Zeta Bar’s Arabian Nights and cocktails

Zeta Bar at the top of the Hilton Sydney has always been a pretty damn fine bar. Its outlook over the beautiful Queen Victoria Building and down into the pulsing soul of the city is enticing and glamorous.

From Valentine’s Day, ’14 Zeta is embracing the romance of the exotic. Their Arabian Nights theme, which happens every Friday till the end of March, turns this slick modern venue into a mysterious Middle Eastern grotto.

Tastes of Persia and Arabia, North Africa and Turkey – it all culminates in a wonderland of soft cushions, luxurious carpets, hookah pipes, spiced lamb and exotic outlandish cocktails.

From the drinks list, our favourite cocktails featured on these Arabian Nights are the One Thousand and One Nights and  the Shahrazad.

One Thousand and One Nights

One Thousand and One Nights
This classically styled cocktail combines Tanqueray gin with saffron infused sherry, sweet vermouth and hints of apricot. The drink is served up in a star anise smoked coupette glass. A great beginning to your evening.

Here’s what you need:

  • 45ml Tanqueray
  • 10ml Antica Formula
  • 10 Saffron Tio Pepe
  • 7.5ml Apricot Brandy
  • 1 drop angostura bitters
  • Glass: Star Anise smoked coupette.
  • Garnish: Torched star anise, flamed orange spot (discarded)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Torch a star anise and place it in the bottom of the cocktail glass. Cover the glass to keep the smoke in.
  2. Pour the ingredients over ice into a shaker.
  3. Stir well and strain it into the smoked glass (don’t forget to take the cover off first!
  4. Twist and burn a piece of orange peel over the drink so the juices from the skin flame and shower the surface of the drink.


Inspired by the most famous princess in Arabic literature. Coffee, Cynar, Port, and Ketel One Vodka, with a pinch of salt. Accompanied by Turkish delight, this is a short sweet treat fit for a king – or princess to be! A step up from your run-of-the-mill espresso martini, this one’s guaranteed to keep you awake.

Here’s what you need:

  • 30ml Vodka
  • 30ml Coffee
  • 30ml Hanwood Port
  • 20ml Cynar – a bitter herbal liqueur from Italy
  • 20ml Spiced Agave Nectar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 drops rose water
  • Glass: Punch cup and saucer
  • Garnish: Side serve of Turkish delight.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pour all ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake and strain into the class.
  3. Garnish with a piece of Turkish delight.

These cocktails are incredible, aren’t they? They also sound like a lot of work. And that’s why I’ll be heading back to Zeta Bar soon to get someone else to make them for me!

Where will you be this Friday night? Tell us in the comments!

Images courtesy of Zeta Bar.

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