Summer Sipping: Where to get your gin hit this summer
Summer is upon us, and as Brits we must celebrate this with wild abandon. It is our patriotic duty to get outside the second the sun starts shining, whether outside is a beach, a park or the roof of a car park. Duties also extend to turning ourselves postbox red the second the mercury rises past 20°C and playing games we’re just not naturally adapted too; with the regularity of a cuckoo clock striking each hour, our foreign friends will call out “how is it that none of you know how to throw a frisby?” as we send that confounding disk hurtling towards a family picnic.
Gin drinking being another favourite British pastime, we decided to do some scouting around to find the best places to imbibe the tasty liquor while maximising our Vitamin D exposure this summer. Go, go, go!
London: Shoreditch – Queen of Hoxton
The Queen of Hoxton is well known for throwing a great rooftop party and the theme of this summer is A Tribute to Dr Strange – their homage to a summer in which young people travelled across America in search of a spiritual revolution. It’s loud and colourful, with a superb cocktail menu and a great vibe. Sip on their summer cup (Martini Rosso, Cointreau, Hendrick’s Gin and Pedro Ximenez Sherry) or try their ice cream float – sparking apple, raspberry sorbet and Hendrick’s Gin.
Liverpool: Botanical Garden
This little gem of a garden is tucked away in a semi-mysterious location on New Bird Street. Follow signs for Gin Lane and make your way to this astro-turfed, artsy haven for a gin cocktail and a hefty Cuban sandwich.
London: Embankment – The Good Ship Benefit
Pinkster Gin has teamed up with cosmetics giant Benefit to offer cocktails, food and makeovers on board the R.S. Hispaniola. Gin cocktails abound at the Pinkton Parlour on the ship’s main deck, including the absolutely delectable Pinkster Smash: Pinkster Gin, raspberries, lemon juice and vanilla syrup. Yes please!
Newcastle – Tokyo
Tokyo has an eye boggling cocktail menu with gin classics like the Aviation and the Bramble served alongside new and infinitely appealing cocktails, like the Panatseya: hedgerow botanical gin, spiced honey liqueur, fresh ginger, lemon, agave and green tea. A perfect summer sipper that lends itself well to an afternoon on their roof terrace.
Birmingham: Jekyll and Hyde
These guys were worshiping juniper long before everyone else copped on and as such have an incredible selection (102 gins, to be precise) available in their Victorian Gin Parlour. They also happen to have a fantastic graffiti-strewn courtyard from which you can soak the sun whilst sipping on their signature serve, Madam Genever’s Bathwater: Bols Genever, apricot jam, peach shnapps, rose syrup and lemon juice.
London: Hampstead – The Spaniards Inn
Just across the road from Hampstead Heath, The Spaniard’s Inn has an expansive beer garden and a small-but-impressive gin collection. So cosy is the pub that even the most foolhardy Londoner could be tricked into thinking they were in the countryside, which is a rare treat for those who struggle to leave Zone 2. On Sundays, from 6pm until close, their craft cocktail range is £5 a drink and just so happens to feature the beautifully cooling British Gin Mojito: London Dry with an elderflower infusion, fresh lime juice and grapefruit bitters. Another plus for the pub is its dog friendly nature – in fact, Gin Foundry has been lucky enough to witness a dog fancy dress competition there. You heard us right, that wasn’t the gin talking…
Bristol: The Pump House
Waterside seating? Check. Incredible food? Check. 350 gins? Wait, what? We’re there. Gin fans of the South West – converge. This place has a gin list that’ll make your eyes water and your purse strings snap (because how could you resist?). They haven’t so much got a signature serve as a signature menu, but on a hot day nothing could appeal more than this little cocktail: G’Vine Floraison with frozen white grapes, lemons and Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic.
London: Peckham – Frank’s Cafe
Frank’s Cafe is Peckham squared: a no frills, no ceiling bar on the roof of a multi-storey car park. Concrete isn’t the first thing one strives to get acquainted with on a hot summers day but this rooftop bar has a superb, laid-back London atmosphere and a cocktail menu with juniper-tastic drinks like Tom Collins and Gin Fizzes coming it at around the £7 mark. Great views and great drinks at prices that won’t see the contents of your bank account fleeing into the night.
Edinburgh: One Square
One Square is a real gin-geek haven, offering a gin tasting experience to connoisseurs and even supplying punters with their own brand gin, which was made in conjunction with Pickering’s. The bar has a terrace overlooking views of Edinburgh Castle and is definitely an idyllic place to enjoy a warm, boozy summer sunset. Their signature serve is One Square Gin served over ice with Fever Tree tonic and a pink grapefruit and thyme garnish.
Manchester: Atlas Bar
Atlas Bar has a mini suntrap of a beer garden located within Deansgate’s old railway arches. The bar menu very rightly refers to itself as a Gin Bible and with over 250 to choose from, they’re well worth a visit.
This little speakeasy does a great job of hiding in plain sight, positioned as it is in Glasgow city centre. As well as a cool, dimly lit interior (It’s indoors, sure, but for when it’s raining out there…), the bar has a pretty little sun magnet of a terrace which is the perfect place to sip away the night. Though a bourbon specialist, Chinaskis has a good range of gins and an enthusiastic bar staff who are only to happy to recommend their favourite serve (Opihr with Fentimans tonic, served with a slice of orange and some star anise, since you asked to nicely).
London: Tobacco Docks – Junipalooza 11th & 12th June.
We could hardly make a list of places to drink gin this summer without including our own beloved festival. Junipalooza’s £39 entry fee buys you the chance to meet over 40 gin makers, to sample any of the 100+ gins they have on offer, to try exclusive gins from new and well established makers long before any one else you know and to meet and mingle with hundreds of other gin fans. If that wasn’t enough – the cocktail bar has a wide array of concoctions whipped up by some of London’s best bartenders…
Copyright © Gin Foundry