Distilleries in Sydney
Distilleries in Sydney
Distilling has a short but sweet history in Australia. And today, Sydney’s innovative spirits connoisseurs craft everything from award-winning whisky to rum, gin and vodka. Pick up a bottle to take away, or settle in on the grounds of these top-notch makers for a spirited flavour-bomb like no other.
Archie Rose, Rosebery
We wouldn’t blame you for simply dropping in on Archie Rose for a whimsically-named cocktail or two in the bar. Perhaps a Papaya Don’t Peach with the brand’s botanical vodka, blood orange, lime, papaya, peach, chilli and salt. Phew! Or a Baby Got Mac, made using white rye, coconut, wattleseed, macadamia and mango. You can also sip your way through a spirit flight, highlighting the many tasty beverages – whether whisky, rye, gin or vodka – made by this pioneering distillery.
The establishment spearheaded Sydney’s distilling renaissance when it opened in 2014, and today welcomes you to glimpse where the magic happens on a behind-the-scenes tour. The talented makers here love to see visitors getting their hands dirty, which means you can also sign up for gin and whisky blending sessions and take home a bottle of your own creation, or enjoy themed masterclasses. Like how to make that cocktail you just ordered in the bar.
Poor Toms, Marrickville
What started out as a couple of Sydney housemates experimenting with a two-litre still and a bunch of different botanicals has turned into the hugely successful boutique gin brand, Poor Toms. From Thursday through Sunday head to the Poor Toms Gin Hall to try the brand’s three types of craft gin (Sydney Dry, Strawberry and Fools Cut) and perhaps an Imbroglio (their version of an amaro liqueur).
Settle in among the hanging plants and avail yourself of G&Ts a seasonally changing cocktail menu, food from nearby Pizza Madre, and local DJs playing laid-back sets on ‘Scat Sundays’, complete with sausage sizzle. It’s also dog-friendly, and you can take away ready-to-go cans of gin and tonic and negroni spritz.
Manly Spirits Co., Brookvale
Life in Manly, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, revolves around the ocean, and there’s a distinctive seaside vibe to the drinks at Manly Spirits Co. Sustainably foraged marine botanicals (alongside native Australian and more traditional ingredients) go into the gin made here, and you’ll find a Marine Botanical Vodka, which promises sea air notes on the nose.
Join a distillery tour or a cocktail masterclass. Or simply call in to the distillery’s tasting bar, open Thursday to Sunday and offering spirits, cocktails, craft beer and organic wine as well as cheeseboards and grazing plates.
Finders Distillery, St Leonards
On Sydney’s North Shore, Finders Distillery was born out of a love for craft products, fine produce and travel – in fact, the Aussie owners first came up with the concept while exploring the world. Vodka and gin are the key spirits here, one blend made using native red finger limes alongside kaffir lime leaves and Tahitian limes. Zing!
All spirits are made and bottled on site, and you can visit the tasting room on Fridays and Saturdays, and tour the premises on Saturdays (bookings essential). Cheese boards loaded with Aussie artisan fromage are available to accompany your cocktail or tasting.
Four Pillars Laboratory, Surry Hills
If you want to find all your gin-loving needs in one space, make tracks for this Surry Hills gem. The Sydney outpost of the 2019 and 2020 winner of World's Best Gin Producer, enjoy world-class cocktails in Eileen's Gin Bar, paired with Made From Gin dishes created by chef Matt Wilkinson, or experience a Gin Workshop in the Gin Lab, complete with a working copper gin still (named Eileen).
There is also an on-site retail shop selling Sydney-exclusive gins, including the Sydney Winter Gin (infused with bulbs of fresh fennel, whole ruby grapefruit, roasted wattleseed, pepperberry, turmeric, ginger, coriander and lemon myrtle), as well as fun keepsakes such as chocolates and soaps infused with the same botanicals found in the signature Rare Dry gin.
Brix Distillers, Surry Hills
Rum has a chequered past in Sydney, but the team at Brix are determined to give it a makeover via a distillery, bar and restaurant. Brix’s artisan offerings range from a gold rum to a spiced rum and a white rum, not to mention a collaboration with the team: the Brix Trail Mix 2021. Limited releases include the Citrus Got Real, made using sugarcane infused with ruby grapefruit, lemon myrtle, bay leaf, pink peppercorn and native bush currants.
You can join a tour of the distillery and even blend your own rum. Or simply settle in to sample the 150 rums from around the world served at the Brix Bar, which also offers craft beer and wine, and a South American-inspired dining menu.