From the striking entrance with a painting of the venue’s namesake and mascot, The Duke of Clarence, ascend the aged timber stairs into a spectacular venue that transports you in space and time. Oak wood panelling, stained glass, a library nook with vintage sofas and a fireplace, and original pub items over 100 years old are just a few of the features that add to the authentic experience.
Over 500 spirits, 80% of which hail from the British Isles line up the 12-metre-long timber bar. Naturally, there is a heavy focus on cask ale, with beer served from ornate English-made taps, along with bottled British beers and ciders. Six vintage Pimm’s Cups from the 1960s and 70s are for those seeking a rare experience.
It may be an English style pub but the cocktail list by Bar Manager Steve McDermott is a standout. With a nod to Great Britain, classic cocktails are given a Victorian-era twist that include punches, flips, fizzes and cups.
The Clarence Libations list makes use of distillates from a rotary evaporator adding unique flavours to the cocktails. The Celery & Nettle Fizz combines Rutte Celery Gin with nettle distillate, citric acid, gum arabic, celery juice and egg white with a splash of soda and black pepper garnish. Savoury herbaceous and bright citrus flavours play together in perfect harmony. The Clarence House Gibson with gin, dry sherry, rosemary smoked sea salt, brine and pickled onion distillate elevates the Martini to another level. Salty and savoury with marked onion notes, this Gibson that packs a punch and is set to become an all-time favourite with the Martini crowd.
The C. 1800s list is based on libations from that era and includes the Claret Cobbler c. 1820s with lemon sherbet and nutmeg, Pineapple Julep c. 1860s and Business Brace c. 1880s with Hennessy Cognac, sugar, bitters and sparkling wine garnished with a long orange peel circling the inside of a champagne flute.
Travelling back in time is now indeed possible.
The Duke of Clarence
Address: Laneway 152 – 156 Clarence Street, Sydney
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 4pm – 2am
Photo Credit – Supplied