salt;

Kraken’s Prey: Kraken rum stirred down with Licor 43, Fee Brothers walnut bitters, lime and demerara syrup, fine strained into a martini glass rimmed with squid ink;

Abbey’s Fruit: The flesh of cucumbers and pears muddled with Lactart (the acid of milk) and a hint of sugar, then added to No. 3 Gin and Yellow Chartreuse V.E.P before being shaken with ice and then fine strained into the fruit it came from, and served with Yellow Chartreuse V.E.P pearls.

Needless to say, after so many cocktails, we were ready for something to eat. And it certainly didn’t disappoint.

After such a heady mix of alcohol and rich foods, it was definitely going to be a taxi-ride home for us. But for all the Sydneysiders out there, the Rabbit Hole is a must-visit, featuring some of the best food and drinks I have ever tasted.