Frank Mac’s puts gin back on top

It’s Thursday 5pm and it’s time for a drink. During lockdown we were knocking back margaritas like it was nobody’s business, but Margs mixes begone, the doors are open and the gin cocktails are seriously on point at Frank Mac’s Bar & General Store. This summer it’s time for zesty gin and tonics and the crafty cocktails we never could quite master at home (despite many Zoom trainings and tastings!).

We’ve come to the right place because Frank Mac’s has one of the largest gin collections around town. They used their pre-launch lockdown wisely, perfecting a killer cocktail list that includes our favourite, the Bon Bon, a bright, ruby red tipple made on JJ Whitley gin, rhubarb compote, lemon juice and egg white, that goes down a treat, plus the more adventurous Queen on the Rocks, made on the same gin, but with cucumber, mint infused white wine vinegar and dry yeast. It’s already a crowd favourite. Martini drinkers, or those looking to become martini drinkers, skip straight ahead to The Martini Guide section of the menu, where a fun diagram helps you find your perfect drink.

As expected, the gin collection is vast, but a nice surprise is a commitment to younger Australian distilleries. Beverage Manager Daniel Strahand wants to give the industry as much support as possible. You’ll find gins from all four corners of the country, plus a substantial representation from the rest of the world.

Along with the gin collection, Frank Mac’s is a treasure trove of other collections. You’ll find encyclopedia sets lined up alongside an antique Singer sewing machine, and even a set of well-lit men’s flat caps in a glass case. These bits and bobs are arranged on stunning wooden cabinetry lining the sandstone walls of the bar’s basement – it’s like stepping back in time, or across the pond to an Irish bar. What a novelty in this day and age! Frank Mac’s is brought to us by the team behind The Doss House, Sydney’s beloved whisky den that’s literally a stone’s throw away so it’s unsurprising they’ve so artfully brought a little slice of Ireland back to The Rocks so well.

And so, it should come as no surprise that the food menu has a classic beef and Guinness pie with Irish curry sauce in pride of place. We head straight for a cheese board that goes down a treat alongside a hearty Reuben sandwich that’s got the mustard ratio just right. Carry your drinks theme through to food with the 24 hour gin cured salmon, or go for a light goats cheese salad.

Frank Mac’s menus are a little like the venue – there’s a little bit of something different for everyone. Hideaway in the underground basement, perch out back in the outdoor terrace, or on George Street for alfresco dining, sit right up front with all the action at the bar, or if you’re lucky, settle in with a group into the ‘Snug’, a traditional Irish private dining nook that we’re so enamored with we’ll be back next time to try it out.

Images by StevenWoodburn

Frank Mac’s
83 George St, The Rocks
Weds & Thurs: 3pm – 12am
Fri & Sat: 3pm – 1am
Sun: 3pm – 12am

About the author

Lisa used to use Sydney as a base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure but these days she’s got her feet almost on the ground, with a desire to try every high tea in Sydney, and a cute cavoodle puppy at home. Travel writer, photographer and Kitchen Aid freak, she loves to eat, bake and write.


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