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Naught Cocktail Bar & Distillery

  • Bars
  • Eltham
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Naught cocktail bubble pop
    Carmen Zammit
  2. Naught bar full for the night
    Carmen Zammit
  3. A lineup of cocktails
    Naught Distillery
  4. Naught from the outside
    Carmen Zammit
  5. A pink cocktail
    Naught Distillery

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

This retro-leaning gin joint is bringing city style to the outer suburbs

The doors to the best speakeasies act like magic portals, instantly transporting you to somewhere that seems a thousand miles from where you just stood. At Naught Distilling, one minute you’re in a near-deserted industrial park in Eltham – home to Naught’s gin distillery – and the next you are in a speakeasy-cum-tropical bar (troppospeak?) with nods to LA’s true hipsters bars like the Dresden Room, as popularised in Swingers

The place is designed by Studio Y, a group that already has mid-century form kitting out Nick and Nora’s and Boilermaker House; it’s a riot of pressed-metal ceilings, velvet, bold wallpaper and pensive JH Lynch-inspired portraits. The stonework-fronted bar is long, langorous and designed for making new friends as you sit under a dried botanical creation suspended from the ceiling. The soundtrack is swing and jazz from the likes of King of Swing Louis Prima, there’s a mezzanine couples' hideaway and a wall of ample-sized booths for groups on the giggle water. The whole scene is watched over by Carl, the steampunk-looking gin still that cranks out Naught’s award-winning craft spirits. 

Try some of Carl’s creations in a list of cocktails that celebrates some lost classics from the Prohibition era, like the Corpse Reviver No 2 and the Casino (sibling to the Aviation). There is also a page of G&Ts and a tasting flight where you can sample some of Naught’s more offbeat creations like the Sangiovese gin.

The real fun is in the pages of Smuggler’s Cove with twisted tropical classics like the Gina-Colada, inserting Naught’s Overproof Gin into the beachside classic served in a pineapple-shaped glass, or the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, which is not only fun to (try to) say but packs a huge citrus punch with fresh lemon and pineapple with the Overproof Gin and housemade orgeat. It’s named after the state fish of Hawaii, garnished with a seashell and, at nearly three standard drinks, hits like a big Oahu wave. Food is simple bar snacks of olives, anchovies, meatballs and cheese plus a range of terrines and pates, like duck and cherry or rabbit and confit onion.

It took Naught’s owner, Chris Cameron, over 300 distillations to perfect the company’s Australian Dry Gin, but just one attempt to deliver Melbourne one of its best new bars, a cheekily ritzy destination juice joint.

Written by
Paul Chai


2/32 Peel St
View Website
Opening hours:
Thu, Fri 5pm-late; Sat, Sun 2pm-late; Mon-Wed closed
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