Gin Mare’s Med Transfers offer the chance to swap London for the Mediterranean this summer, with the third of three urban bar tours landing in Soho on 10 July

London in summer is a completely different place to the city during the rest of the year. The days are warmer, the nights are lighter and everyone looks happier. But lovely as summertime London is, who wouldn’t swap it for a trip to the Mediterranean?

That’s where Gin Mare can help. The Spanish gin brand is offering Londoners the chance to book a place on one of its Med Transfers, which promise a unique journey of liquid and gastronomic creations through a tour of London’s best cocktail bars, restaurants and terraces.

From 26 June, choose from bar safaris in Borough, Shoreditch and Soho and immerse yourself in an evening of tapas specially paired with Gin Mare signature serves. Tickets include three delicious dishes, three gin-based drinks and an introduction to the history of Gin Mare, courtesy of The Gin Boss, aka bartender and drinks expert Leon Dalloway. Tickets cost £30 per person (plus booking fee) and can be booked here. Each tour runs from 1830-2130, travelling to the next venue on the hour.

Wirght brothers dressed and plain oysters

What’s more, each week SquareMeal will have a pair of Gin Transfer tickets to give away – keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram feeds for your chance to win them, or subscribe to our email newsletter.

Camino gin mare cocktailAfter London, it will be Manchester’s turn to get a taste of the action, with Med Transfers touching down in Chorlton, Spinningfields and the Northern Quarter.

We went on a sneak preview of the Shoreditch tour, and had a brilliant time. At Wright Brothers (above) we learned how to identify the best oysters (look for a silky appearance with lots of liquor), the best way to eat them (chew, not swallow) – and Leon also debunked the myth that you shouldn’t drink spirits with oysters: it turns out a gin martini goes brilliantly with the sweetness of a Carlingford oyster. Leon was a top tour guide, giving us loads of fun gin facts on the minibus between each bar.

Of course, the most enjoyable bit of all was the gin cocktails we had along the way. Camino’s Gin Mare and fino martini (pictured) made us wonder why we’d never tried gin mixed with sherry before. And our new favourite gin garnish to easily re-create at home? The spring of basil served at Wright Brothers.   

Foodie hotspot Borough is the first tour to kick off, on 26 June, followed by Shoreditch on 3 July and Soho on 10 July. Book your ticket before they sell out!

For an advance taste of what to expect, here’s what will be served on the Soho Med Transfer:  

Wright Brothers:

The drink: Gin Mare, Regal Rogue Wild Rosé, pink grapefruit tonic, grapefruit bitters and garnished with a basil sprig and a grapefruit slice

The dish: natural Jersey rocks;  smoked Carlingford Lough oysters with pickled cucumber and horseradish cream; and dressed Dungarvan oysters with malt vinegar, strawberry and mint

Gin Mare cocktails and sardines

Brindisa:

The drink: Gin Mare Negroni, with Monte Generoso vermouth and Campari

The dish: Ortiz cured sardines, tomato, shallots (pictured above)

Ibérica:

The drink: ‘The Last Stop’: Gin Mare with pineapple, rhubarb liqueur, hazelnut liqueur and lemon, garnished with rosemary

The dish: Crispy chicken thigh with romesco sauce and hazelnuts

Gin Mare bus tour party goers