Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst and Barrel-Aged Cocktails – Sydney Small Bars

How often does one go to the same bar in one night?

It isn’t the unexpected smile from the doorman on a Friday night that brings us back. Or the dark plush interior with a grand piano, velvet red drapes and low lounges that offer an intimate ambience. Or the retro cool music, friendly staff and chatty patrons.

Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst
Low 302

Twice in one night. Pre and post dinner drinks, with a jaunt to the Bentley Restaurant in between.

Named after its street address on Crown St, Low 302 is a small bar in Darlinghurst we first visited at the Jameson Whiskey tasting event. There’s a large outdoor section that looks onto the street, a private dining area inside and a cosy booth which we are fortunate to be offered.

Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst
Outside area

Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst
Cosy booth

With a well-stocked bar, the cocktail list impresses with its variety. There’s the Jameson Smash ($17) which we previously enjoyed and a tempting choice of drinks from the light and fruity cocktails to the more serious for the booze hounds.

Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst
Plum and Pisco Sour (L) and Regal Roy (R)

The Plum and Pisco Sour ($16) is made with Peruvian plum and pisco shaken with lemon and lime juices, garnished with Peychaud’s bitters. An easy to drink cocktail which has mild sour notes balanced with a hint of sweetness and fruit flavour.

Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst
The barrel-aged Regal Roy

But it is the Regal Roy that steals the show and begs for an encore.

At the Jameson Whiskey tasting, we had the opportunity to chat with Bar Manager, David Hernandez, about the barrel-aged Chivas Regal Roy he was perfecting. 18 year old Chivas Regal and Dubonnet with a dash of bitters are barrel-aged for a period of time during which it is tasted and adjusted. Barrel-aged cocktails are a current global trend with the drink being released when oakiness reaches its peak.

The result is the Regal Roy, a serious cocktail with wood notes, oak, slight tannins, a little sweetness with honey notes and a distinctive whisky taste that is smooth and warming. A hint of bitters is also evident but does not overpower the taste. Served in a coupé glass with an optional macerated cherry, this is a powerful (and addictive) cocktail that delivers a strong kick from the first sip. Perfect.

Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst

Low 302 serves food until the closing time of 2 am with a comprehensive menu by chef Aliosha Perez which we enjoyed a preview when it was paired with Jameson whiskeys. There’s the ubiquitous charcuterie board ($23), garlic prawn brochetas ($14), kingfish sashimi and salmon tartare among many others designed to share. Hot dishes include twice cooked pork belly ($18) and chargrilled wagyu steak ($17). Dessert tempts with a chocolate assiette ($14), a cheese board or a dessert platter ($27).

Low 302 Bar Darlinghurst

Low 302 is the kind of small bar to which you can easily form an attachment. Arrive early for pre-dinner drinks and you may just be fortunate to score a table and enjoy great cocktails in a relaxed vibe with good music. Come back later in the evening when it’s buzzing with friendly patrons, add barrel-aged cocktails and you may never want to leave. After all, how many bars bring you back for an encore in one night?

Low 302
302 Crown Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Wednesday to Saturday 5pm to 2am
Sundays 6pm to 2am

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.