London's best gin bars

The naughty juniper beguiles us so.

Ah, the delicious, transparent tipple that's been the ruin of many a mother. Yes, in its time gin has probably been responsible for distracting more mothers than every Cliff Richard calendar ever printed.

But we can forgive it that when this most popular of spirits is just so darned tasty and versatile.

Gin is delicious as either a common component of cocktails or enjoyed solo with a glug or two of tonic; and with such a strong association with London we're delighted to point you in the direction of where one can enjoy a glass (or bottle) or two.

Drink responsibly though team... let's not go daft.




Portobello Star
171 Portobello Road W11 2DY
Region: Notting Hill
Nearest Station: Ladbroke Grove (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: The Portobello Star has been dedicated to gin since 1740. Well, maybe, you see the bar has been serving alcohol since 1740 and still boasts of its current obsession with gin. So we can deduce. The bar has a fine selection of gin cocktails and even runs an in-house ‘Ginstitute’ where folks can learn the intricacies of gin.

    City of London Distillery
    22-24 Bride Lane EC4Y 8DT
    Region: Fleet Street
    Nearest Station: City Thameslink

    AIL Says: Distillery, shop and bar, The City of London Distillery is the grand dame of London gin joints. Selling a massive range of spirits and distilling its own tipples, the people here are experts. The bar is an experience. Try some cutting edge new gins, witness the distilling process through a glass wall and leave a little more educated in the ways of gin.

      Graphic
      4 Golden Square W1F 9HT
      Region: Soho
      Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

      AIL Says: It may not have the ye olde charm of some of the others on the list but Graphic Bar holds one of the biggest selections of gin in London. But the bar isn’t just famous for the size of its collection; it also boasts that it makes the finest gin cocktails in town. So much boasting, so many different gins, we trust Graphic Bar.

        Purl
        50 - 54 Blandford Street W1U 7HX
        Region: Marylebone
        Nearest Station: Bond Street (0.3 miles)

        AIL Says: Since the whole interior was supposedly based on the old 18th century gin palaces, it comes as no surprise that Purl as a soft spot for the drink. This premium cocktail bar/speakeasy is how a bar should look. Dim, over the top and original.

          Dukes Hotel Bar
          35 St. James's Place SW1A 1NY
          Region: St. James's
          Nearest Station: Green Park (0.1 miles)

          AIL Says: If you haven’t heard of the Dukes Hotel Bar then you’ll surely have heard the phrase. ‘Shaken, not stirred.’ Well, this is the place that inspired James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming to coin the line. Dukes Hotel is located in Mayfair and the venue is internationally renowned for its martinis. Why would you go anywhere else?

          • OUR REVIEW 9/10
          Viaduct Tavern
          126 Newgate Street EC1A 7AA
          Region: The City
          Nearest Station: City Thameslink (0.1 miles)

          AIL Says: The Viaduct Tavern used to have much more to do with gin than it presently does, in fact, its whole look was derived from the flash facades of the 18th century gin palaces. However, it does claim to serve a truly great gin & tonic from its range of fifteen gins. It once contained gin vaults below the pub, where bottles were stored in a converted Victorian jail. This is the historical option.

          • USERS 8/10
          Polpo Smithfield
          2-3 Cowcross Street EC1M 6DR
          Region: Clerkenwell
          Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.1 miles)

          AIL Says: Mix up Vermouth, Campari and gin and you’ve got the basis of one of the greatest cocktails of all time. Yes, we’re quite the Negroni fans at AIL. So how could we ignore the fine subterranean Negroni Bar at Polpo, Smithfield. It has elegance, historic charm and excellent gin. We love it and so will you.

          • ITALIAN


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