The Portobello Star
171 Portobello Road, W11
Journey to The Ginstitute, London’s second smallest museum sitting atop a 270-year-old pub on Portobello Road. Open since 2011, it’s also the headquarters of Portobello Road Gin, where you can learn all about the juniper drink’s rich history in London. There’s a chance to sample a tipple or six then create your own gin recipe. If you’ve fallen in love with your own brand, you can re-order it on the website until, like a cockney Narcissus, you tip over headfirst into a vat of your own creation. There are worse ways to go.
Mr Fogg's Gin Parlour
58 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N
Head round the back of Mr Fogg’s West End boozer and you’ll find a sneaky door to an even sneakier upstairs gin parlour. Stocked with 300 types of gin, it’s actually one of the lesser known yet better stocked gin palaces around. Revel in Victorian décor, reminiscent of spirit’s very hazy heyday, sipping on some the best gins served with a range of tonics and botanicals.
City of London Distillery
22-24 Bride Lane, EC4Y
Pleasingly, the acronym for the City of London Distillery is COLD. Luckily, we know just the thing for that – gin and lots of it. Once you’ve worked your way through the five house bottles on sale here, you’ll have earned yourself a toasty gin gilet (the Londoner’s beer jacket). The house blends are the original City of London Dry Gin, followed by Christopher Wren, Old Tom, Sloe Gin and Square Mile.
214 Bermondsey Street, SE1
This smart basement bar beneath Antico restaurant on Bermondsey Street serves over 80 different gins. From small independent distillers to premium bottles of larger brands, you can drink them straight, in a specially-created cocktail or with BTW tonic water, an all-natural mixer hand-crafted in south east London. Drop in at the end of the week for the Sunday Social drinks menu at knock-down prices.
The London Gin Club
22 Great Chapel Street, W1F
If you like your G&Ts served in whacking great big goblets, then join the club. It’s in Soho and only double measures will do. Booking is strongly advised as this place gets lively. With over 200 gins on sale, why wouldn’t it? Drink it in said goblets, in a cocktail, as part of a “ginfusion” or splash out on one of the gin tasting menus; they feature four gins selected from around the globe by the bar’s in-house connoisseurs served up with Fever Tree tonic and a paired garnish.
Graphic Bar Soho
4 Golden Square, W1F
Forget all this fancy Victorian malarky, feast your chops on a modern gin palace that celebrates its modern art just as much as its mother’s ruin. Situated in Soho’s media hangout, Graphic holds monthly gin socials on the first Monday of every month for tastings. Its Paint Tin Punches mix gins with brightly coloured juices and its Disco Drinks showcase retro bevvies from the 70s, 80s and 90s. All this is set against a series of art installations from the likes of Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger.
East London Liquor Company
221 Grove Road, E3
This old glue factory in a Bow Wharf car park is the first vodka, whiskey and gin distillery in the area for over a century. And it’s worth the journey for the gin; there are three house varieties, a London Dry and Premium batches No 1 and 2. ELLC also started a specialist programme in January, releasing gin aged in barrels with various wood finishes throughout 2016.
Holborn Dining Room
252 High Holborn, WC1V
A true gin addict’s night wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Gin Bar in the swanky Rosewood hotel. Claiming to stock London’s largest collection, there are around 400 gins and 27 tonics on offer, including its own top secret signature blend. This adds up to over 14,035 possible gin and tonic pairings, before you’ve even glanced at the gin cocktails on offer.