To help celebrate the recent annual World Gin Day, we gathered together some of the the finest gin joints across the UK in which to celebrate the supreme spirit. But remember - gin is for life, not just for World Gin Day, and these watering holes are worth a visit, no matter what day of the year!
City of London Distillery (COLD)
22-24 Bride Lane London, EC4Y 8DT
020 7936 3636
This joint is a total hidden gem – who would guess that there’s a fully functioning gin distillery beneath the pavements of a tiny alley in the City? Not only that, there’s a pretty fabulous bar down there too, where you can sip COLD’s own wares, alongside an impressive selection of other gins, as you watch the shining copper stills work away. Plan in advance and you can also book onto a distillery tour, or even design and distil your very own bottle of gin.
21 Church Street, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3EG
In a beautiful Georgian room above a bookshop in Falmouth on Cornwall's south coast, you'll find a little piece of gin heaven. With its vintage crockery and scrumptious range of baked goods, Dolly's combines a taste of old-school glamour with the relaxed atmosphere of a good friend's house party. There's even a resident dog - the pearl-wearing Yellow Labrador, Hebe. With 100 gins on offer and a host of cocktails to choose from, you're in for a treat.
Worship St Whistling Shop
63 Worship Street London, EC2A 2DU
020 7247 0015
Don’t be fooled by the Victorian Gin Palace-style decor of this mysterious and dimly lit Shoreditch basement, because this place is home to some seriously cutting-edge mixology. Brought to you by the same team behind Marylebone’s Purl – a team which includes the author of the marvellous Curious Bartender book series, Tristan Stephenson (pictured) – the range of innovative cocktails on offer, many developed in the in-house lab, will make you coo with wonder and delight. It’s like Heston Blumenthal does booze.
The Jolly Botanist
256-260 Morrison Street, Edinburgh
0131 228 5596
This Edinburgh bar combines a whimsical, Victorian-tinged interior with a very serious gin list, indeed - almost 50 gins sit behind The Jolly Botanist's bar. This wondrous array has given life to a spectacular cocktail list of gin classics and signature cocktails, including several using gins and liqueurs from neighbouring distillery Edinburgh Gin.
35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY
020 7491 4840
When it comes to Martinis, they don’t come with a better pedigree than those at DUKES. A former favourite haunt of Ian Fleming, creator of legendary Martini drinker, James Bond, this Mayfair institution oozes old school charm while avoiding unnecessary stuffiness. Order a Martini and the famed wooden bar cart will be wheeled to your table, as a white-jacketed bartender (if you’re lucky, the magisterial man in charge, Alessandro Palazzi, pictured) mixes you one of the finest – and strongest – cocktails you’ve ever tasted.