Lifestyle

16 Brilliant Spots To Drink The Perfect G&T

If countries had official national drinks (and why shouldn’t they?) you’d be hard-pressed to present a better option for the UK than the humble G&T. Ever-loved and tinkered with, its popularity means that there are countless places in the UK serving up some of the best gin in the world. And for the quinine-averse, fear not, there’s more than just tonic on offer at these places. From cocktail bars and pubs, to distilleries and tasting rooms, we have compiled the ultimate guide of spots for you to enjoy gin in London.

1. The Gin Bar, Holborn Dining Room, Holborn

With over 500 gins to choose from, The Gin Bar at Holborn Dining Room has the largest gin collection in London by far! They serve pretty much every type of gin under the sun, including international brands and those made in local distilleries. You can also expect an equally impressive range of tonics, so those after a G&T will have a whopping 14,000 combinations to choose from, making each visit a whole new experience. You’ll also find an array of beers, wines and other spirits, as well as their famous Pie Room that serves some of the best pies in Britain. Gin enthusiasts will be in heaven in their stylish copper-topped gin bar and we can guarantee you will be back for more.

252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN

2. Graveney Gin, Tooting

Graveney Gin is two for the price of one, with a stunning bar and tiny distillery dropped into the middle of Tooting Market. They are known for their G&Ts and signature botanicals, which are each delicious and extremely Instagrammable. Their Old Tom gin takes inspiration from figs for a vanilla and honey laced sipping gin. They also really know how to make a traditional G&T that extra bit fancy, or how to take a traditionally non-gin cocktail and amp it up with gin. And if you’re thirsty for more, they have a gin tasting experience every Thursday!

Unit 22A, Tooting Market, 21-23 Tooting High Street, SW17 0SN

3. East London Liquor Company,

East London Liquor Company have become a bit legendary across London. Their spirits and pre-mixed drinks are just as easily found in a corner-off-licence as in a high-end cocktail bar or craft beer taproom. And you can sample their drinks straight from the source (well, okay, not from the still itself…) at their distillery bar and restaurant. On offer are vodka, whiskey, rum, and, of course, gin. They’re particularly proud of their gin, with varieties coming out often – sometimes through unexpected routes, as with their recent Kew Gardens collaboration. And their canned gin-featuring pre-mixed drinks are the stuff of picnic legend. A former glue-factory turned distillery, ELLC are not one to be missed.

221 Grove Road, Bow Wharf, Bow, E3 5SN

SEE ALSO: Tickets Are Now On Sale To London’s Leading Summer Cocktail Event

The Four Thieves is truly the gift that keeps on giving. This Battersea pub has its own distillery, its own brewery, nearly 50 types of gin, and an enviable display of botanicals. The venue boasts over 250 gin and tonic variations you can choose from. But that’s not all! You can unleash your inner child in their games room, which features VR booths and a number of retro arcade games–perfect for any Throwback Thursday. You may also find comedians, musicians, or DJs performing depending on the day of the week. This eccentric boozer is the place to be for an unforgettable experience and a drink to remember.

51 Lavender Gardens, Battersea, SW11 1DJ

5. The Gibson, Shoreditch

The Gibson is named after an old martini recipe with a twist (an unexpected twist that is, not a lemon twist). Instead of the traditional olive (or, indeed, lemon twist) that we all know and love, The Gibson is topped with a pickled onion! And staying true to their name, you can expect a number of variants of the pickled-onion-topped-martini, alongside plenty of innovative and unexpected cocktails that will set your palate alight. You’re also almost guaranteed to have your delicious cocktail served in a vessel (we can’t necessarily promise it’ll be glass) the likes of which you’ve never experienced before. Imagine: upside-down rainbows, suspended balloons, rocket-ships, film cameras, and Marmite jars. Plus, this elegant cocktail bar is prohibition themed and will transport you to the roaring 20s during your visit. Gatsby, eat your heart out.

44 Old Street, EC1V 9AQ

The Distillery is a ‘gin hotel’ – literally an entire hotel devoted to the world’s best spirit. If that’s not dedication I don’t know what is. This four-storey venue has just about everything you could ever need for the perfect day out. With a working distillery pumping out the famed Portobello Road gin, two bars and restaurants, and plenty of gin-oriented experiences, the options are endless. Don’t forget to join the Ginstitute, where you can embark on a journey of discovery as to how gin came to be.

186 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 1LA

SEE ALSO: Here are 23 Of The Very Best Bars In Shoreditch

7. The London Gin Club, Soho

In the heart of Soho you will find the London Gin Club. Their slogan is “dedicated to the enjoyment of drinking gin” and it’s very reassuring to know that they have their priorities in order. Popular for a reason, this vibrant bar features over 100 gins varieties for you to work through. Plenty of classic G&T options are available or you can try their ‘ginfusion’ cocktails for a gin-based surprise. For those after a chat with a fellow gin lover or anyone looking for recommendations on what to drink, gin connoisseurs from their gin-credible team will be on hand for all your spirit-related needs. Sadly closed for two years, we’re gin-uinely  thrilled to see it back. Plus, they’re also open seven days a week so your gin fix is never far off.

22 Great Chapel Street, Soho, W1F 8FR

8. The Merchant House, City of London

This luxury, underground cocktail bar has one of the largest spirit collections in the entire world. Their selection includes 600 whiskies, 400 rums and over 400 gins. That equals hundreds of gins to choose from and thousands of possible cocktail combinations, which is exactly the kind of maths we like! While this is a lively venue, they take their gin very seriously and have hired only the best gin experts to serve and advise you. They will even talk you through each of their spirits and botanicals so you can create your very own cocktail. There’s also London’s smallest bar, The Brig, on-site available for hire for 2-4 people. Yup, that’s it, you and less than a handful of friends and a private bartender.

13 Well Court, Off Bow Lane, EC4M 9DN

9. Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour

Now, to be honest, you can’t really go wrong in going to any of Mr Fogg’s’ many locations. But since this is a gin-specific article, we have to mention Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour in particular. From gin-tasting masterclasses to impressive afternoon teas to a ‘Gin Safari’, there’s an experience on offer for any gin enthusiast – be they an expert or a casual fan. In keeping with the Mr Fogg’s family of bars and taverns, the walls are adorned with trinkets and seating is plush and upholstered. It’s specifically at Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, though, where the impressive collection of fan favourite and rare gins runs to an almost endless supply of more than 200 varieties. Did we mention it’s accessed by way of a secret door behind a bookcase? Be sure to also check out other Mr Fogg’s locations for similarly impressive gin lists, buzzing vibes, and keeps-you-coming-back kitschy charm. If you can resist that secret door, that is.

1 New Row, Covent Garden, WC2N 4EA

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best Cocktail Bars In London For A Posh Tipple Or Two

10. Two One Four, Bermondsey

Two One Four is the kind of hidden gin bar we all love. Since it’s tucked away underneath Flour & Grape, an Italian restaurant, if you need to line your stomach beforehand you won’t have to travel very far. Completely devoid of pretention, Two One Four is a love-letter to gin. They even made their own tonic back in the day, giving rise to the now craft-y favourite Bermondsey Mixer Co. Be sure to grab a blind-tasting gin flight, or be there for happy hour where select double G&Ts will only run you £5 and signature cocktails start at £6. We do love a bargain, especially when it’s a top-quality one.

214 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3TQ

11. Mothers Ruin Gin Palace, Walthamstow

Back in the day, gin had a reputation as a ruiner of mothers and a bad influence on the poor. Nowadays, we can’t get enough of the spirit! Thankfully, the name of this distillery-housed bar does not reflect their attitude towards gin. In fact, they have created a whole new gin drinking experience, serving several fruity and fragrant small-batch gins and liqueurs, all perfect for a cocktail or G&T. The tiny copper stills onsite produce their Old Tom gin, and their liqueurs take advantage of home-grown and locally foraged ingredients. Open on weekends, this quirky bar, with award-winning products, is well worth a visit for the ultimate casual gin bar experience.

Unit 18, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Sherhall Street, Walthamstow, E17 9HQ

12. Ladies & Gents Cocktail Bar, Kentish Town

London’s not-so-secret, top-secret bar, Ladies & Gents is undoubtedly one of the most unique on the list. Formerly a public Victorian lavatory, this venue has had quite the journey. Now a popular cocktail bar with its very own micro-distillery, it proves that your past really does not define you. People return to Ladies & Gents for the retro music, great atmosphere, delectable cocktails and top quality gin. It’s not everyday you can say you went to a gin bar in a former public loo.

2 Highgate Road, Kentish Town, NW5 1NR 

SEE ALSO: 35 Cool And Quirky Bars In London For Weird And Wonderful Nights Out

13. Martello Hall, Hackney

Martello Hall is a charming bar with a rooftop terrace that specialises in – you guessed it – gin! It’s an unassuming, but equally rustic and elegant venue with a wide variety of homemade spirits to choose from and gorgeous wood-fired pizza. This bar is always thriving, with a calendar full of events, including their very popular Sunday Jazz and bottomless brunches. Also their in-house distillery produces some of the most unique, rich and fragrant gins, on offer across a number of signature cocktails (and of course a G&T). There are cocktail making experiences, gin tastings, and even gin blending masterclasses. Where do we sign up?

137 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 3RH

14. City Of London Distillery & Bar, City Of London

Home to the Whitley Neil gins – “the UK’s most loved gin – this speakeasy style cocktail bar has the aroma of fermenting gin in the air at all times. It’s the only logical welcome for anyone walking into the first, and only, gin distillery in the City of London. One of those lovely places where you can see the gin being made while you drink it, it’s all very ‘Circle of Life’. And there’s plenty of snacks on hand for you to settle in and sample a gin or six. For an insight into the gin-making operation, you can take a guided tour of the distillery followed by a gin-tasting. There’s even the chance to design and make your very own gin!

22-24 Bride Lane, EC4Y 8DT

15. Nightjar, multiple locations

We couldn’t possibly make this list and not include one of London’s most celebrated cocktail bars, could we? Coming in at 13th place in the list of Top 50 Cocktail Bars, Nightjar is a true London institution. Cocktails range from recipes going as far back as 1600, all the way through to contemporary and original creations. And gin, that ever-present spirt, can be found in a wide variety of their offerings. There’s even antique liquors on offer, such as gin from as far back as 1910 and the 1940’s. With a new Carnaby location also recently opened, it’s now easier than ever to try some of their lauded offerings.

129 City Road, Shoreditch EC1V 1JB / Kingly Court, 49-51 Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F 9PY

16. Purl, Marylebone

Purl is the definition of a truly immersive experience. It may be easy to scoff and roll your eyes at yet another speakeasy based around Prohibition-era cocktails. But Purl sidesteps any concerns with an innovative, multi-sensory approach to the experience. Every detail is considered, from the music (contemporary, but nodding towards styles popular from that time period such as swing and jazz), to the (often quirky) glassware and bespoke silverware the food is served in. And we haven’t even mentioned the gin yet! Named after a traditional cocktail recipe that blended warm ale with gin, wormwood, and spices, Purl has a masterful selection of gin options in their constantly changing cocktail list. There’s also a molecular mixology masterclass on offer for those who want to learn how to make truly impressive cocktails.

50/54 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 7HX

Oooh, a secret seventeenth slot on the list? That isn’t even in the title? Whatever could that mean. It means that this may not be a gin bar, it isn’t even a permanent location or pop-up, but there’s no way we couldn’t include it. Junipalooza, the gin-tasting festival of your juniper-scented dreams, is now coming into its 9th year. The festival gives you the opportunity to sample a wide variety of gins, chat to the makers themselves, and mingle with fellow gin lovers. But act quickly, as this years event is coming up fast, with dates this Saturday and Sunday June 11-12.

Tobacco Dock London, Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2DA