We've all got our favourite local gin joints, but they most likely will pale in comparison to this list of crazy, extreme and unique bars scattered all across the globe. Whether you want to plan a gin-themed trip around the world, or simply find yourself near one of these spots on your next holiday, this list is sure to stir up the wanderlust in you (and the thirst, too!).
1. Baobab Tree Bar & Wine Cellar, South Africa
Located inside the hollow of the largest baobab tree in the world, this bar was created in 1993 by the owners of the South African mango farm where the tree grows. Decorated eclectically with everything from old telephones to railway memorabilia and ship screws, and holding a maximum of 15 people, this bar is unlike any other.
2. Cova d’en Xoroi, Spain
Nestled in caves located on the cliffs of the Spanish island, Minorca, this bar/club overlooks the beautiful blue ocean from miles above. Originally the hiding place of Turkish pirates who scoured for treasure around the island, it is now the home of ambient music and delicious cocktails with unforgettable sunset views. Try their special pomada, a Minorcan favourite made with lemonade and gin.
3. The Red Sea Star, Israel
Six meters under the sea, this marine-themed joint is characterised by large windows so patrons can observe the sea life around them. The world’s only night-time underwater observatory, the colours and wave lengths of the lights emitted from the bar unveil the coral reef habitat without disturbing its aquatic residents.
4. Ozone, Hong Kong
This bar is definitely not for the faint of heart – at almost 500 metres above sea level, this futuristic lounge is the not only one of the best cocktail bars in Hong Kong, but the highest bar in the world. Risk-takers will be rewarded, however, with stunning panoramic views of the lively, neon-ensconced city below.
5. The Bar at Vernadsky Research Base, Antarctica
Once a British expeditionary base, in the 1970s some carpenters at this station in Galindez Island re-purposed a shipment of wood meant for a new pier and built the small Vernasky Station Lounge Bar. Sold to Ukraine years later for just £1, drinks run cheap - or even free for any woman willing to donate her undergarments to be displayed inside the bar.
6. Original Icebar by Icehotel, Sweden
Mimicked by many but surpassed by none, the original ice bar in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden is a marvel in itself. With a new look each year, everything in the bar is made of ice – from its crystal cut glasses to its snowy dance-floors. You can extend your night and book a room in the attached hotel.
7. Madame Claude, Germany
This gravity-defying bar, located on a former brothel site in Berlin, is decorated completely upside-down. Chairs, tables, bookshelves and all sorts of furnishings stick to the ceiling, while a disco ball illuminates the space from the centre of the floor. Hosting concerts, DJs, or some sort of event every night, it’s a funky, festive spot.
8. Northern Lights Bar, Iceland
Inside the Ion Hotel in volcanic Iceland, you can witness one of the most beautiful, natural light shows on earth. The double-height windows in the Northern Lights Bar allow for breath-taking views of the aurora borealis over Lake Thingvallavatn. If this is something that’s on your bucket list, there’s no better way to cross it off than with a gin in hand here.
9. Hotel Edelweiss, Mürren, Switzerland
Stunning mountainous views surround the garden terrace at Hotel Edelweiss on all sides. With a high-end restaurant located just inside, you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious meal all while watching the sun set over the heart of the Alps.
10. Museum H.R. Giger Bar, Switzerland
Designed by Swiss surrealist, H.R. Giger, the Museum Bar in Gruyères is a fossilised enclosure with high-vaulted ceilings covered in double arches of vertebrae, with skeletal furniture and décor that may be unsettling to some and intriguing to others. Enjoy the art of Oscar-winning Giger while you sip your drink in this cavernous berth.
11. Sky bar at Sziget Festival, Hungary
A massive crane lifts you high above the festival-goers below for this treat. For less than £7 you get your entry ticket to the bar and a cocktail, paired with an aerial view of the entire Sziget festival grounds, this is a must-do for any music-loving gin drinker.
12. Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica
A 15 minute boat ride out into the Caribbean Sea gets you to this shack, owned by a fisherman named Floyd who serves up local favourites. With crystal-clear waters surrounding you on all four sides, you’ll feel a proper islander at this joint.
13. Vampire Cafe, Tokyo
With a blood red colour scheme and spooky decorations, this dimly-lit haunt is a perfect mix between eerie and exciting. Menus are shaped like coffins and heavy curtains separate tables, and while it’s technically more of a restaurant rather than a cafe, the tasty and unique cocktails earn it a spot on our list.