Whilst we all envisage a beautiful home bar with a wide collection of spirits, garnishes, and mixers, the reality is that drinks are often best left up to the experts.
As a gin enthusiast, I still want to get out and try new types of gin in unique drinks. I’m an absolute sucker for a sweet gin cocktail. That’s why I love heading to bars who specialise in gin.
That’s why I wanted to look for the most interesting gin bars here in Australia. Living in Sydney, I’ve kicked off with the best gin bars I’ve visited in my home city, followed by an amazing array of bars for everyone who loves gin.
- 1 NSW & VIC – Four Pillars Gin Lab
- 2 NSW – Poor Toms Gin Hall
- 3 NSW – Archie Rose Distilling Co
- 4 Get The Gin Bar Experience At Home
- 5 ACT – Tipsy Bull
- 6 VIC – Clooney Kitchen & Bar
- 7 VIC – Bad Frankie
- 8 VIC – Gin Palace
- 9 SA – Malt & Juniper
- 10 SA – Prohibition Liquor Co
- 11 WA – Frisk.
- 12 NT – Charlie’s of Darwin
- 13 QLD – Granddad Jack’s Distillery
- 14 QLD – Proud Henry
- 15 TAS – Gin(Bar)
- 16 TAS – Turner Stillhouse
NSW & VIC – Four Pillars Gin Lab
Locations: 410 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010 & 2 Lilydale Rd, Healesville, VIC 3777
Four Pillars Gin is a modern Australian craft gin distillery that started in 2013 with three friends and one copper still named Wilma. Yep, they named their still. In 2019 and 2020, Four Pillars Gin was named the world’s leading gin producer by the IWSC in London.
The distillery is located in Healesville, Yarra Valley, in a former timber yard, where they make and experiment with gin on one side and serve up drinks and tastings on the other. They’ve also opened up an incredible bar in Sydney’s Surry Hills suburb with a unique vibe centred around Gin cocktails.
The distillery uses local native botanicals, such as lemon myrtle and Tassie pepper, and whole fresh citrus in every gin. There’s also an interesting range a gin-adjacent products including the highly recommended Gin Salt. It’s comfortably the best salt I’ve ever bought.
NSW – Poor Toms Gin Hall
Location: 6 Chalder Ave, Marrickville NSW 2204
Poor Toms Gin is a distillery founded by Jesse Kennedy and Griffin Blumer in Marrickville, Sydney in 2015. Named after the “archetypal philosopher, fool, madman, and dissembler” Poor Tom from Shakespeare’s King Lear, Tom also happens to be Jesse and Griff’s middle names.
The distillery space includes a German-made still and a bar styled like a church, with a long, marble-topped counter and a backlit archway. The cocktail list is based on seasonal, fresh produce and the still creations of Blumer and Kennedy. Even better, all the cocktails are available bottled to take away.
The distillery also offers rare releases, such as grappa made from spat-out Rootstock wines and a seasonal distillery release of pink gin sweetened by strawberry, hibiscus, cardamom, and ginger.
NSW – Archie Rose Distilling Co
Location: 85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018
Archie Rose was founded by Will Edwards in 2014, making it the first distillery to operate in Sydney since the 1850s. More recently, they moved the distillery into a new facility 4km south of their Rosebery bar. Thankfully, the bar still retains the charm of an old school distillery.
The fit-out is impressive, with a large copper bar dominating the space and surrounded by booths styled as whisky barrels. The bar offers the full Archie Rose spirits range, including unreleased products, as well as a rotating selection of local beers and a select range of other boutique spirits.
Like Four Pillars, they’ve won international acclaim including Best International Bar at the International Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.
Get The Gin Bar Experience At Home
Here at Food Box Mate, I’ve ordered gin subscriptions from as many different services as I can find, all neatly summarised in our article covering the top gin subscriptions in Australia. It’s been ‘difficult’ trying so much gin.
I love having a new gin experience delivered every month, with the ability to try a wide variety of unique and interesting gins. If travel isn’t on the cards right now, why not consider having gins delivered to your house.
Here are my three favourites:
ACT – Tipsy Bull
Location: 2/5 Lonsdale St, Braddon ACT 2612
Tipsy Bull is a lively, laid-back restaurant and bar located in Braddon, Canberra. With over 230 varieties of gin available, they offer a comprehensive Australian and international gin menu.
Alongside gin, you’ll find an extensive food menu designed for sharing. It’s self-described as ‘fine-ish’ dining with small and large tapas dishes. The decor is understated, creating a very relaxed atmosphere.
Most importantly, each serving of gin is served ‘deconstructed’ on a paddle with garnishes, allowing you to taste the gin on its own before constructing your perfect G&T.
VIC – Clooney Kitchen & Bar
Location: 171 Bay Street Port Melbourne 3207
Clooney’s is a luxurious art deco styled cocktail bar in Port Melbourne that serves small plate food alongside an extensive range of gins. The bar feels like an old-fashioned speakeasy, with dark walls, purple-velvet booths, and low lighting.
The bar specializes in signature cocktails with a focus on both gin and whisky. This is a true locals bar, and has a reputation as one of the best bars in Melbourne. In fact, the bar won TimeOut Melbourne’s Best New Bar award in 2019.
They’re only open Wednesday through Saturday and have quite a small bar, so we advise getting there early.
VIC – Bad Frankie
Location: 139-141 Greeves St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
At Bad Frankie, the entire back bar hosts over 500 different Australian-made spirits, including over 200 gins. To complement all these spirits, you’ll even find unique jaffle flavours to really get you into the patriotic mood. Need I say any more?
The name ‘Bad Frankie’ is a clever pointer towards Australian distilling history and John Franklin who outlawed small pot stills in the early 19th century. The Aussie theme is matched with nautical décor in this intimate venue.
There’s no better reason to head out to Fitzroy.
VIC – Gin Palace
Location: 10 Russell Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Gin Palace almost makes it onto this list by name alone. Thankfully, there’s more to this place than just branding. Gin Palace was one of Melbourne’s original laneway bars, and retains a liquor license that allows them to stay open until 3am.
Rather than opulence, expect cosiness with comfortable couches. Most importantly, you’ll find an extensive menu of G&T’s and gin cocktails that will keep you going until closing time.
Perhaps a visit to Gin Palace belongs at the end of a gin pub crawl featuring Clooney’s and Frankie’s as well?
SA – Malt & Juniper
Location: 18 Peel St, Adelaide SA 5000
Like many of the great Australian bars, Malt & Juniper specialise in both gin and whisky. Located on Adelaide’s iconic Peel St laneway, this is a bar that pays homage to classic cocktail bars.
You’ll find Australian gins alongside a wide variety of gins from every region of the world. The bar staff are experts who’ll find the right gin from their huge collection or suggest the right cocktail to make your night special.
This is a beautiful bar with cozy booths and a stunning collection of spirits. What’s not to like?
SA – Prohibition Liquor Co
Location: 22 Gilbert St, Adelaide SA 5000
Prohibition Liquor Co. is an incredible distillery in Adelaide that produces high-quality, small-batch craft gins. Prohibition Liquor Co. opened its city Distillery in 2017, featuring a 900L Copper Pot Still named ‘Mary’.
Prohibition Liquor Co. has won more than 50 international awards and offers a true cellar door experience for spirits, where you can taste and buy direct from the makers. The Tasting Room specializes in gin flights, where you can build your own Gin and Tonic with a range of spirits, interactive garnishes and mixers to create their own flavor combinations.
Tucked away on Gilbert street, the bar is a fantastic place to explore Prohibition Liquor’s locally made gins as they were intended.
Enjoy Prohibition’s gin? They also do a quarterly subscription box where they’ll deliver their latest releases to your door.
WA – Frisk.
Location: 103 Francis St, Northbridge WA 6003
Frisk is a very simple, unpretentious bar. You’ll find graffiti on the walls, concrete floors and industrial-style seating. You’ll also find the best gin drinks and cocktails in Perth.
200 different unique gins are available, and Frisk staff really know what they’re doing to craft beautiful drinks.
Get yourself down to Frisk on a Wednesday night for gin tasting platters that will blow your mind.
NT – Charlie’s of Darwin
Location: Austin Lane, Darwin City NT 0800
Looking out over the beautiful Raintree Park, Charlie’s is a mix of cocktail lounge, restaurant, and distillery. This is a fun, relaxed bar with a great atmosphere.
You’ll find an extensive range of small-batch gins that have been made onsite by Darwin Distilling Co. Using botanicals sourced from the Northern Territory (like Kakadu Plum and Lemongrass), these are delicious and uniquely territorian gins.
It’s also worth booking into their blending classes so you can take home your own unique blend of gin.
QLD – Granddad Jack’s Distillery
Location: 26 Collingwood St, Albion QLD 4010 and 45 Lemana Ln, Miami QLD 4220
There are two Granddad Jack’s venues, one in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast. Each one has an onsite distillery producing highly regarded ‘Granddad Jack’s’ gins.
Whilst the original distillery is in their Miami venue, it’s hard to ignore their Brisbane bar which is in a converted warehouse on Collingwood Street. It’s a gorgeous venue with the gin stills located front and centre as you walk in.
They’ve produced some stunning gins since opening in 2018, including the 65 Miles Gin which took home a gold medal at the International Wine and Spirit Awards in 2023.
A visit to Granddad Jack’s should be on every gin enthusiast’s bucket list.
QLD – Proud Henry
Location: 53 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
More than 280 gins made up of artisan, hard-to-find, and unusual styles makes this Brisbane bar a mecca for gin lovers.
Set in a stunning heritage building in Fortitude Valley, Proud Henry have built a strong reputation for championing interesting gins alongside creatively balanced cocktails.
Book in for a gin safari on any night of the week, where you’ll get to journey through different gin flavours and find your perfect G&T.
To complement your exploration of interesting gins, Proud Henry often has live jazz, soul & blues that make it a fantastic night out with friends.
TAS – Gin(Bar)
Location: Level 1/30 Argyle St, Hobart TAS 7000
Since Tasmania is world-renowned for the quality of air and water used in distilling, it’s no surprise that bars like Gin(Bar) exist. In partnership with Forty Spotted gin, this modern and eclectic venue in Hobart is an incredible place to experience gin.
You’ll find the full Forty Spotted Gin range, as well as a wide range of Tasmanian gins. Explore these with a 2-hour gin blending masterclass, or just rock up to the bar and taste some of the best gins in the world.
Gin(Bar) only opens 7 – 11pm Friday and Saturday, so unsurprisingly it gets busy. Is 4 hours long enough to try all the gins you want? I’m not sure.
TAS – Turner Stillhouse
Location: 1A Waldhorn Dr, Grindelwald TAS 7277
Found just 15 minutes north of Launceston in picturesque Grindelwald, Turner Stillhouse have crafted and produced three multi award-winning gins. Every Australian gin enthusiast should experience the Three Cuts Gin range.
What better place than the Turner Stillhouse, where you can sip on your G&T with a view overlooking the stunning River Tamar. They renovated their distillery in 2019 and offer daily tours and tastings.
Can’t make it down to Tasmania? You can get a taste of Three Cut Gins with their quarterly gin club.