Kings Cross Distillery
A 1920s-inspired cocktail bar located in a former illegal gambling den.
November 10, 2020
Headed by distiller Odelia Potts, Kings Cross Distillery is Macleay Street's cocktail den and distillery featuring house-made gins, cocktails and Spanish snacks — plus personality aplenty.
As with many old buildings in the area, the venue's past lives are varied and salacious. These include an illegal gambling den and an adult bookstore with a hidden vault. That vault is no longer home to questionable activities, but the distillery's precious bottles of gin.
The fit-out pays homage to the building's history and emulates speakeasies from the 1920s — think dark green leather booths, exposed brick walls and gold details aplenty across the split-level bar. The distillery's 200-litre pot also sits front-and-centre. Expect seats for 120 all up and a kitchen serving mezze-style bites like garlic prawns ($29), sea bass ceviche ($29) and anchovies ($28). You can also order caviar by the ten-gram serve ($75).
Apart from the gin, the distillery will also make its own vodka and whisky, and pours other spirit and wine brands from around Australia and the globe. Guests can even keep specially selected drops in personalised spirit lockers, where bottles can be stored between visits and then used in any concoction on the menu. Eager punters can pre-purchase those spirit lockers (for a cool $400–1350) and have one all ready to go for opening night.
On the bar's cocktail menu, you'll find a bubble-topped Impeachment ($24), a Sin and Tonique ($24) and gin old fashioned dubbed Pepperation Makes Perfect ($24). All made with one of the distillery's house-distilled gins, of course. And you can leave with a bottle of that gin, too, with the classic dry gin and Garden Island navy strength gin available online and in-store.
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