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The Baxter Inn

A cavernous whisky bar where the bartenders know their stuff and good times are at the top of the agenda.
By Andrew Zuccala
March 01, 2023
By Andrew Zuccala
March 01, 2023

Sydney's original speakeasy basement bar, The Baxter Inn, is a magnet for international accolades — most importantly, making the World's 50 Best Bars list several times since its opening in 2012.

Much of this comes down to its almighty whisky menu that boasts almost 800 different kinds of the tipple, from Talisker 10-year-old to Glenfiddich 12-year-old. Any true whisky lover will fawn over the large cascading wall of backlit bottles which the barmen scale throughout the evening.

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The gargantuan list of options could easily cause decision paralysis, but the team's encyclopaedic knowledge simplifies everything. Tell them what you're usually into or admit you're a total novice when it comes to whisky and let them do the rest – climbing up and down the sliding ladders to find the perfect dram.

But you don't have to have the whisky straight. The team have curated a list of cocktails for those who want something a little different, making some of Sydney's best old fashioneds and whisky sours alongside some of their own creations. And while you're enjoying a few drinks, be sure to enjoy the free pretzels available to all guests.

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But you won't just happen upon this hidden drinking den. The Baxter Inn lies at the end of an unmarked alley off Clarence Street in the CBD. Only those in the know will be here. Descend the stairs to find the dimly lit brick-clad bar with the smooth sounds of old-school blues music flowing throughout the entire space.

If you fall in love with The Baxter Inn (just like we did), be sure to check out the Swillhouse team's other destinations. Shady Pines, Restaurant Hubert and Alberto's Lounge have all been favourites of ours for many years — it's almost impossible to pick the best.

Images: Leticia Almeida

Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Appears in:

The Best Bars in Sydney

Sydney's Best Underground Bars for 2023

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