Like a parlour set from a Merchant Ivory film, this low-ceilinged Edwardian basement room (without a view) proudly boasts one of the world's largest assemblies of gin and rum – spirits distilled in London or shipped from the colonies to nearby wharves (check out The Pantry for bottles to take home). How many gins? We stopped counting at B for Bathtub and Boodles from a list that spans workaday and rare (read pricey) vintage distillations. Merchant House’s sterling stirs revive or reinterpret various heritage cups, coolers, Collins, grogs and beer cocktails such as Hodge (gin, gingerbread syrup and stout). Other good calls include numerous new-wave Martinis, Daiquiris and Zombies, plus more esoteric ideas such as Fields of Gold – a tot that calls for poitín, oat milk, orgéat and buttered genever. Food is limited to oysters, charcuterie, cheeses and a few dips.
020 7332 0044
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