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Award-Winning Gin Distillery Naught Has Opened a Sultry New Cocktail Destination in Eltham

Next door to the distillery, this elegant drinking den is whipping up classic-leaning sips — and clever reworkings — using Naught's three acclaimed gins.
By Libby Curran
May 17, 2022
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By Libby Curran
May 17, 2022
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Enter the enchanting speakeasy-style cocktail lounge adjacent to Naught's gin distillery, and you'd be forgiven for assuming you're deep within the inner-city reaches. But in fact, the moodily-lit bar, with its elegant sense of drama and standout cocktails, makes its home around 25 kilometres northeast of the CBD, in the leafy suburb of Eltham.

The brainchild of former teacher Chris Cameron, Naught has been quick to make a splash in the gin world, having scooped a swag of local and international awards since its first gin release in 2020. In December, the Australian Dry Gin scored both the Champion New World/Contemporary Gin and Champion Victorian Gin trophies at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards.

Now, the label is proving itself as a serious player in Melbourne's cocktail bar scene, with this sultry drinking den kitted out by Studio Y (Lumé, Nick & Nora's and Pearl Diver).

Designed to transport you well beyond its pocket of suburbia, the space is a glamorous one, featuring striking wallpaper, touches of velvet and an imposing sculptural work of dried native botanicals suspended from the ceiling.

Pull up a seat at the bar or in one of the deep leather booths, and admire the gleaming copper of the attached distillery while you sample Naught's creations at play. The bar's signature cocktails are crafted on either Naught's Australian Dry, Sangiovese or Overproof Gin, with the much-hyped Classic Dry also set to join the menu upon its release.

Here, there's a focus on the classics, backed by a lineup of subtle reworkings and clever signature sips. Take a trip back in time with an Aviation or a raspberry-spiked Clover Club, or re-energise with Naught's take on the espresso martini; made with macadamia and toasted wattleseed liqueur, and coffee by Eltham's Craftwork Roasting.

Also earning buzz is the HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUA'A — a blend of the Australian Dry Gin, orgeat, fresh pineapple and bitters, named after the state fish of Hawaii. Elsewhere, you'll find a three-gin tasting flight, a couple of house G&T's and a top-notch martini offering. A tight crop of hyper-local beers and wines also make an appearance.

Meanwhile, the share-friendly food menu will see you matching your sips with the likes of a loaded grazing board; the chicken, leek and truffle terrine; buffalo mozzarella with Pedro Ximénez balsamic and red-gum-smoked sea salt; and tins of caviar paired with crème fraîche and crisps.

Find Naught Cocktail Bar & Distillery at 2/32 Peel Street, Eltham. It's open 5–10pm Thursday, 5pm–12am Friday and Saturday, and 2–10pm Sunday.

Published on May 17, 2022 by Libby Curran
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