If there’s one person in Sydney with the chops necessary to prepare the perfect gin and tonic, it’s veteran mixologist Grant Collins (Zeta, The White Hart, W at Woolloomooloo Wharf, The Smoking Panda). And with The Powder Keg in Potts Point, he’s created an ode to all things gin.
The TPK signature blend is delicately balanced; London dry gin with lavender, grapefruit and chocolate bitters, served with Fever Tree tonic over chipped ice with juniper berries. It’s also the only G&T in Sydney available on tap. If you’d prefer to craft your own, there’s a selection of more than 120 gins (and growing) to choose from, five tonic waters, three types of ice and your choice of garnish.
“I wanted to make something that was easy and accessible,” says Collins. “The bar scene all over the world is changing. Look at the bars of New York. They’ve all been getting a bit serious lately. You head out and go to speakeasy after speakeasy, and you end up spending the night looking for hidden doors. A bar should be a release from everyday life. I think it should be fun.”
The cocktail list is whimsical and eccentric. Try the spectacular Gunpowder Plot, a nod to the failed Guy Fawkes scheme of 1605 and the inspiration for the venue’s name. Gin is infused with gunpowder tea and combined with Fernet-Branca, Dandelion and Burdoch bitters and fresh citrus before being tea smoked just prior to drinking. Then there’s the Volcano Punch, a tropical concoction of dark rum, passionfruit, bitters and apricot liqueur, served bubbling ominously in a tiki mug. For traditionalists, there’s the Little Black Book, available only by request; a selection of classic cocktails from the 1800s kept hidden behind the bar.
The dining menu, executed by chefs Roy Ner (Aria) and Elijah Holland (Jonah’s, Aria), is elegant and refined with English influences, while still cleverly matched to British-born Collins’ spirit of choice. Think duck schnitzel lollipops with pickled kohlrabi and tarragon mayonnaise; Sydney Rock oysters with G&T sorbet; and smoked chicken with lentils, artichokes and mint.
The Powder Keg
7 Kellett Street, Potts Point
(02) 8354 0980
Tue to Thu 5pm–late
Fri to Sat 4pm–late