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Frank Mac's Is the New 120-Seater Gin and Cocktail Bar at The Rocks

Boasting one of Sydney’s largest collection of gins, this cosy dining and drinking space is the newest venture from the team behind nearby whisky bar, The Doss House.
By Ailene Wu
November 23, 2021
By Ailene Wu
November 23, 2021

Co-owners Ciara Doran and Eoin Daniels are no strangers to The Rocks, having opened whisky bar The Doss House on the same street back in March 2018. Now, they've shifted their focus to another beloved spirit — gin.

Enter from George Street and make your way through the two-story heritage building (plus a hidden courtyard), before pulling up a seat at the five-metre-long bar. The stools provide the perfect vantage point to take in a show of cocktail mixology or have a gander at the shelves brimming with bottles.

Sample more than 100 juniper blends sourced from all corners of the globe as you sip your way through a carefully curated cocktail menu that features an impressive variety of house-made ingredients.

Image: Steven Woodburn.

"The silver lining from the last three months of lockdown is that we've been able to use the time to really refine our cocktails," said Frank Mac's Beverage Manager Daniel Strahand (The Doss House, Mary's, Spice Temple). "I've spent days perfecting syrups, cordials and bitters."

Highlights of the extensive drink menu includes the Shillings, perfect for fans of an apple and lychee martini. The concoction is a mixture of JJ Whitley gin, salted caramel, and surprise surprise, apple and lychee. The Mac Martini is another stand-out — the vesper-style martini is made with dry gin and an infusion of lemon myrtle, kaffir lime and bay leaves. It's their signature cocktail for a reason.

Since it's never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, the venue also offers a food menu that's short but sweet. It features various plates that are ideal for sharing, like oozy burrata with crusty sourdough and cheese boards paired with chunks of organic dark chocolate and seasonal market fruit. For something more substantial, guests can order a panini packed to the brim with truffle-infused sopressa (Italian aged salami) or a roasted vegetable pie made by Infinity Bakery especially for the venue. The dish is paired with a traditional Irish curry sauce, a nod to Ciara's great uncle Frank Mac who was always to be found at the centre of his local village bar.

Image: Steven Woodburn.

The historic sandstone walls, dating back to the 1840s, tie in seamlessly with the cosy and intimate ambiance of the downstairs space. Vintage leather banquettes and velvet armchairs furnish the area, with paperback novels and candles dotting the tops of the low wooden tables.

With its endless gin list, crafted cocktails and heritage charm, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better place for a cheeky tipple than Frank Mac's. 

Frank Mac's is open at 83 George Street, The Rocks. It is open from 3pm–12am on Wednesday & Thursdays, 3pm–1am Friday & Saturdays and 3pm–12am Sundays. 

Published on November 23, 2021 by Ailene Wu

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