Sydneysiders are already spoilt for choice when it comes to inner-city distilleries that double as great bars, and now there’s a new spot on the horizon from a couple of local bar and spirit-making legends.
Hickson House Distilling Co. is the brainchild of Mikey Enright and Julian Train (of The Duke of Clarence and The Barber Shop fame) plus Tim Stones (distilling whiz formerly of Manly Spirits), and their new venture promises to shake up The Rocks’ booze scene in a big way.
Housed in the old Saatchi & Saatchi garage, Hickson House will breathe new life into the former warehouse party pad with an active distillery pumping out an interesting mix of gin, aperitifs, whisky, and specialty spirits alongside an enormous, multi-storey bar serving up daring cocktails and a botanical-inspired menu to match.
First on the trio’s agenda is a range of "Hickson Road" gins (if The Barber Shop’s "Gin Bar Of The Year" reputation is anything to go by, you know it’s going to be epic), featuring a gin designed to pair with a special kangaroo dish.
Native ingredients aren’t just for the plate, either, with locally sourced ingredients showcased throughout the gin range, like botanicals from the historical Berrima village’s Loch Farm in NSW's Southern Highlands.
And if an eclectic booze selection and thoughtful menu weren’t enough, the Hickson crew will be opening their doors for immersive tours of the distillery and spirit store, plus on-site tastings if you want the full and fancy Hickson House treatment. Whether you’re just dropping in for an expertly made after-work cocktail or an exclusive, private dining experience (yep, they’ll be doing those too!), Hickson House will be doing it all.
Sydney-based Steel & Stitch (the team behind the elegant Toppi Martin Place) and UK stylist Sara Mathers head up the interiors, going for a New York-style warehouse vibe bringing a dose of cosy but industrial cool to The Rocks. Think exposed beams and brick, earthy tones, mood lighting, and chandeliers, plus a sofa-filled mezzanine lounge space sitting above a massive wraparound bar.
You won’t have to wait too long to get amongst it, with opening day slated for June 2021.
“Our vision is to create a city distillery that feels balanced by a fully-stocked bar serving all of our favourite spirits, so patrons can come for a behind-the-scenes distilling experience, modern Australian cuisine, or just a simple G&T,” says Enright.
Stay tuned for more info. For now, here's a list of Sydney bars you need to visit—and what to drink when you're there.
Image credit: Hickson House