With the popularity of gin comes the increased number of bars all claiming to be gin experts or supposedly boasting London’s largest gin collections. We’ve looked beyond the obvious ‘gin bars’ and have picked the destinations that you may have overlooked. From monthly gin and jazz to gin tastings with the experts, here are our pick of the gin places you may have not previously considered.
What: Pop-Up Gin Bar
Why: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel are paying tonic as much attention as the gin with their Fever-Tree summer pop-up. The ‘Ultimate Gin & Tonic Summer Bar’ will help gin lovers discover new flavours and future favourites, to the backdrop of live music and (hopefully) some sun to get you in the gin drinking mood. Open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm-10pm, from 8th June until 26th August.
Where: Euston Road, London, NW1 2QR
What: Boutique Mayfair Gin
Why: Tucked away in Mayfair, Hush is a strong bar destination in its own right but for gin lovers it holds another secret. Bar Director Pedro Solorzano has created their own London distilled gin with flavours of jasmine lotus, tonic beans and lavender. Try it in their ‘Hush & Tonics’ as well as their Gin & Jam afternoon tea which, as the name suggests, spices up the classic tea time experience with unique cocktails.
Where: 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London, W1S 1EY
What: The Most Expensive Gin in the World
Why: Park Chinois take their gin seriously. In fact, they stock the most expensive gin in the world (Nolet Silver Dry Gin – a Dutch variety) and have come up with a specific serve for the other 16 gins stocked so the tonic and garnish suit the spirit perfectly. If you’d rather a cocktail then you’ll be in safe hands with their bestselling Clover Club, made with Half Hitch Gin, or keep it simple with a gin Martini.
Where: Park Chinois, 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8EA
Why: Drinking gin in an oak-panelled snug seems pretty ideal. The Den at St Martins Lane is a quirky spot for a quintessentially British tipple over a game of backgammon or catch up with a friend. Quirky artwork on the walls may make you feel a little tipsier than you actually are so drink wisely.
Where: 45 St. Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4HX
What: Sipsmith Gin Masterclass
Why: The Marylebone hotel have teamed up with top London distillery, Sipsmith, to celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday 10th June. An exclusive gin masterclass will be hosted by Richard Hamer and see guests try The London Dry Gin, The London Cup and The Sloe Gin as they also sample light bites. After the time, the hotel’s 108 Bar next door will continue to serve classic gin-based serves as well as their own versions; 108 Garden is made with Beefeater, elderflower, fresh mint, cucumber, apple and cherry bitters.
Where: 47 Welbeck Street, London W1G 8DN
What: 30 Gins
Why: In the heart of Westminster, The Cavalry Bar at The Rubens at the Palace boasts a collection of 30 gins. Try the (imaginarily titled) Rubens at the Palace Gin with notes of coriander, cardamom, pink pepper and Yorkshire tea – how very British. Other gins in their collection include Martin Millers, Elephant Gin and City of London Dry Gin so get tasting…
Where: The Rubens at the Palace, Buckingham Palace Road, London
What: Gin and Meat
Why: If you’re tired of the classic G&T (how can you ever tire of it…the combinations are endless?) then you’ll want to try the likes of Cucumber Sour, Lemon Curd Collins and English Summer Garden; the new summer gin cocktails created by the team at MeatUp in Wandsworth. It’s not just meat they’re good at… Oh, and if you visit between 5-7pm Monday – Friday or all day Saturday (until 7pm) then you can nab your cocktails half price.
Where: 350 Old York Road, London, London Borough of Wandsworth SW18 1SS
What: Gin and Jazz
Why: The Arch Bar at The InterContinental London Park Lane has a collection of over 40 gins – that’s a lot of G&Ts to work your way through. Do so steadily, with a little help from the seasonal cocktails to get you started – one of the most popular is the Prudence, named after the Sipsmith copper distillery pot and inspired by the classic gimlet; Sipsmith gin, fresh basil and citrus vermouth. Go one step further and attend one of their monthly Gin & Jazz evenings that combine live, golden age jazz with a tribute menu and classic cocktails.
Where: One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, W1J 7QY
What: Gin With a View
Why: Underground bars are all well and good but sometimes you want a view with your G&T. Gillray’s Bar boasts views of the Houses of Parliament across the river but look down at the table in front of you for your choice of gin cocktail, made with one of their 80 gins… It’s not only the view they boast. Try their homemade sloe gin or the barman’s favourite; Uncorking Old Sherry with sloe gin, cherry brand and a barrel-aged sherry.
Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London
What: Gin Club and Gin of the Month
Why: Why have one bar when you can have three? South Place Hotel have exactly that, with a selection of over 40 different gins and a menu of recommended pairings so you can compliment your favourite gin with a suitable tonic. Not only that but they have a ‘Gin of the Month’ so you can try something new, and a ‘Gin Club’ loyalty card so you can be rewarded for sipping the good stuff (5 stamps = a complimentary G&T).
Where: 3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF
What: Scandinavian Gin Tasting
Why: Whoever said that gin was only a London thing? Aster celebrate Finnish and Swedish gins at weekly tasting events in the upstairs area of their restaurant every Wednesday evening. Sample their food while you’re at it – guests will receive a selection of Nordic bar bites from the Deli – and become a gin connoisseur, every Wednesday from 6:30-8pm. To celebrate World Gin Day (10th June), guests can try the adventurous Elderflower Mint and Matcha cocktail, or Rose Soda, made with gin, rose petal syrup and egg white.
Where: 150 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5LB
What: Bespoke Gin
Why: What’s better than serving a strong selection of gins? Serving your own bespoke gin of course. Launceston Place created their own gin over at Portobello Road Ginstitute, with the aim of being a good fit in everything from Martini to G&T. The result? Lemon peel, liquorice root, lapsang souchong tea, nutmeg and more. Basically just a bloody good gin.
Where: 1a Launceston Place, London, W8 5RL
What: Iconic Martinis
Why: DUKES Bar is known for its martinis across the world, so it’s not surprising that gin is a spirit they truly understand. The bar is said to have inspired James Bond’s signature ‘shaken, not stirred’ martini but you can put your spin on things by personalising your cocktail however you like it best. Stirred not shaken? Sure. We recommend the Vesper Martini; made with vermouth, lemon peel and gin chilled at -24°C, the drink will be made in front of you, directly from the old school cocktail trolley.
Where: Dukes Hotel, 35 St James's Place, St. James's, SW1A 1NY
What: Gin and Pizza
Why: Gin and pizza isn’t your usual culinary pairing but it should be. Hackney’s Martello Hall have done us all a huge favour and along with their craft wine on tap they also boast their own gin distillery, named Nicola. Enjoy pizzas fresh from their wood-fired oven and a range of G&Ts but try the Martello for their own gin mixed with Fever-Tree tonic, lemon and lime ice cubes, lime juice, lemon bitters and mint.
Where: 137 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 3RH
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