Gin, despite its Dutch origin, is a drink that owes much of its current success to London, the British capital which has virtually monopolized its production for decades, to the extent that it imposed its name to a special kind of gin, the “London Dry Gin”.
This love story between the capital of the British Empire and the soul of gin-tonics dates back to 1688, during the so-called “Glorious Revolution”, when the gin became fashionable for three main reasons:
It was easy to produce
It was easy to mix with water
It was cheaper than other spirits
In the eighteenth century there were about 15,000 establishments that served gin in London, and its production was protected by the British government, which favored it with lower taxes than other spirits. But what remains today of the English tradition of gin in London?
If you travel to London looking for a tourist route of distilleries in the style of the route of Scottish whisky distilleries, you’d better stay home. The major gin distilleries in London, as Tanqueray, left the capital long ago. London was absorbed by whisky makers, a market in which the demand for the spirit was greater.
One gin maker stayed behind though, Beefeater Gin, located in the district of Kennington, a quiet area in central London where great spirits such as Bob Marley, Charles Chaplin and Vincent Van Gogh had once lived.
Have you made up your mind to get to know more about Gin right here in London? Here are 3 spots to taste the best gin-tonics in London (and maybe in the world).
Happy Hour at Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar
Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar: One of the hot spots in London. Designed as a place to eat informally (the Club Sandwich and the burger reign in the menu), has been chosen this year as one of the 100 best small companies to work for, and is an ideal place for networking or just see and be seen. Its gin-tonic withTanqueray Rangpur is ideal for happy hour fans.
A gin-tonic with Gin Mare
Are you going to London for shopping?You’ll surely want to take a look at Harrods. A 5 minute walk from here, on the corner of Knightsbridge, you will find Boulud Bar at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel. It is known for serving good burgers, but also for serving a gin-tonic with Gin Mare very different from any other drink in London. And Gin Mare is produced in Spain!
A long, long night in Soho
Finally, if you want a crazy night, Soho is still a benchmark of the nightlife in London, and Madame Jo Jo’s a place you should not miss. Although the admission is far from being cheap, if you love long nights you will enjoy the best beats and most in people in the City. And, at the bar, the bartenders are famous for making perfect cocktails. Put them to the test!
See you in London!