A hotel bar gilt with talent


The QT hotel brand has opened their Sydney flagship location, complete with three high-quality bars over different floors and some significant Sydney talent. The emphasis on quality extends further than just your usual hotel bar fare, with the team using house-made ingredients where possible.

“We make everything from scratch ourselves,” said Bar Manager Jared Thibault, “a lot like the stuff you see in Manhattan, New York, San Francisco.”

“We make our own orgeat, we make our own falernum, we make our own ginger beer. We do barrel-aged cocktails as well.”

“Its something I did in the states. It’s one of those things that you have to do it right, because people will age it for two weeks and think ‘oh, it tastes the same.'”


Thibault moved to Australia from his home in America earlier this year, where he has had experience working with luminaries like Jamie Boudreau, and his time working with the beverage director for Thomas Keller’s bar program equipped him well for his post at QT, with it’s emphasis on food.

“I looked at the food menu and tried to use some of the ingredients in that, things like lemon balm.”

“It has been hard to get some things here,” he said about the tyranny of distance faced by bartenders in Australia. Thibault turned to UK online store, The Whisky Exchange, to fill in the gaps. “When I got out here I was having a hard time finding some stuff and I actually talked to a couple of guys from Baxter Inn, and I was like where do you get all your stuff?”

What he hasn’t had trouble finding is a crack team of bartenders to come on board. Joining him is Mars Heleta (who got his start under Loy Catada and is most recently from Pocket), Dominic Polito (who has been finalist in many a comp of late) and in a big coup, rising star Taka Shino (formerly of Eau de Vie) starts behind the stick from November.

Our tip: start at the Negroni bar downstairs and work your way up the floors.

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