Is this Australia’s largest collection of bitters?

The Smoking Panda has had an Old Fashioned makeover, re-emerging as a classic bar with a vast collection of bitters and a focus on this cocktail classic.

Located in Sydney’s CBD, The Smoking Panda is now home to what must be the largest collection of bitters – totaling 232 – of any bar in Australia.

Combined with the bar’s total of 261 different spirits, the Smoking Panda will showcase the creativity of this classic formula with more than 18 billion possible combinations.

Bar Manager Iain Guthrie has spent the last month playing matchmaker to the bitters and spirits in The Smoking Panda’s collection, creating a menu of more than 228 individual recipes.

“We’ve got an Old Fashioned for everyone,” Guthrie said. “Every single Old Fashioned on our menu was prepared and tasted to ensure a delicious and interesting pairing.

“A bottle of bitters has been steeped in any number of herbs and spices, to the point you only need a few drops to create a drink that’s exploding with flavour.

“We have enough variety on our menu that you could come in every day for the next 50,000 years and still not have the same drink twice. From gin to rum to whiskey, we’ve got the bases covered and the knowledge to back it up.

“And because Old Fashioneds are so simple that they can be served quickly, our customers can spend more time enjoying the company of their friends, work colleagues and a this world-class drink.”

The Smoking Panda’s revamped space blends LA’s lively bar scene with a retro Chinese eatery, including a six-metre bar and a new freezer to store an Old Fashioned essential: hand-cut ice.

There’s also a classic spread of cocktails, bar menu and wine list to keep guests occupied, and Guthrie promises that “the reception won’t be as bitter as the backbar.”

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