There is only one way to enter the Darlinghurst dive-bar, Shady Pines. As you descend the stairs adjust your eyes to the dark underground haze, stamping one boot on the peanut shells left dishevelled on the ground, and moving the other to the timeless twang of Johnny Cash, you then eye the bartender who is dressed in a wife-beater and a grand 'ol 'tashe and order some of the best whiskey in Sydney.
Of course there are other ways to enjoy this American-themed saloon and by that I mean there are other drinks worth tasting. Try from a range of boutique beers including Coopers Malt and Newcastle Brown then move up to a whiskey sour, or an old-fashioned. In between sips (or chugs) feast on the beer snacks and get comfortable in your bar stool as you let the learned bartenders regale you with stories of the perfect whiskey. If you are willing to try, prices go up to $25 a shot, but it's worth it.
If you're more drawn towards a bargain, you're in luck — Shady Pines has a killer daily happy hour. Between 4–6pm, the bar is mixes $10 margaritas and negronis, and slings $3 house spirits and beers.
The bar's don't-give-a-damn attitude coupled with its staff's expert liquor knowledge makes this one themed bar you will want to keep coming back to. Plus, there's country and western music on Sundays.