Ester Spirits launched in 2020 and quickly became a favourite among top Sydney venues including Sean’s Panaroma and Nomad. Three years later owners and hospo veterans Felix Clark and Corinna Kovner opened this dedicated distillery and cellar door, a far cry from their days making gin on a small backyard still.
Just like Ester’s creations, the distillery is packed with personality, and built on the idea of an artist’s studio. Oversized hand-painted cigarettes dress up the entrance, where a ramp takes you to the main floor. There you’ll find a black-and-white marble bar, rods of neon lighting and sculptural pots filled with greenery. Small circular tables and plinths are speckled white and fire-engine red, to match Ester’s boxes and bottles. But there’s also a shining copper still, shelves of packed boxes and containers filled with ingredients.
There’s no beer or wine, just a tight list of cocktails that showcase the Ester range. The Felix Negroni (which is also available pre-bottled) mixes The Dry, Campari and Cocchi Di Torino vermouth from northern Italy. A zingy mandarin seltzer combines a house-made shrub with yuzu sake and The Dry. But Clark and Kovner purposefully make their spirits to be enjoyed neat, which you can absolutely do here.
A simple and snacky menu includes charred bread by AP Bakery dressed with bonito-pickled eschalot and sliced tomatoes, tins of Ortiz anchovies, smoked mackerel, a hunk of cheese and house-made eggplant kasundi.
Don’t leave without browsing the cabinet of take-home curiosities, such as oceanic earrings and cocktail barware by Cyd, a friend and resident assistant distiller. There are also candles, ceramics, silk bowling shirts and reversible bomber jackets from LE Studio.
Phone: No phone
Gift the experience of Australia's
best restaurants, cafes and bars