If gin’s not your thing, look away now. Or then again, you could dedicate this weekend to getting to know the juniper-laced spirit better. It’s World Gin Day on Saturday, which means bars, shops and clubs from Athens to Adelaide will be offering tastings, discounted cocktails and parties for anyone who want to gen up on or celebrate all things gin.
Try Scottish varieties including Caorunn at The Whiski Rooms in Edinburgh, take a walk through three centuries of gin history in Clerkenwell; Callooh Callay have got genever cocktails on its Dutch Gin House menu, while the London Bar Consultants are hosting a tour of five top London bars with food, cocktails, a distillery visit and a ‘sniff your way to your favourite G&T’ all included in the £50 ticket price.
The big one is Ginstock. This is where 10 of the biggest gin brands partner up with 10 great bars (Tanqueray with Worship Street Whistling Shop; Bombay Sapphire with London Cocktail Club; Martin Miller’s with Powder Keg Diplomacy; Beefeater with Perkin Reveller; Plymouth with NOLA; Boodles with The Gilbert Scott; Opihr with Dishoom; Sipsmith with Megaro; Warner Edwards with The Liquorists and Williams with Milk & Honey) to create a winning cocktail, as voted for by everyone in attendance on the day. Tickets cost £36 and include tastings of all the cocktails and a beer, just for good measure.
The Cocktail Lovers say:
Don’t fancy going out? Mix up your own gin-based cocktail at home instead. You can’t go wrong with a good old G&T. Treat yourself to a bottle of the good stuff – we’re talking Tanqueray No. TEN, Plymouth or No. 3, or seek out one of the fabulous boutique brands like Sipsmith, Portobello, Sacred or Cremorne. Sam Carter at Bombay Sapphire has made it his mission to make the perfect G&T. His way is to squeeze the juice of a quartered lime into a balloon shaped glass, then drop in the wedge. Add a good glug of gin (50ml). Fill the glass with ice, stir and top with Fever Tree tonic.
This week we’re loving:
The fabulous Greco-Roman wines flavoured with herbs and spices at the newly opened Grain Store in King’s Cross. Tony Conigliaro’s menu takes in the Fennel Pollen Virus – a deliciously inventive, delightfully refreshing tipple blending fennel pollen, clover honey, mastic, verjus, Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng – perfect for summer. www.grainstore.com