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Drinks International – Best Gin Bars



Patience Gould: The World's Best Gin Bars 10 june 2013

By Drinks International

Patience Gould: The World’s Best Gin Bars

Next up in our World’s 50 Best Bars spin-off features we examine the world’s best gin bars.

We looked no further than former Drinks International editor and all-round gin authority, Patience Gould, to offer her views on the subject.

For all the talk about gin and its timely renaissance, the three prime gin hubs in the world are still the US, Spain and the UK – and the gin capitals, to be more precise, are New York, Barcelona and London. So it’s fitting that in the main we’ve chosen bars from these cities and, while gin is the common theme, the background and settings could not be more different from city to city – though the speakeasy style, particularly in New York, is increasingly apparent.


Bars where gin takes centre stage usually showcase the spirit’s most classic cocktails, notably the Martini and the Negroni, which certainly are the stars of the show in Barcelona’s Dry Martini and Boadas outlets. However there are some bespoke gin cocktails, such as NYC’s Bathtub’s Sloe Gin Ginger Sling, and Edinburgh’s Bramble, which pays homage to the eponymous cocktail and the much more contemporary Clover Leaf.

But when it comes to class and tradition served with pure style, nothing compares to the Martini that is served in Duke’s Bar in London’s St James’s – this experience is neither for the fainthearted in terms of the drinks, nor for those sporting leisurewear.

Of course, when it comes to cocktails per se, gin has so much going for it. As the website puts it: “If the Martini is the king of cocktails then gin is the crown it wears upon its head.” That may sound a tad dramatic, but nonetheless it’s true.


This is a speakeasy with a large dollop of Spanish style and, as its name suggests, it pays homage to the Martini – and the gin Martini in the main. Indeed, one can enjoy the cocktail and, of course, others besides in any form from liquid to frozen to jelly. I confess there is something rather delicious about spooning up a jellied Negroni, though it’s not the same as the liquid form.

This outlet is large and traditional with green leather seating and mahogany panelled walls, and it’s buzzing with a team of exceptionally professional waiters wearing white tuxedos. Every available space – besides the bar of course – appears crammed with cocktail memorabilia and antique gin bottles.

The mastermind behind Dry Martini is Javier de las Muelas and the mission is simple: to be the quality benchmark for the cocktail culture – and it is.


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