GIN BARS

As the pop­u­lar­ity of gin con­tin­ues to grow, es­tab­lish­ments from San Fran­cisco to Welling­ton are crop­ping up to cater for con­nois­seurs.Kate Pow­ell un­cov­ers the world’s finest bars pi­o­neer­ing the fu­ture of this di­verse spirit.

Signature Travel & Lifestyle - - Contents -

From Mel­bourne to Barcelona, th­ese es­tab­lish­ments are all about the botan­i­cal spirit

THE DIS­TILLERY, LONDON

Home to two bars – The Re­stroom and Gin­ton­ica – this build­ing is a four-floor mecca ded­i­cated to gin on Por­to­bello Road, of­fer­ing guest rooms and a topfloor din­ing room. How­ever, the bar is most proud of its blend­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, the ‘Gin­sti­tute’, a mu­seum ded­i­cated to the rich his­tory of the spirit. Its menu is de­signed by mas­ter dis­tiller Jake Burger, the man be­hind Por­to­bello Road Gin. the-dis­tillery. london

DRY MARTINI, BARCELONA

This Span­ish speakeasy is host to an ar­ray of gin cock­tails but, as the name sug­gests, pays spe­cial homage to the clas­sic martini. Knowl­edge­able staff in crisp tuxe­dos serve cock­tails in a set­ting of leather, wood and brass rem­i­nis­cent of clas­sic British cock­tail bars, while decor pays a stun­ning tribute to the spirit, with ev­ery sur­face show­cas­ing an­tique gin bot­tles and other mem­o­ra­bilia. dry­mar­tin­iorg.com

BATHTUB GIN, NEW YORK CITY

In the era of pro­hi­bi­tion, pro­duc­ers of il­licit gin in the USA used the steep­ing pow­ers of the hum­ble bathtub to mix grain al­co­hol with flavour­ful in­gre­di­ents such as ju­niper ber­ries to mask the taste. It is from th­ese ori­gins that the Chelsea bar gets its name. The menu fea­tures cock­tails that up­hold tra­di­tion while ex­plor­ing ad­ven­tur­ous com­po­si­tions, which can be en­joyed into the wee hours. bath­tubgin­nyc.com

AT­LAS, SIN­GA­PORE

Parkview Square’s lobby bar is a gilded ode to the ex­cess of Art Deco. Stand­ing over the plush, vel­vet seat­ing and lamp-lit ta­bles is At­las’ col­lec­tion of 1000-plus bot­tles of gin (one of the largest in the world), dis­played in an In­sta­gram-wor­thy three-storey tower that climbs to the painted ceil­ing. Try the Gin Ton­ica, a grape­fruit-ac­cented flo­ral up­date on the G&T or the punchy At­las Martini. at­las­bar.sg

CUNARD’S GIN & FIZZ AT THE MIDSHIPS BAR

Fea­tur­ing a col­lec­tion of over 40 in­ter­na­tional gins, this on­board bar is a tes­ta­ment to the clas­sic lux­ury of Cunard’s Queens. Ex­pert mixol­o­gists will assist you in se­lect­ing the ‘per­fect serve’ of mix­ers and gar­nish for your gin of choice. A stand­out is Cunard’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pick­er­ing’s Gin to cre­ate its exclusive 3 Queens Gin cock­tail menu. cunard.com

WHITECHAPEL, SAN FRAN­CISCO

Step into an aban­doned 19th-cen­tury East London Un­der­ground sta­tion at this his­tor­i­cal fan­tasy within the Art Deco Em­bassy Ho­tel. Whitechapel’s 600-plus gin col­lec­tion is said to be the largest in North Amer­ica and its menu is a whim­si­cal walk through the spirit’s his­tory. The bar is also home to the Polk Street Ir­reg­u­lars Gin Drink­ing Club, a se­cret so­ci­ety that cel­e­brates the di­ver­sity of gin. whitechapelsf.com

STILLERY BAR & DIN­ING, SYD­NEY

Dis­cover a col­lec­tion of over 140 gins in the 1940s-style cock­tail lounge at In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Syd­ney Dou­ble Bay. Your drink of choice will be mixed to per­fec­tion, but it’s not just the bev­er­ages ex­tolling the virtues of gin; a unique din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in­fuses gin into botan­i­cal-in­spired dishes de­signed to com­ple­ment your cock­tail. ic­syd­ney­dou­ble­bay.com

ARCHIE ROSE STILLING CO., SYD­NEY

Sink into a bar­rel-in­spired booth and sam­ple the wares of Syd­ney’s first dis­tillery since 1853. Set in Rose­bery’s The Can­nery, the bar at Archie Rose show­cases its own range of gins, vod­kas and sin­gle-malt whiskies, dis­tilled and aged on site, as well as a ro­ta­tion of spir­its from around the world in cop­per-ac­cented in­dus­trial sur­rounds. archierose.com.au

GIN PALACE, MEL­BOURNE

This tribute to Mel­bourne’s gold rush era in­dulges in the his­tory of mother’s ruin amid vel­vet drapes and lounges. Its selec­tion of gin is served up un­til 3 am in a dis­rep­utable style con­sis­tent with the his­tor­i­cal con­text of Aus­tralian bars. Dis­cern­ing drinkers travel far and wide to in­dulge in its sig­na­ture mar­ti­nis, which are still made in the same way to­day as they were upon its open­ing over 20 years ago. gin­palace.com.au

DUTCH COURAGE OF­FI­CERS MESS, BRIS­BANE

Just five min­utes out­side Bris­bane’s CBD, en­joy so­phis­ti­ca­tion with­out snob­bery in For­ti­tude Val­ley. Here, knowl­edge­able staff bring qual­ity drinks to the masses and even of­fer cock­tail mas­ter classes. Its key in­spi­ra­tion is the in­ven­tion of the gin and tonic in the late 19th cen­tury, although its reper­toire also boasts ad­ven­tur­ous con­tem­po­rary con­coc­tions. dutch­courage.com.au

SO­CI­ETY SALAMANCA, HO­BART

Lov­ingly re­ferred to as the “al­co­hol li­brary”, this up­scale bar show­cases gin through the ages, ac­com­pa­nied by its house-made tonic. You’ll dis­cover the lo­cal trea­sures of Tas­ma­nian spir­its in an ex­hi­bi­tion of small dis­til­leries for which the bar is renowned. An im­pres­sive range of in­ter­na­tional mas­ter­pieces is nes­tled among its vast shelves, and pri­vate guided spirit tast­ings are also avail­able. so­ci­etysala­manca.com

HAWTHORN LOUNGE, WELLING­TON

Through a hid­den en­trance, this bar prides it­self on a range of clas­sics rang­ing from the 1920s all the way to some sleek mod­ern cock­tails. Ru­mour has it the best cock­tail ex­pe­ri­ences on of­fer are those not on the menu, but rather made for you ex­clu­sively once a mem­ber of the knowl­edge­able staff has gauged your unique per­son­al­ity and taste through con­ver­sa­tion. hawthorn­lounge.co.nz

UNION ELEC­TRIC, MEL­BOURNE

This rooftop gin bar opened in Fe­bru­ary this year, honouring Mel­bourne’s ar­chi­tec­tural his­tory perched atop a beau­ti­ful 1891 struc­ture. Its her­itage brick­work and cen­tury-old rafters have been pre­served in the ren­o­va­tions to build the new rooftop bar, which is dec­o­rated with a range of free-grow­ing plants such as ju­niper and lemon myr­tle, which love the open-air set­ting just as much as you will. union­elec­tric.com.au

MR FOGG’S GIN PAR­LOUR, LONDON

Un­der­take ex­pert tu­ition in the Gin Sa­fari ex­pe­ri­ence, where a mas­ter class on gin, botan­i­cals and ton­ics, plus a cock­tail tast­ing, is bound to give you a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the spirit’s lively his­tory. This Covent Gar­den es­tab­lish­ment will take you on a ginthemed jour­ney of the globe and, at last count, is home to an es­ti­mated nine mil­lion G&T vari­a­tions. mr-foggs.com

BRAM­BLE, ED­IN­BURGH

This bar has es­tab­lished it­self as one of Ed­in­burgh’s best and is renowned for its creative gin cock­tails — although you’ll have to find its dis­creet Queen Street en­trance first. In a reper­toire that will sat­isfy tra­di­tional and ad­ven­tur­ous con­nois­seurs alike, a range of gins are part­nered with sea­sonal ber­ries and fruit syrups, show­cas­ing the es­tab­lish­ment’s ex­cep­tional han­dle on the sweeter side of things. bram­ble­bar.co.uk

PEGU CLUB, NEW YORK CITY

Adorned with vel­vet couches, low wood ta­bles and bursts of nat­u­ral green­ery, this so­phis­ti­cated West Broad­way bar is named for a sto­ried late 19th-cen­tury British Of­fi­cers Club in Myan­mar. Lead mixol­o­gist Audrey Saun­ders ex­hibits her mas­tery of the craft with juices and in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate a wide range of blends, giv­ing fresh twists to both mod­ern and time-tested fine gins that are sure to de­light. pegu­club.com

THE BAR­BER SHOP, SYD­NEY

Ven­ture be­yond a mys­te­ri­ous door in an ac­tual bar­ber shop on York Street in the CBD to dis­cover this se­cret, so­phis­ti­cated hideaway. Serv­ing more than 350 gins, in­clud­ing rare Dutch Gen­ev­ers, its cock­tail menu is clev­erly cu­rated to demon­strate the ‘sweet’, the ‘fruity’ and the ‘sour’ faces of gin. A pro­fes­sional groom­ing at the hands of the Mas­ter Bar­bers is op­tional at this small bar. thi­sis­the­bar­ber­shop.com

THE GIN JOINT, ATHENS

Although tiny, this bar is a tem­ple to all things gin; hid­den within its walls you’ll find one of the largest col­lec­tions of this botan­i­cal spirit in Greece, and an ex­cep­tional mas­tery of the Ne­groni. It is the cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion of its mixol­o­gists that show­cases the va­ri­ety of its col­lec­tion, call­ing on their knowl­edge to give guid­ance on which tonic is nat­u­rally sparkling, or which gin best suits your tastes. thegin­joint.gr

“Stand­ing over the plush, vel­vet seat­ing and lamp-lit ta­bles is At­las’ col­lec­tion of 1000-plus bot­tles dis­played in an In­sta­gram-wor­thy three-storey gin tower.”

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