The grandness of The Roosevelt’s plush decor is only second to the concoctions it pushes off its liquid nitrogen fuelled cocktail trolley. And very soon, it’s dim sum cocktail cart as well...
And you thought we’d hit the cocktails and gotten ourselves trolleyed by the bar. But that’s not how it works at this much-loved Americana bar & diner, which calls to locals and regulars from its hidden locale in the backstreets of Potts Point.
The way it works is that you sit your pretty little thang down in one of its three rooms (the main bar & diner, the Marilyn room or the mafia-esque PDR/Poker room) and wait to be served off its bespoke cocktail trolley. And the wait is never long according, to bar manager Tom Price (ex-Eau de Vie). “My favourite off the liquid nitrogen cart is the Nitro Colada,” he says. “Basically it’s a pina colada sorbet, dried coconut, a lime meringue and then on the side, it’s kind of served like an affogato, you get a shot of banana and coconut fat-washed rum - it’s more of a dessert style drink. Because liquid nitrogen is so cold and evaporates so quickly, we can get it out fairly quickly.” It’s made in a minute and looks a million bucks.
With these specials on every night of the working week, you'll always have a reason to return to The Roosevelt:
Burger Tuesdays ($15)
A different burger every week - what'll it be tonight? Maple smoked bacon? Popcorn crusted chicken breast?
Wednesday Steak ($15)
Meaty Wednesdays to get you through the tail-end of hump day. There’s a reason it’s the most popular deal of the week.
Thursday Cocktail Yum Cha ($10)
Every week, a different theme, but guaranteed spot-on shots of cocktail goodness.
Martini Fridays ($10)
Cheers to the weekend. 5pm-7pm only.
Much like The Roosevelt’s decor, really. (Looking a million bucks, that is.) Amidst the heritage staircase, the wooden furnishings and the sleek bar, the luxe outfit also includes a rare collection of art deco and vintage shakers. It’s but a small sample of the collection that Behind Bars owner and director Sven Almenning’s has acquired over the years. It’s also the largest collection of shakers in Australia (don’t you just hate him?) and lines the partition between the front dining space and the Marilyn room.
Gaze but do not touch. One of the rarest finds on show is a ruby glass lady’s leg cocktail martini shaker. “As a whole set, that can cost in excess of $3000,” says Tom. “Some of them were used at Eau de Vie”... until two got broken. “And this is why we can’t have nice things!”
But they can shake up nice things.
As we drink in the smokey cold emanating off the trolley beside us, we question Tom over the theatrical prowess of the cocktails on the trolley’s rotation. Immediately, the seasoned bartender begins to reminisce over the Strawberry Blonde.
“It was a strawberry snow with a dusting of microherbs and black salt pepper rim with strawberry and agave-infused tequila,” he says. “When you poured the tequila over the drink it combined and released nitrogen, so you’d have a big, showy drink.”
The only issue was, it took way too long to make.
“You had to make the snow to-order, so basically blending strawberries, lime and slowly pouring it to make it combine - it was a long, complicated procedure which went against the idea behind our drinks, which is to get a drink out to you that you’ll never have tried before very quickly.” (Downing it just as fast is completely up to you.) So sadly, off the list and into sweet, cocktail memory it went.
If all goes well, the same won’t be said for The Roosevelt’s latest drinking novelty - the cocktail yum cha, due to roll out Thursday April 10. “The idea is that we come around with a trolley of drinks and you’ll have a stamping card too,” says Tom. “Small serve of drinks, so it’s just a couple of sips.” Meaning you can try “four, five, six drinks” without getting too, well, trolleyed.
“We’re creating all-new cocktails for this and it’ll be themed every couple of months, like rock ‘n’ roll heroes and cities,” says Tom. “There will be about 12 drinks. Three aperitifs and three dessert drinks - which are always going to be the same. Then we’re going to have six seasonals.”
What any of them they are, he refuses to reveal, although knowing that the head-curator behind The Roosevelt’s concoctions is award winning ex-Eau de Vie mixologist Dr Phil Gandevia, is enough to have us eagerly anticipating our dose of cocktail medication.
Trust him. He is the doctor and his prescription reads: take 12 daily.
Address: 32 Orwell Street, Potts Point
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturdays (5pm-midnight)
Find The Roosevelt on Facebook: The Roosevelt