If you’re partial to a bit of Mother’s Ruin, look no further than this handy guide of places to steep yourself in spirits on and around World Gin Day on 15 June.
Pop-ups and events
For one month only, the folks over at Callooh Callay are running a Dutch Gin House, decked out with tulips, clogs and enough candles to see you though our extended winter, in their experimental upstairs bar, with lashings of Bols Genever – AKA Holland Gin, the original Dutch Courage. Have a ‘headbutt’ – a chilled shot with a beer chaser, or a flip with rye whiskey and cinnamon, sprinkled with pancetta flakes. If gin consumption tends to lead to despondent, navel gazing mornings go for the ginless Mumbo Jumbo (rum, banana, walnut) – it tastes like PANCAKES.
Dutch Gin House runs 28 May – 29 June. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Want to celebrate the actual day in gin soaked style? Then Ginstock promises to be the gin event, with a line-up boasting likes of Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire, battling it out to be the best. There’ll also be a ton of street feed to choose from, including the addictive offerings of Yum Bun, and juniper-smoked hot dogs from Dogtown. You’ll get to sup eight heavenly cocktails (plus a beer!), voting rights and the chance to win a case of the contender's wares. Sound good? Just wait until the Ginstock lock-in starts.
Tickets cost £36 for the tasting, non-ticket holders are welcome to purchase street food.
The nomadic booze jockeys can be found mixing it all over the capital, and so far their June jaunts are taking them to the Chelsea Physic Garden (31 May, 7 June), the window of Heal’s furniture store (8 June) and then the Open Squares Weekend (Arlington Square) on 9 June. While stopping off in London’s most flower-loving borough, they’ll be conducting a private tour with a trip to the Sipsmith's Hammersmith distillery after lunch, before exploring their living botanicals pop-up bar for demonstrations and a little bit of education (which is not the name of a cocktail).
Tours cost £60, starting at 10am - 4pm, with the bar staying open till 8pm. Keep checking the website for more information on future events.
Oh, hello future you! Missed the pop-ups and events, eh? No worries, get your fix at one, or all, of these fine establishments;
It’s your typical British afternoon tea, but lovingly curated with Hendrick’s Gin (that’s ‘the cucumber one’), where all edibles are designed to compliment the rosey notes and distinct flavour of Scotland’s finest. While indulging in the juniper juice, you can enjoy a Classic Cream Tea (£14.75) with scones and berry jams, or the Hendrick’s High Tea (£26.95), with salmon, posh chicken sandwiches, scones and macaroons.
Gin afternoon tea at Hush Mayfair is available Monday – Saturday, 3pm – 6pm.
Juniper Society @ Graphic Bar
Housing the largest collection in the UK (180, to be exact) Graphic Bar is on Golden Square, right in the beating, boozing heart of Soho. Every second Monday sees the Juniper Society throwing together discerning drinkers with a shared passion, with a different brand ambassador every month to lead the way in tastings and field your no doubt hilarious, inebriated questions.
London Gin Club @ Star at Night
With a a selection of 50 gins (and counting) peppered around the shelves at the Star at Night, this Soho bar is the ideal destination for people who truly love the stuff and want to partake at a leisurely, relaxed pace . Unsurprisingly, since March 2012 it’s been the home of the London Gin Club, where membership is free and gets you all kinds of perks, from discounts on tastings to being kept in the loop about happenings in the wonderful world of gin sipping.
Gin Experience @ City of London distillery
In addition to being a super-cool bar, daily tours, masterclasses and the chance to make your own are all part of the ‘experience’ at the City of London Distillery. If you’re really swish (or have access to the company plastic) they cater for functions and even ‘team building exercises’, for when you want to make enforced bonding with people you already spend eight hours a day with just a little more bearable.
Ginstitute @ Portobello Star
Is simply drinking it far too tame for you? Want to bottle it? Blend it? Bathe in it? If you’re that hardcore, you’re probably already aware of The Ginstitute and their work. If you’re not, head over to the Portobello Star in Notting Hill where you can learn, brew your own unique, bespoke bottle, which is subsequently available for re-order, under the guidance of instructor Jake F Burger, who probably has the best name ever.
Tickets are £100 per person.