Scout – One of the Best Bars in the World has opened in Sydney
Scout is one of the best bars in the world and has made a name for itself with ingredients and innovative cocktails, as well as making a significant contribution to the creation of a conscious and sustainable drinking culture. Foraging, fermentation, re-distillation and the use of local ingredients are the main aspects of the bar. Simplicity, zero waste, seasonal ingredients – less is more.
The brain behind this concept is Matt Whiley, famous for being the world’s best-known bartender. His bar focuses on products, not spirits. He has transferred the idea from Scout London to Sydney. And not only that, he has also moved with his family to a nice house at the beach. I visited him in his new bar and was as excited as I was when I first visited Scout London. From Scout London to Sydney, the concept remains the same: foraging, fermenting, re-distilling and using native ingredients – but this time from Australia.
He has not transferred his concept one-to-one. “I used elements from the original design, but adapted Scout Sydney to the space available and gave it its own identity. I love working with new and local ingredients,” Whiley told me.
In February this year, Whiley opened his doors on the top floor of The Dolphin Hotel in Surry Hills. The Dolphin Hotel is a popular meeting place for Sydneysiders and has three different rooms: a dining room, a wine room and a public bar with an outdoor terrace. A suitable place to present the concept to a wide audience.
The room concept is dark and minimalistic. Moody green and chartreuse are the dominating colours and huge green plants create the feeling of being in a forest. The use of a well-thought-out lighting system specifically showcases the innovative creations and the bar. The drinks come in finest glassware, beautifully served with a clear ice cube bearing the scout logo. The ever-changing menu is broken down into house cocktails, “wine”, and no-brainers, like for example a vodka soda made with strawberry gum Ketel One and green ant soda (in collaboration with PS40).
At Scout you can enjoy cocktails with a conscience: Seasonal and local ingredients are refined in the in-house laboratory.
I love vetiver and so I opted for the Cane Toad. Made with Guava, House Blended Rum, Muyu Vetiver Gris, Bunya Nut and Verjus. Second drink of choice was the Desert Tree with Bulleit, Sandalwood, Palo Santo and Quandong. Third one was Death Myrtle with Calvados, Cinnamon Myrtle, Burrata Whey, Pink Lady and Granny Smith Soda. A new approach to drinking for Australia. A place where creativity meets flavour. The drinks in Sydney are lighter compared to its big brother in London and the “wines” fermented from excess fruit over several months are already very popular. Straight forward and courageous, Whiley brings a new concept to the city.
And how was the reaction of the local bar scene to the new concept?
The bar scene here is very well connected and helpful. “The competition is much less than I know it from London. The sense of community is very special. I was surprised by the proactive help of my colleagues when I opened my bar in Sydney,” Whiley explained.