The end of Dry January is nigh
Sighs of relief at the ready please. We probably all know a handful of friends that take part every year and go incognito, off the grid, pull a Houdini, literally just vanish off the face of the earth for the alcohol parched month. Well people we want you back. So here are 5 places in London to hit with these thirsty lot. In no particular order.
- The London Gin Club, Soho
If you like gin, then why have you not been here already? Great for small groups, but you will need to book in advance. On the corner just off Wardour Street, this small venue is wall to wall of old style posters while downstairs is like sitting in an dimly lit railway arch. Gins to try, Bathtub Gin, Scottish Cannonball or go for a blind tasting menu. To accompany, they offer cheese boards, pies & marshmallows infused with gin.
- Bar American at Brassire Zedel, Piccadily Circus
An old school art deco basement bar, tucked under Piccadilly circus away from the horrible central hustle and bustle. It’s French brassiere décor, grand appearance and American touches make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time and should don a pair of pearls and smoke a cigarette through a holder wearing satin gloves. Don’t just stop by for a drink, make sure you check out the terrific bar snacks too. Their drinks list is no thrills so go classic with a no nonsense Martini.
- BallieBalerson, Dalston
For something a little different head over to Dalston the hipster hang out to go play in a ball pit and drink retro cocktails with your besties. They have a resident DJ playing funk & techno and the sugar rush cocktails have fun treats taking you back to your childhood such as Wham Bars, Dip Dabs and Pink Shrimp Foam. Again you’ll need to buy tickets in advance, as this place has got crazy busy after being featured in Time Out.
- The Sipsmith gin tour, Shepherds Bush
Another one for gin lovers. Tour the Sipsmith distillery - you’ll of course be welcomed with a G & T straight off the bat. (Already what’s not to love). You will be taken through the history of gin and intro’d to the three copper ladies, tutors on the Sipsmith range. Then it’s off to the Princess Victoria in Shepbu for a botanical lesson and some more gin tasting. You even get a 35cl bottle each for the road. Marvellous.
- The Blind Pig, Soho
Cocktails here come in style. All shapes, sizes and cartons. Very incoginto - at the end of Poland Street is a red vintage sign that reads ‘opticians’ above a brown wooden door with a pigs head for a knocker. The bar snacks are superb (made downstairs in Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House) but it’s all about the crazy yet sophisticated cocktails here.