Level up your Winter with a private gin tasting and selfie session on Mortlock Library’s iconic balcony

Experience the Mortlock Library’s exclusive pop-up bar this July. Enjoy premium gins and captivating cocktails on the balcony at one of the world’s most beautiful libraries during Adelaide’s Illuminate festival.

Image via: Storytellers Distillery @ The Mortlock

One of our favourite hidden gems during Illuminate Adelaide, is located up a nondescript set of stairs on North Terrace. While it’s easy to miss the entrance to the Mortlock chamber of the State Library of South Australia, it’s also worth taking the time to seek it out, as it’s how you get into one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

The space is stunning on any given day. The towering ornate ceilings, the endless books, the golden glow. Its balconies feature wrought iron balustrading ornamented with gold while the glass-domed lantern roof allows the chamber to be lit with natural light. 

During Illuminate Adelaide, things level up even further. After dark, during July, visitors of the iconic Mortlock Library can check out the Storytellers Distillery pop up gin bar. With great tunes, epic lighting creating a whole new experience, and more, it’s jaw dropping stuff.

And things just got even better.

Now you can book an exclusive balcony gin experience, where you will sip on a flight of award-winning gins and world-class cocktails as you overlook the library’s main floor, where visitors enjoy the pop-up gin bar every night from 5:30pm to 10:30pm. After drinking in luxury, guests will be able to explore the upper level and are encouraged to take photos and pose with the Mortlock wing’s stunning architecture, including gorgeously lit walls of bookshelves and iconic balustrades.

This opulent experience is a new addition to the Storytellers Distillery @ the Mortlock event, which is returning from its first run last year, when it saw many visitors coming in from a night of exploring the Illuminate Adelaide City Lights. If you’re enjoying the Illuminate festivities in the city this year, you can again escape from the cold or rain and enjoy a warming toastie at the bar, as well as Storytellers Distillery’s curated selection of gins, top shelf mixers, and delicious cocktails.

The new addition of the balcony experience to this popular event provides a unique perspective for guests as they enjoy the backdrop of the stunning late Victorian architecture and historic literary collections of the library. This event provides a unique opportunity to enjoy both the historical and cultural aspects of this iconic Adelaide landmark.

The State Library of South Australia Director Geoff Strempel is excited to welcome guests for this event once more. “Our historic Mortlock Chamber is a beautiful, unique space and it was wonderful to see so many people visit Storytellers @ The Mortlock last year,” he says. “We are very pleased to be elevating the experience even further this year.”

Head Distiller Lachlan Gunner of the Thebarton-based Storytellers Distillery shared his excitement for the event as well, “We had such a wonderful time with the State Library of South Australia to deliver Storytellers @ The Mortlock last year, and are looking forward to going even bigger and better in 2024.”

Tickets for the Mortlock Exclusive Balcony Gin and Cocktail Tasting Experience are expected to sell quickly, time slots being available nightly at 5pm, 6.40pm, 8.20pm and 10pm until the 21st of July.

Date: Nightly 5th July – 21st July
Sessions: 5:00pm, 6:35pm, 8:10pm, 9:45pm
Duration: 70-80 minutes
Location: Mortlock Chamber, State Library of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, Northern Staircase
Instagram: @storytellersatthemortlock

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