There’s nothing better than a cocktail or two with friends when you’re looking to wind down, and Gin Mare has plenty on offer in London’s bars. The premium gin, still made in a pot in the Spanish fishing town of Vilanova, near Barcelona, blends savoury and herbaceous pan-Mediterranean botanicals, including basil, thyme, rosemary and Arbequina olives to create an intriguing and refreshingly unique flavour. Gin Mare has teamed up with six of the capital’s coolest bars, to serve up classic sips. Now you just have to decide which bar – and which cocktail – to pick first.
American Bar at The Savoy, Covent Garden
The word iconic is often overused, but it’s pretty apt for The American Bar. This legendary site’s 2017 cocktail menu (the theme changes annually) is a regional tour around Britain, but it’s the attention to detail that really sets this bar apart, from its vintage decor and bespoke glassware to bartenders who remember your name and favourite drink.
The Savoy, Strand, WC2R 0ET
Gin Mare serve: Heathland History (£18); Gin Mare, pine liqueur, mushroom-infused Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, pine and honey syrup, lemon juice, egg white and fresh rocket
The Northall Bar at Corinthia Hotel, Covent Garden
Garry Hollihead’s striking restaurant in the five-star Corinthia Hotel is an opulent affair, with huge windows stretching up to double-height ceilings, no-expense-spared crystal chandeliers, studded leather chairs and vases of picture-prefect blooms. From the bar, we’d recommend the Mare Mio, a Mediterranean twist on the classic Martini.
Corinthia Hotel, 10a Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5AE
Gin Mare serve: Mare Mio (£17.50); Gin Mare, homemade yellow pepper-infused dry vermouth, olive brine, celery bitters and a couple of drops of spicy oil.
Reverend JW Simpson, Bloomsbury
The story goes that this quirky cellar was once home to a man of God whose taste in decor was self-evidently less than heavenly. Hipsters will hail his vacated pad as a vision in "raw deconstructionist chic". Whereas the vicar's drinks cabinet might only have had Emva Cream sherry to offer, today's visitors can seek salvation at a pulpit bar set in the old coal cellar.
32 Goodge Street, W1T 2QJ
Gin Mare serve: Tosca (£9); Gin Mare, chinotto syrup, lemon juice, egg, rosemary.
Beneath the meat-moving action of Smithfield Market this converted pub is a “cool” bar for our times. From the team behind Nightjar, Oriole is a little bit retro, glam, and pan-Asian. If you fancy food alongside your cocktails, a menu of globally inspired small plates awaits, including tamarind-glazed steamed pork buns, ceviche and burgers with kimchi coleslaw.
East Poultry Avenue, Smithfield Market, EC1A 9LH
Gin Mare serve: Mare Nostrum (£12) Gin Mare, caper cold drop, Roots Mastiha liqueur, Greek jasmine syrup, spirulina, lemon juice.
Galvin at Windows, City
The greige and soft gold space-age interior of this suave sky lounge screams opulence, which is no bad thing. Aside from the varied cocktail list, there are bar snacks including Korean fried chicken and vegetable tempura, Cajun and chilli mayonnaise. The views from the 28th floor are heavenly too.
London Hilton, 22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE
Gin Mare serve: G&T (£13) Gin Mare and Fever-Tree in a wine glass, garnished with an olive.
Rivoli Bar at The Ritz, Mayfair
An exercise in art deco opulence, The Rivoli Bar's elaborate jewel-box interior will make minimalists break out in hives with its gilded ceiling domes, tone-on-tone marble, camphor wood walls, swirly chandeliers, Lalique glass and leopard-print stools. You’ll have to shell out big bucks to drink or dine here, but the experience is more than worth the extra pennies.
The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
Gin Mare serve: Martini (£22); Gin Mare, a dash of Martini extra-dry vermouth, optional garnish (lemon or olive).
To find out more about Gin Mare, visit ginmare.com or caskliquidmarketing.com
This article was published 7 November 2017