We celebrated World Gin Day by drinking in London’s coolest gin bar
Stock up on the clear stuff for Maga this summer
Does anyone actually like gin? Probably not. You probably think it tastes awful. But you’re wrong.
Actually, its the drink of the summer – we’re calling it. And if you’re doing it with supermarket tonic water and Gordon’s Gin, you’re probably doing it wrong.
On world gin, we celebrated the spirit by downing different gins from across the world – in cocktails, on floats, with tonic water manufactured with 19th century Victorian methods.
Gin has gone past hatred. It’s now trendy and cool, if London’s specialised bar, 241 Bermondsey, is anything to go by.
It’s run by gin-loving barmen who serve over 100 different types of gin, all over the world. They told us how wrong the world was about gin.
Run by gin-mad barmen, the place serves over 100 different types of stuff from practically every country.
They told us how wrong the world was about gin – how most tonic waters ruin the actual taste, as they served us their own, made in traditional 19th century method and served in a fancy Victorian bottle.
The bar itself pretty much sums up gin drinkers, combining the muscular, earthy masculinity of a rugby-playing wanker, with a sort of swinging-jazzy woman who vies to be Bridget Jones. It was the ultimate London metrosexual in one basket.
This place made us realise how incredibly innocent we all are – microbreweries are out, they are no longer “the thing”. Take heed kids: gin is in. These gin bars are far from the madding crowd of camo-clad Camden hipsters, the bearded, booted and dyed elites of Shoreditch, the pissed old men who sit outside of Wetherspoons from 9 till 9.
No, this was the only place to be.
Sipping our specially made gin cocktails, we felt a bit out of place. This place seemed like it was for the up-and-coming PR gurus of central Soho. But apparently, gin isn’t just for smashed girls in plastic princess tiaras and fancy businessmen, but normal everyday students too – just like us.
Bar manager Andrew told us why we should all be on the clear stuff: “Gin isn’t ‘gin’ anymore. It used to be one flavour and that put a lot of people off it. But over the last 5 years, it’s blown up massively. There are so many different flavours.”
Our gin-tasting certainly proved his point, the clever bastard.
There was a spicy gin, a floral gin, a creamy gin. There are “long” gins and “short” gins – one being a long lasting, refreshing finish, the other like an instant pinger come-up – it hits you instantly and makes you shake.
Andrew says: “Students have got to try something different, something out of their comfort zone.”
Andrew, if you’re reading this, no words were ever finer or more apt.
The simple Tom Collins is apparently the easiest gin cocktail to make on a student budget, containing just gin, lemon juice, sugar and soda or tonic water.
Gin isn’t just for the middle class, middle aged women among you, trapped in the body of a twenty-something student: real gin doesn’t taste like nightclub soap, dispensed suspiciously by the same system as the urinal.
The bar uses specially crafted tonic water, which they call syrup. It’s supposed to bring out the taste and give more long lasting pleasure to the taster, the experience was more like porn than boozing.
With gin, boozing is different. It’s a delicate art. You can tell when you try the neat gin floats. You can’t just down these like a fresher – enjoy the subtle tastes as they dance on the palate. It tastes like a beautiful summer ahead.
If you don’t have any summer plans, go to a gin bar and get pissed. For the first time ever, you’ll be ending your night out without a kebab in one hand, and endless social shame in the other. No – you’ll get the feeling that you’re dining with the highest echelons of society, and you’ll be part of the best summer trend to date.