The Georgians knew how to party – when it got cold and we mean really, cold, they didn’t hide away in their houses, they hosted frost fairs on the Thames. Yes, it got cold enough for the Thames to freeze over. Here they conducted trade, ate and drank hot gin.
Gin, as we all know, is a London favourite and Sipsmith has to be one of the best-loved gins. They’ve teamed up with Ham Yard Hotel for another round of the Hot Gin Roof series, a pop-up so successful last year that they decided to bring it back for a second run. This year they are looking at the classic cocktails – the Negronis, G&Ts and martinis; eleven in total.
It launches tomorrow, but we snuck in a sneak preview, just to give the cocktails a once over, make sure they’re up to standard you know? They’re the work of Jared Brown (Sipsmith’s Master Distiller) and Eoin Kenny (Ham Yard Hotel’s Bar Manager) and they are excellent. A favourite was the Reverse Martini – a mix of Sipsmith London Dry Gin, vermouth mix and vermouth bitters, it has an almost Christmassy flavour to it, with warming spices. You can also choose how to garnish it, we went for the oven roasted olives coated in rosemary and seasoned bread crumbs, but you can also go for dried fruit or balsamic glazed picked onions. We were also partial to the Negroni, served hot for starters and with the addition of red berry tea, giving it both a sweet and sharp taste and a reworking of Dick Bradsell’s espresso martini, served with maple syrup and a decadent cream topping was spot on.
It’s hosted on the Ham Yard Hotel’s rooftop, (normally reserved for hotel guests only), but don’t be put off by the elements, there are plenty of snug blankets to keep out the chill, although the hot alcohol does go some way to doing that too.
Hot Gin Roof: The Classics runs from 20th January to 14th February at Ham Yard Hotel, book tickets here.