Ambitious new distillery, bar and dining room Hickson House Distilling Co is ready to rock

Hickson House main bar is part of the venue located in the former carpark of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi.
Hickson House main bar is part of the venue located in the former carpark of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi.  Photo: Tom Yau

The first hospitality venues of a bumper summer season are lining up at the starting line, with Hickson House Distilling Co. at The Rocks one of Sydney's more ambitious projects.

The sprawling distillery, bar and dining room from one of the city's most seasoned teams is doing not-so-dry runs in the lead up to its official opening next Tuesday December 7, giving Good Food an early peek of its interior.

Located in the former carpark of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, it was the location for some of the most extravagant parties seen in Sydney. "We found glitter in the dust on the beams during construction," says co-owner Mikey Enright.

Pearl martinis, salt-roasted split prawns with charred lime and chilli, and oysters with gin, apple and river mint ...
Pearl martinis, salt-roasted split prawns with charred lime and chilli, and oysters with gin, apple and river mint vinaigrette at Hickson House. Photo: Tom Yau

Enright and Julian Train, the duo behind The Duke of Clarence and The Barber Shop, have teamed with distiller Tim Stones on the project. Realised in a pandemic, the trio has spent much of the past year refining its gin recipes via Zoom, the zoomba party even extending to working with a UK-based stylist. Wallpaper, upholstery and furniture had to make its way to Sydney via the Suez Canal logjam.

Enright explains they made the first batch of gin in Griffith so they had enough stockpiled to open. With in-house distilling up and running, they'll offer gin and whisky tours and tastings alongside the lofty bar and dining space and more intimate mezzanine High & Dry Bar.

Its gin range (Australian Dry, London Dry and Harbour Strength) uses ingredients sourced from all over the country, often grown exclusively for the distillery, with a strong use of botanicals. The food menu stays on-theme, squid teamed with finger lime and pepperberry, kangaroo tartare and a whisky chocolate lamington. "We use seven native botanicals in the chicken schnitzel," Enright adds.

Julian Train, Tim Stones and Mikey Enright at Hickson House.
Julian Train, Tim Stones and Mikey Enright at Hickson House. Photo: Steven Woodburn

About 600 bottles will be on display as the centrepiece to the back bar in this transformed heritage space, a project Train insists, "has been our most rewarding and ambitious project to date."

Hickson House Bar & Kitchen
Open Tue-Wed 4pm-midnight; Thu-Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm.

High & Dry Bar
Open Tue-Sun 4pm-midnight.

Hickson House Distillery
Open for one-hour tour and tasting experiences Thu-Sun at noon, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm.

6 Hickson Road, Dawes Point, 02 8999 3852, hicksonhouse.com.au