Kings Cross Distillery is located in what was a speakeasy and gambling den in the 1960s, before becoming an adult bookstore named Private Book Shop in the ’70s. More recently it was called Ecstasy Adult Book Store.

This sharp, inner-city operation is led by distiller and “spirit architect” Odelia Potts, a former contracts administrator who is now one of a handful of qualified female distillers in Australia. Potts works the venue’s still – aptly named Miss Pottsy – on a dry gin inspired by a recipe from the 1930s. The KXG Australian Classic Dry Gin includes botanicals such as juniper, coriander seed and cardamom pods, as well as Sydney-grown organic lemons. It’s served in cocktails or with mixers from the bar, along with house-made whisky and vodka and a range of international and local spirits.

A vibrant, Mediterranean-inspired menu is available to pair with a well-made cocktail or gin flight. One of two grazing boards goes heavier on Middle Eastern flavours, plus there’s falafel and fattoush on the list share plates if you’re after more.

The venue contains a walk-in vault, and according to the KXD team, a range of “secret businesses” took place behind its heavy steel doors back in the day. That vault is now used to store the spirits and a collection of pin-up photography documenting the space’s previous life. Guests can buy bottles of the distillery’s spirits and store them in personalised “spirit lockers”, which bartenders will pull out each visit to make your G&T.

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Updated: November 1st, 2023

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