Around the world in 80 sips – Employees Only is putting the ‘lust’ back into wanderlust

Around The World in 4 cocktails – Image by Jude Cohen @judecohen

Employees Only seem to always have something sexy up their sleeves, and we are here for it! With the unforeseeable movement on travel bans, the inventive team have brought a little bit of overseas to Syderz. Their new mid-week special is designed to ease the sting of zero OS travel by taking patrons (or at the very least their taste buds) on a journey to faraway lands.

Taking our seat in the jazzy art deco venue we are equal parts thirsty and hungry. The “travel-themed” set of 4 x cocktails will only set you back $50! OS travel has never been so affordable. Happily they also come with a tasting plate of matched themed tacos (again, at a very pleasing price of $25). 

Duck Taco – images by Jude Cohen @judecohen

We are handed our “passport” placemat – hand-illustrated by artist Tom Clapin outlining each destination-themed drink in beautiful detail. First stop on this 28 degree spring day is sunny mexico with the the OAXACA EXPRESS cocktail made with tequila, jalapeno, basil coriander and a slice of pineapple. As we close our eyes we can almost hear the waves crashing. Matched back with the “Carne Asada” taco with marinated wagyu Striploin, charred corn salsa, pico de gallo… and the piecé de resistancé? Lashings of moorish Hickory Smoked Hollandaise. #Drool


Next stop, bustling Hong Kong! Our taste buds take us to vivid themes of Asia’s silk road with the Chinese tea-infused EAU DE AMBRE cocktail. This sweet treat is a magical mix of cointreau paired with house blended black tea & Fernet Branca. This expertly matched with the ideal pairing in the Crispy Duck taco (Braised Duck, Cucumber, Chilli, Hoi-Sin Sauce, Shallot, Coriander – and this writer’s personal favorite of the tacos!) we can all but hear the busy streets of HK ringing in our ears. 


Now finding ourselves – like Billy Joel – in a “New York State of mind” we then ‘fly’ to the West Side of the Big Apple and reminisce on nights wandering the west village with mates and taking in the beautiful brown stones and venues. When sipping New York’s WESTSIDE –  a shaken cocktail of Ketel One Citron Vodka with lemon & fresh mint, served up with a cheeky splash of soda. The paired taco is none other than the Wagyu Pastrami Reuben (it had to be tbh). Sooo NYC. 


Last stop on our passport card? (Which by the way the charismatic waiters had stamped off at every point of the evening to mark our ‘miles’ tasted/travelled), Japan! We find our true wabi-sabi moment of the evening with the KYOTO SOUR, a cocktail creation of Chivas Regal 12 shaken with roasted Japanese tea, lemon & oddly – prune bitters? Yet, it works. Served in a structural but sleek flute the sweet and sour flavours dance together perfectly with each sip. We tuck into the Japanese Katsu Chicken taco (panko dusted chicken tenderloin, spicy kewpie mayo, green apple-cabbage slaw) and reminisce on our travels to the real Japan and the electric Kyoto. 


Whether these cocktails will take you on a trip down memory lane or they serve as a tasty teaser for when travel bans are lifted, the EO team in our eyes simply nailed this concept and DA would recommend a visit. 

Pack a small bag, it’s vaycay time! 

Employees Only
This promotion runs from Wed, 16th September, Wed &Thurs until Thurs October 8 (inclusive)
Hours: 5pm, until 12am
Bookings can be made via the
website or walk-ins welcome if space avail.
For bookings of 8 or more (capped at 10), please contact

Want more EO goodness? Check it out our other articles – HERE and HERE

About the author

A Sydney-sider born and bred and a self confessed coffee addict, Gin has a taste for bold red wines and fresh Japanese. A drive to experience all manner of cuisines this planet has to offer she is currently planning her next trip to (fingers crossed) Morocco. She prefers her puns intended and her Beyonce loud.


If you’ve been longing for white beaches and turquoise waters beyond our shores, the wait is almost over. However, if stumping up the kind of change that gets your relaxing in a far-off archipelago is a little daunting, our friends at 1800 Tequila have come up with an ingenious solution.

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