Gin. It’s a London thing. So it’s no surprise that this city has some of the best bars to drink it. Here’s a look at eight great places to enjoy an elbow bender with the infamous Mother’s Ruin.
City of London Distillery
22-24 Bride Lane, EC4Y 8DT
The closest London Underground stations are at Blackfriars and St Paul’s.
The Thames Link rail station is nearby as well. This “small independent distillery producing connoisseur’s gin” is located in the ancient heart of the city (now the financial district). Rock up to the bar for a fine assortment of cocktails and be sure to enquire about the distillery’s Gin Experiences. Find out more at cityoflondondistillery.com.
Duke’s Hotel, 35 St James’s Place, W1A 1NY
The closest London Underground station is at Green Park.
The elegant and charming Duke’s Bar at Duke’s Hotel is world renowned for its cocktails, especially the martinis. Indeed, many swear Duke’s martinis are the best in the world. This was Ian Fleming’s martini bar of choice, making it the best place to learn how to make martinis that James Bond would be proud to drink. Head barman and cocktail expert, Alessandro Palazzi, even runs a martini masterclass to teach you how to make the perfect martini and other classics while mixing in a bit of history about each drink. For details go to dukeshotel.com.
Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar
The London Marriott Hotel, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB
The closest London Underground stations are at Waterloo at Westminster.
The bar here boasts almost 70 different types of gin (reckoned to be the biggest collection in London). It’s not just about the gin though. There’s a particularly fine selection of rum and most other spirits. More at gillrays.com.
4 Golden Square, W1F 9HT
The closet London Underground stations are at Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus.
This popular and stylish Soho bar runs a free Juniper Club evening every Monday to give “gin-lovers the chance to learn their Gibsons from their Gimlets with gin-tastic tutorials by some of the best brands in the business.” Have an online look at graphicbar.com.
The Polo Bar at The Westbury Hotel
The Westbury Hotel at the entrance at 37 Conduit Street, W1S 2YF
The closest London Underground stations are at Bond Street, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus.
The recent winner for Best Mixology at the 2014 London Club and Bar Award, The Polo Bar has just introduced a “Botanical Brew Experience” gin and tonic menu. The menu is a collaboration between Tangueray No. TEN gin and Fever-Tree tonic water and features a range of intriguing G&Ts such as a Blackberry and Hibiscus Tea with Lemon Peel G&T and one with pink peppercorns and orange peel. Find out more at westburymayfair.com.
171 Portobello Road, W11 2DY
The closest London Underground station is at Ladbroke Grove.
Home of the Ginstitute, the Portobello Star is one of Notting Hill’s most favoured watering holes, where expertise of the bartenders ensure quality cocktails. More at portobellostarbar.co.uk.
50-54 Blandford Street, W1U 7HX
The closest London Underground stations are at Baker Street and Bond Street.
Named after the Inspired by Victorian gin palaces and Prohibition era speakeasies, Purl beckons imbibers keen to soak up some edgily anachronistic atmosphere while sipping through the bar’s seasonally changing drinks menu. Go to purl-london.com for more information.
The Star at Night
22 Great Chapel Street, W1F 8FR
The closest London Underground station is at Tottenham Court Road.
The Star at Night offers “50 of the finest gins money can buy and we add more as they become available” in a fantastic setting just off Oxford Street. Visit The Star at Night online at thestaratnight.com.