Gin, it’s mother’s ruin, it’s what kept the British Empire free of Malaria, it’s my granny’s favourite drink. And yet, somehow it’s not at all fusty. In fact, it’s doing incredibly well, genteel restaurants serve it with afternoon tea, hipsters down the stuff so fast they should call it Shoreditch Water, and everyone from mechanics to royalty is hooked on the stuff.
So when World Gin Day rolls around, this Saturday, you can only imagine that we’re inundated with upcoming events to celebrate. Drink first, ask questions later, who cares that it’s totally unclear who decides it’s World Gin Day, is it the UN? Or what that even means. Here’s some of the World Gin Day places we’ll be calling at over the weekend.
Simpson’s in the Strand might be one of London’s most old-school restaurants, but they’re totally up-t0-date when it comes to gin and they’ll be celebrating World Gin Day in the best way possible, by creating hidden haven for gin drinkers in their art deco Knight’s Bar, above the restaurant. Partnering with gin brand Whitley Neill Knight’s Bar will be serving a couple of drinks specially devised for the event: The High Ball, comprised of Whitley Neill gin peach, gentian and ginger ale and the Martinez Whitley Neill gin, cherry liquor, wine blend and bitters.
Where: 100 Strand, WC2R 0EW
Where: 8 Brown’s Buildings, Aldgate, EC3A 8AL
Why not head down to Hilton’s Lincoln Plaza at Canary Wharf to learn all about gin, what goes into gin, what tastes great in gin and, well, gin? Theodore is a new gin, fresh from the Scottish Highlands and ‘powered by the spirit of the Picts’. Created by leading perfume designer, Barnabé Fillion, Theodore includes 16 botanicals for a real aromatic hit, which they’ll be demonstrating in a masterclass of perfume and cocktail making this World Gin Day. Take a chance to sample the 16 botanicals in perfume form and find out more about the links between perfumery and spirits.
Where: 2 Lincoln Plaza Canary Wharf, Millwall, E14 9BD
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Where: 350 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UU, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.8 miles)
Aster la vista, baby! And other corny catchphrases beside (‘kiss my Aster’) will be a-plenty once you’ve gotten a few of the Victoria restaurant’s gin cocktails down you. Served with an edible gin-filled cone and complete with with Champagne pearls. The creation, specially for World Gin Day, is pretty to look, at and even better to drink, made with Aster pink gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with rose Champagne and complete with an edible treat (it’s the cone).
Where: 150 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5LB, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Victoria (0 miles)
The so-called ‘housemates’ at twee houseparty themed Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill are obviously all-in when it comes to flogging gin for World Gin Day, and like every mates’ house you randomly show up at, they’ll be throwing in a brunch. In fact, it’s better than that, and this is where it actually gets interesting, the brunch is actually a brunch-themed cocktail and, curiously, its chlorophyll-based. Called The Hangover, it’s packed with health benefits, made with The Botanist Gin, elderflower, egg white, chlorophyll, served in a coupette with mint and chlorophyll perfume. Add-ons include an “activated charcoal shot” on the side (!), of course.
Available from 8th June, and will remain on the Saturday Brunch menu indefinitely
Where: 87 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, W11 3JZ
Get some Hebridean gin down you at Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild where they’ve come up with a Smoked Salmon Infused Gin. Billed as for the “gin lover who’s tried them all”. Which makes sense, we probably wouldn’t have ever (like, ever) thought of that. Distilled at the Dunnet Bay Distillery in Caithness, this small batch gin features local botanicals like juniper, rowan berries, sea buckthorn, blaeberries and roseroot.
Where: 9A Devonshire Square, The City, EC2M 4YN
The Coral Room, so named after the incredibly, garishly, possibly even violently, pink pink walls also has some World Gin Day gin on the go. Try their Rose Blossom cocktail, made from Tanqueray, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, orange bitters, elderflower cordial and English sparkling wine and all ideal for enjoying surrounded by Martin Brudnizki designed, goppingly pink, fanciness.
Where: The Bloomsbury 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN
Where: 50-52 Long Lane, Farringdon, EC1A 9EJ
Bull in a China Shop will be putting on a bottomless gin brunch thanks to partners Gin Mare, Silent Pool, Colonel Fox and KI NO BI. The menu includes Waffles for Grown Ups (they come with bacon and alcoholic caramelised bananas), Bull Range eggs and a beef fillet club with caramelised onion. And, the kicker, there’ll be unlimited gin for two whole hours.
Where: 196 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6LG
Mixers come in all shapes and sizes, from supermarket own brand tonic water to cement. Longbottom & Co make mixers, but mixers like you’ve never known, rather than another boring slimline they’ve brought out a range of virgin Mary mixers and hot sauce. Available next-day from Amazon, if you’re thinking about celebrating World Gin Day at home this is the perfect way to go about things.
Website: Buy tickets here...