With the ever flourishing renaissance of gin in the UK, there has never been a better time to whet your taste buds with the refreshing taste of gin and tonic. From a rather disreputable inception over 300 years ago on the back streets of London, gin has risen through the echelons to become the drink of the sophisticated and savvy.
With such a breadth of history and choice, start your journey with a gin that has been a superior presence throughout. Originally distilled in 1830, Tanqueray London Dry Gin is universally loved by bartenders and cocktail lovers, with a distinct botanical line up of juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice, making it a sophisticated and perfectly balanced partner to sparkling tonic water.
But, with thousands of bars to choose from in London, where is the best place to start your evening in style with a Tanqueray and Tonic? Tanqueray ambassador and expert mixologist Tim Homewood has chosen his top three bars to drink gin in London.
1) Hixter Bankside
16 Great Guildford St - http://www.hixterbankside.co.uk/
Why? The third instalment of Mark Hix’s restaurant series, Mark’s Bar is the perfect theatrical drinking den to enjoy a gin and tonic. Located in the basement, expect a playfully adorned cocktail bar with salvaged cinema-style seating and an art installation that replicates a London underground tube carriage; experience British libations with a touch of glamour.
A generously portioned Tanqueray and Fever Tree tonic water, with half a lime sliced lengthways for a nose full of citrus. For a twist, try the Tom Collins (Tanqueray London Dry with lemon juice, sugar and soda water)
2) The Folly
41 Gracechurch Street - http://www.thefollybar.co.uk/
Why? Botanical bliss in a concrete jungle - Part industrial wonderland, part Garden of Eden; find yourself surrounded by citrus trees, flower arrangements and beautifully patterned furniture. A sophisticated and refreshing calm in the storm for those seeking refuge with a chilled G&T.
The talented bartenders create three brand new cocktails every day, to supplement their ‘Leaner’, ‘Cleaner’ and ‘Fresher’ cocktail menus. You can’t beat the pure simplicity of a Tanqueray and Tonic, some Italian green olives, and the feeling that you may just be sitting in a very cool bar in the middle of Barcelona rather than the heart of grey London!
Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try the Princess Rossini (Tanqueray Gin, “the collector” vermouth, sloe gin, blackberry, vanilla and Prosecco).
3) The Cocktail Trading Company
22 Great Marlborough Street - http://www.thecocktailtradingco.co.uk/
Why? A vintage Victorian, yet laid back bar decorated with modern art. Come for the deliciously inventive cocktails, stay for the talented resident pianist who plays a wide variety of contemporary tunes and old classics. This recently opened bar was co-founded by UK winner of Diageo’s World Class competition 2012, Andy Mil.
With the combined talent of Andy Mil, Olly Brading and Elliot Ball, you can’t go wrong. Ask for an inventive twist on a Tanqueray and Tonic, or salivate over cocktails served in a strange variety of manners (such as Chinese Takeaway boxes and with roasted marshmallows) – the perfect surprise to entertain your date with.
By no means is gin and tonic exclusively reserved for drinking in bars. Pick up a bottle of Tanqueray London Dry from Waitrose (RRP: 70cl £21.50), fill a glass with cubed ice (try a Copa glass for a glamorous twist), place a lime wheel on top to pour the Tanqueray through and top up with a small bottle of premium tonic water – such as Fever Tree. Savor the taste and enjoy!