Gin Tour- Going Global, The World’s Best Gin Bars

Gin dare we say Gin brings the world today. Okay perhaps Gin did win any world wars, nor has it been used in any acts of diplomacy- to the best of our knowledge but neither the less, gin is universally loved. We have become a little enthralled with how Gin drinking differs around the world. Let us set the scene, it was a Saturday afternoon, and we were enjoying a drink with friends, some friends from the states, some from Europe and beyond and it got us to thinking, is Gin culture as varied as the drink itself? So we embarked on a journey of discovery, doing what we do best at ILoveGin.com- We talked gin with the best gin bars around the world!

Through Gin We Experience Culture & Creative Freedom

Coast to coast, from Tokyo to Toronto, we asked some new friends at gin bars around the world. Now, perhaps you are sat comfortably at home with a G & T in hand and you want a sit back and relax kinda read, or maybe you are planning a trip, either way, we hope that you will find this article as interesting to read as it was for us to write. Relax, discover, explore. . . . Cheers!

 Tweed Bar

 Stockholm, Sweden

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

We love all things classic and to keep it simple so our version of the Dry Martini made with Sipsmith´s VJOP, Noilly Prat, Fino Sherry and a touch of Licorice Bitters frozen and served with your choice of olive, onion or lemon zest.

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

In Sweden, people have been enjoying G&T´s for a very long time but with the new styles and flavours in gin and the unlimited amount of all kinds of new exciting tonics we see that people are very willing to try new stuff. Especially floral styles of gin.

 The Gin Corner

  Rome, Italy

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

Our ultimate gin Concoction is Fruity G&T: Brockman’s Gin, Pink Pepper, Black Cherry, Orange Twist and Pink pepper Premium Tonic Mixer Schweppes.

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

What has happened in Italy is that people appreciated Gin day by day always more. Above all the knowledge about Gin has been increased. Now they know exactly the difference from one gin and another, a Tonic from another and that a mix could change their cocktail.
The number of people who appreciate Martini is also increased as confirmed by the fact that we have just constituted a Club called Martini & Friends. The headquarters is The Gin corner. The association wants to be the point of reference for all Martini lovers, to spread the Martini culture.

 The Gin Joint

  Athens, Greece

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

So my ultimate concoction would be a gin with tonic and 1 dash of bitters, depending on the season or at the most a well-done gimlet with a refreshing cordial!

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

The difference in the gin culture here in Greece is that people prefer highball glasses than balloon and mainly with citrus or fresh herbs as a garnish. Also, there is a trend in more sweet and aromatic Gins than the usual Dry ones.

Now Over To North America & Canada

 Bath Tub Gin

  New York, USA

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

Our favourite gin concoction is one of our signature drinks, “The Bathtub Gin and Tonic”. The cocktail is made with Brooklyn Gin, a local New York product that brings bright citrus flavours to the drink. The gin is beautifully paired with our housemade tonic comprised of a variety of spices including allspice, cinnamon, and juniper. We top this cocktail off with fresh mint to harmonize all of the flavours and create an aromatic finish.

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

At Bathtub Gin we have a variety of gin drinkers, and with a list of 45 different gins from around the world, we are sure to find something to please everyone’s palate. We get our fair share of guest who loves their classic London Dry style gins and enjoy a strong juniper flavour. The rest of our customer tends to be a little more adventurous and go for a modern style gin that features unique flavour notes such as Turkish rose, lavender, peach, cucumber, fennel, or celery.

 long Table Distillery

  Vancouver, Canada

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

We love just about any well made classic cocktail made with our west coast gins. We suggest people come to our Distillery Lounge and try our simply luxurious take on the Vancouver classic – The Hotel Georgia.

1 3/4 oz Long Table London Dry Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz Yuzu Orgeat
1 dash Ms. Better’s Mt. Fuji Bitters
1 dash Ms. Better’s Miraculous Foamer

Combine ingredients in a shaker. Dry shake. Hard shake with ice. Fine strain. Grate a small amount of nutmeg over top.

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

The distilling community, outside of the macro brands, is quite young in Canada. Six years ago, we opened Vancouver’s first small batch distillery. – we could hardly imagine the adventurous landscape we see today.
Many distilleries here showcase local botanicals (ourselves included) – We’re making gins for all styles of the consumer. We make a very stately London Dry, a modern Cucumber Gin and a genteel classic Bourbon Barrel Aged Gin (with more iterations to come!)

Canadians tend to prize local brands and have supported local gin culture with open arms – in the process, things like Gin + Tonic have seen a resurgent boom in popularity that shows no signs of being a popping fad.
Canadians want their story told with love – and our mission is to honour the spirit of Canada’s West Coast.

 Civil Liberties

  Toronto, Canada

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

Our favourite cocktail is the “London Calling”
1.75 oz Beefeater
1 oz Fresh Lemon
.75 Fino Sherry
.75 1-1 Simple Syrup
5 Dashes Orange Bitters

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

Kelp Gin for the east coast of Cananda. Ungava from Quebec. Who doesn’t love a good martini.

 White Chapel

  San Francisco, USA

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

The ultimate gin concoction is a tall order, but I will say that we have a lot of fun using gin in complex tropical style drinks to be honest. One of our missions here at Whitechapel is to “make gin fun,” and we find that coming up with complex and creative tiki drinks helps us deliver on that.

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

Well, gin and tonics are not as insanely popular here as they are in Spain or even London (even though they are appreciated) and classics are enjoyed pretty regularly. But the thing people here tend to get most into, based on our sales, is original and creative modern gin cocktails. And within that category, it seems the tropical style gin cocktails outpace many of the rest. So maybe that is the beginning of a trend? At least here at Whitechapel it seems to be.

Our final stop is in Asia

 Gin Bar C & D

  Kyoto, Japan

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

Of course, luxurious and unique cocktails are special for guests. But when I want to bring out the gin flavour, the simple cocktail is the best way I think.
We use to make “Mizuwari” with Kinobi Kyoto dry gin. Mizuwari is a very simple cocktail combined with a part of gin and 2 or 1.5 parts of water.

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

Japanese gin culture is getting more popular for the last two or three years. I guess because that the distillers started to make local and unique gins as other countries.
So some drinkers, especially whisky lovers, taste those gins as they do for whiskies. They used to drink in straight or on the rocks. Of course, mostly drink gin and tonic.
But these are served just tonic water, or with lime. Any other unique garnish, even if you squeeze a lemon, Japanese will feel interesting.
I think that’s because traditionally the Japanese have value in the simple and beautiful (You might have seen the traditional Japanese garden or forming a line with train).
On the other hand, some bartenders who learned new styles and exciting cocktails from international teachers are making their original pours with local and unique materials.

 Origin Bar

  Hong Kong

What’s your ultimate gin concoction? Could be simple or extravagant.

If we got to pick just one, it would definitely be our signature and bestseller KGB (Kyoho Grape Bathtub). It is a martini served in a custom-designed ceramic bubble bathtub, using Tanqueray gin, Cointreau, Kyoho liqueur, lemon & lime juice, grape juice, and elderflower syrup. This cocktail is a perfect illustration of Antonio’s concept of “multisensory mixology”, and pays tribute to the interesting history of gin.

In addition to our creative cocktails are a range of Gin & Tonics — simple and ordinary as they seem, but with plenty of efforts involved. When we have a collection of +150 gins available for making G&Ts, we have our own signature flavoured gins made using culinary methods such as slow-cooking with sous vide device, and re-distillation with the rotary evaporator.

What’s different in Gin culture in your country? Anything you have noted the native’s love?

Hong Kong’s gin culture is still developing, but it is growing really fast since our people are very eager to experience new things. Even though people still tend to stay on the safe side and go for bigger brands like Tanqueray, Hendrick’s, Monkey 47 and Beefeater, they are willing to step out of their comfort zones when our bartenders recommend a different choice.

That’s all for now folks, we learnt so much, it seems that people, when given a little incentive or perhaps when coerced by a charming yet slightly pushy bartender (you know the kind) on might dare to try something a little out of their comfort zone. It seems as gastronomic advances and making high-quality food and beverages more approachable and available to the masses, one can experiment. Earl Grey-infused gin? Botanical inspired cocktails, yes please, from New York to the Netherlands and beyond. We know what you are thinking, yes yes IloveGin.com this is all well and good, but where is Africa? That’s a big old continent, surely there are some sensational spots?- We are sure of it too, have you visited any? Let us know! Let us know your thoughts on anything else in the comments or get in touch on the socials.
Cheers everyone!

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