Australia’s Best Gin Bars for a Botanical Beverage or Two
For an essential juniper fix, we've whittled down the best gin bars, distillery tours and tasting sessions in Australia guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning of gin drinkers.
From old-school classics to quirky newcomers, the humble G&T has thankfully found itself a permanent home on Aussie soils. After all, nothing quite beats a Hendricks and cucumber on a sunny (or even chilly) Saturday afternoon. And luckily for us, this tasty tipple doesn’t look like it’s checking out any time soon – there are countless gin spots popping up all over the country, serving up the best botanicals around.
So, in honour of World Gin Day– we’ve whittled down the best bars, distillery tours and tasting sessions in Australia, guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning of gin drinkers.
Photo Credit - Gin Lane
Conceptualised by award-winning mixologist Grant Collins, Gin Lane, in Chippendale’s foodie precinct, is set in a dark navy painted townhouse. Inside, the 1750s London-style bar features a collection of over 75 gins, so every taste is catered for – whether you like aromatic and fruity or pungent and peppery, Gin Lane has you covered. Tempted to work your way through the list?
16A Kensington Street, Chippendale
Photo Credit- The Barber Shop
Boasting the biggest botanical collection in Australia, The Barber Shop’s vintage underground gin palace is a haven for gin lovers, offering up over 80 different types of juniper blends from all over the world. It quite literally operates as a men’s barber shop during the day, then by night the adjoining space transforms into a sleek low-lit cocktail bar with old-school décor and dapper bartenders kitted out in quaint bow ties and retro aprons. They’ll rustle up any gin blend of your choice —including Genever, the original Dutch gin — as well as an impressive selection of cocktails. Some of our highlights? Citadelle Gin (France), Four Pillars (Australia), Death's Door (USA), Aviation Gin (USA - Ryan Reynolds’ gin brand), and Herno Gin (Sweden). Bottoms up.
89 York Street, Sydney
Photo Credit: Prohibition
Adelaide’s first distillery door, Prohibition offers gin buffs a place of botanical refuge to indulge in gin flights, cocktails and straight up G&Ts. As well as their own juniper infusions, Prohibition’s tasting room is where you’ll get to sample gin flights from all over the world, from local legends to global giants. Sip your way through an array of delicious concoctions – think blood orange spritz and cold drip espresso martinis – paired with Prohibition’s tasty platters of pizza plates and antipasto boards. Be sure to try their famous Bathtub Cut Gin inspired by the gins of the US 1920s prohibition era – they even have a bath tub floating above the bar complete with copper pipes as a statement centerpiece. Very cool.
22 Gilbert Street, Adelaide
Photo Credit: Moya's Juniper Lounge and Kristy Collister
Redfern’s sassy little venue, Moya has a straight-talking approach to gin – simple, traditional and downright delicious. Paying homage to its rich heritage, this hole-in-the-wall, old-school liquor lounge boasts a classic gin-based cocktail list, illustrated with the words of great drinkers and thinkers, ranging from the Queen Mother to Robert Downey Junior. Interiors nod to the gin palaces of old, with mismatched velvet sofas and vintage décor, promising a cosy atmosphere that’s as plush as it is laid-back and friendly. Sip on Dubbonet cocktails, listen to live music and tuck into a small-yet-perfectly formed menu of pickle plates, cured meat slices and ham and cheese brioche.
101 Regent Street, Redfern
Photo Credit: Four Pillars Gin
Set in the heart of the stunning Yarra Valley, just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Four Pillars’ world-class distillery has a superlative collection of award-winning juniper infusions. A visit to the distillery will guarantee samples of some of their finest, including their gold medal-winning Rare Dry Gin, the Bloody Shiraz – a fruity, summery red gin; and the Navy Strength – a perennial classic made using Aussie finger limes, coriander, turmeric and ginger, as well as a guided, informative tour of the venue itself. Once you’re finished, be sure to head to their cocktail bar for a cheeky Negroni. You won’t regret it.
2A Lilydale Road, Healesville
Photo Credit: Stillery
Sitting snug in Double Bay’s InterContinental, Stillery has an impressive gin collection that is something wonderful to behold. There are more than 100 different infusions on offer, including a handful that are limited-edition and of the vintage variety, sourced both locally and worldwide. The bar staff really know their stuff, so our advice is to let them take the lead, then all you have to think about is choosing the right charcuterie board. Life can be so hard sometimes.
33 Cross Street, Double Bay, Sydney
Photo Credit: Flour Factory
Flour Factory is home to Perth’s legendary gin wheel, where you can either roll up and spin the wheel yourself, or let the bartender take control. Whatever number you land on deciphers which gin you’ll be served – but don’t worry, with over 100 to choose from, you won’t be disappointed.
16 Queen Street, Perth
Photo Credit: Poor Toms Gin
Set in a Marrickville warehouse, Poor Toms Gin Hall is equal parts unassuming, mysterious and cool. The hall itself boasts a church-like reverie, with a looming backlit archway, confession-like bathrooms and an alter/shrine that celebrates Poor Toms’ gin god, Ginsus. The menu offers house gins, either in the form of a classic G&T, shaken as a martini or as an elegant, fruity cocktail – their floral strawberry gin and tonic is a particular favourite.
6 Chalder Avenue, Marrickville, Sydney (Reopening 12th June)
Photo Credit: The Howling Owl
One of Adelaide’s go-to gin haunts, The Howling Owl stocks an impressive range of over 130 small batch gin varieties, many of which are sourced from South Australia. By day, this chic East End hangout operates as a trendy café with a menu of soups, bagels, dips and grazing boards, whilst nighttime calls for something a little more indulgent. Cue popcorn gin old-fashioneds and elderflower and rose flowerbombs.
Vaughan Place, Adelaide
Photo Credit: Archie Rose
This Rosebery-based distillery is first and foremost, a working production line, but its slick Brooklyn-style, warehouse fit-out – think copper accents, retro woods and whiskey barrel booths – and fully stocked bar gives this vintage drinking den endless appeal. The bar comes armed with all the spirits you could ever think of, many of which are distilled by Archie Rose himself. Taste your way around Archie’s enviable range of gin, vodka, un-aged rye and single-malt whisky, as well as a selection of local beers and other boutique spirits. Anyone left feeling peckish, there are snacks and sharing boards to soak up all the boozy tipples.
85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, Sydney
Photo Credit: Hains & Co
Bringing a slice of Melbourne’s buzzing laneway culture to the heart of Adelaide, is award-winning bar veteran Marcus Moteram’s latest liquor venture. With a nod to Adelaide’s nautical past, this slick seafaring hangout specialises in the finest gin and rum, just the way sailors like it. Decked out in anchors, rum barrels and portholes galore, this quirky watering hole promises to ‘lift your spirits’ the minute you walk through the door. Hole up at the bar – that’s been custom-made from a large slab of the old Larg’s Bay jetty – and admire the vintage cruise ship posters, with a Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz in hand.
23 Gilbert Place, Adelaide
Photo Credit: Manly Spirits
This award-winning boutique distillery is seriously passionate about spirits – the team use foraged coastal ingredients to flavour their unique range of tipples. The Distillery Tasting Bar and tours run from Friday to Sunday where you can taste your way around their delectable selection of gin, vodka and whisky. If you’re lucky, there may be a limited release batch behind the bar.
4a/9-13 Winbourne Road, Brookvale, Sydney
A delightfully intimate gin parlour filled to the brim with glorious gin. Quite literally – this nifty little neighbourhood gem stocks over 180 varieties of juniper-laced botanicals. Choose from a small selection of fruity, aromatic cocktails, or enjoy straight up with ice and a dash of tonic. Frisk is also famed for its oyster selection – because gin sipping and oyster shucking naturally, go hand in hand.
103 Francis St, Northbridge, Perth
Loved our favourite Australian gin bars and looking to recreate the ultimate bar experience at home? Check out our Entertaining section for a selection of cocktail recipes to get the party started!
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