Odelia Potts and her husband/Co-Founder – Khare Aoun are this close to opening their brand new Kings Cross Distillery – with their Spring launch just around the corner. So, naturally, we at DA were burning with questions!
“I want to capture the quintessence of Sydney in a bottle. I want people to see what I see and fall in love with the history of Kings Cross and Potts Point, when drinking my premium handcrafted gin.” –Odelia.
“Spirit Architect” – We are obsessed with that – What goes into being a Spirits Architect?
A lot of research! Then I imagined the sights, sensations, flavours, scents and aromas. I then capture that sensory experience – and turn it into a bottle of spirits. The creation, planning and design – the foundation of this – is the experience I want people to have at Kings Cross Distillery.
We’ve tried your gin – it’s SO delicious!
How did the idea come to you to create gin and the distillery?
It came from my deep appreciation of gin, which comes from 3 important factors:
1. My love of scent from my aromatherapist mother’s use of essential oils. It gave me a finer appreciation of the aromas and how they evoke a myriad of triggers and sensations in the body and mind.
2. The exposure from a very young age to cuisines from all over the world with my family. This has enhanced my joy of tasting combinations of different herbs and spices used in cooking.
3. Cooking of my Lebanese mother-in-law. Something like cinnamon, I only ever associated as a spice used in desserts and curries, but she showed me how it can be used in other savoury dishes.
These are the reasons why trying good gin from craft distilleries, became such an enjoyable past time with my husband. As we continued our gin discovery, he suggested that I should start making gin. I didn’t take him seriously until one day he showed me a property. It was a very run-down bar and restaurant on Llankelly Place in Sydney’s Potts Point. As soon as I looked inside, I loved the potential to save a piece of history and the sense of mystery – if only these walls could talk. Khare and I thought of it as a perfect opportunity to bring light and life to the original space. With Khare and our collective experience in construction, business and project management together with our love of food, wine, spirits and history, Kings Cross Distillery has been born.
What’s your favourite memory of Kings Cross?
My favourite memories of Kings Cross are the ones I have read from history books, photos and paintings I have seen, peoples personal stories. If I could choose to go back in time, it would be to the more glamorous times when celebrities like Frank Sinatra would perform, wine and dine in the area. But on a more personal account, I remember when I was a young child, my family would go to visit my Great Aunt in Elizabeth Bay. If we visited her of an evening, I can remember sitting in the car driving up William Street towards the bright lights of the Coca Cola signs and my dad saying not to look out of the windows. I peered anyway, and saw the flashing lights and signs, people hanging around, going up to car windows, dressed in platforms and fishnet stockings.
What’s your favourite element of the bar and your favourite cocktail?
Definitely ‘Miss Pottsy’, the still that makes our gin. She attracts a lot of curiosity. She is curvy and this goes in-line with all the other curvy lines you will find that softens up the exposed brick, raw steel and timber beams throughout the venue. Choosing my favourite cocktail, is like asking me which child is my favourite…it is impossible to answer. I love each and every cocktail, as it is a creative concoction to stimulate your senses. You will have to come in to try and pick your favourite!
I am so keen to do so! 🙂
Can gin be matched to food like wine? If so – what do you think works well with your gin?
Gin definitely has a unique personality, aroma, texture and flavour profile, just like wine. Some gins are floral, herbaceous, with citrus and others are spicy. There are full bodied and light bodied versions. Gin can be simple or very complex. The Kings Cross Classic Australian Dry Gin is what I call ‘floral and curvy’. It has perfume and a medium body, finishing dry yet not too dry. Warming whispers of cinnamon with Australian native myrtles in the background. Our gin goes with lighter bodied foods, shellfish, salads, white meats, buttery and creamy sauces or fragrant fare like Asian or Middle Eastern cuisines. Think foods with cardamom, lemon grass, smoked paprika, bell peppers or even for after a meal – spun sugar, honey and fruit or crème desserts and pistachio nuts.
How did you go about sourcing the ingredients?
Wherever possible, I source organic botanicals. Kings Cross Distillery is across the road from the Saturday Organic Farmers Markets. Often these farmers have their own small farms in the outskirts of Sydney, or they have sourced their produce directly from farmers in the Sydney basin. Knowing where the produce comes from, how it is farmed or processed, is important to me. I want to be as sustainable and environmentally conscious in my choices.
We at Daily Addict are so excited for your launch! Are you excited for the opening in spring?
Spring is a time where we begin looking forward to the sunshine, warmth, longer days, blooming flowers, green leaves and bright colours. These words and feelings are synonymous with gin. Spring is also a time of rebirth and renewal. We believe that the opening of Kings Cross Distillery will become a destination; it will mark the beginning of a renewed interest in the area and a rebirth of a positive cultural and entertaining experience that can be enjoyed by all who visit this Potts Point Kings Cross Precinct.