Grant Collins’ latest venture is the much talked about The Powder Keg, in Sydney’s Potts Point, which sees him teaming up with James Young (Buzo, Wine Library). The bar is inspired by the Dutch and English gin palaces of the 17th and 18th centuries, playing on the history of genever (or jenever – also known as Dutch gin), gin and the cocktail. True to his inspiration Collins has amassed Sydney’s largest gin collection, with over 120 types of the stuff sourced from around the world.
“I’m really into Genever at the moment. As well as brands like Brooklyn Gin, King of Soho London Dry Gin, Boxer Gin, and Elephant Gin,” he says. “They’re all spectacular and I’m using them in both classic and modern cocktails.”
Naturally, the bar pays homage to the humble G&T with three choices of ice, five choices of tonic – including a homemade variety – and an abundance of different garnishes on hand to spice up your selected tipple.
“I think it’s the pure simplicity and refreshing nature of the mix that makes the G&T a classic [that has stood the test of time],” he says.
The signature cocktails are a new take on gin classics, including the Nettle Gimlet (gin and homemade nettle cordial) and the Gunpowder Plot (gunpowder tea-infused gin, Fernet-Branca, gunpowder syrup, dandelion and burdock bitters and a tea smoke). There is also a little black book of vintage cocktails from the 17th and 18th centuries hidden behind the bar and brought out by request only.
The stripped back interior highlights the 18th century architecture, accented with black leather club chairs and a wood panelled bar fitted with a vintage gin presentation cage.