London has a thriving gin scene and these are just 20 of the best places to go if you want to enjoy your favorite spirit served in a range of innovative ways.
What Makes Them Different – Harking back to the golden age of the cocktail, this is a classy joint that reeks of retro chic.
Atmosphere – Cosy yet classy, with a strong sense of the art deco era about its design and drinks menu.
Gins Available – Mainstream and obscure options alike, including Tanqueray, Slingsby, Nikka, D1, Brooklyn and many more.
Reviews – “This is the most incredible cocktail bar I have ever been to. We had a very warm welcome and were seated with water and pickles, then given advice on how to navigate the fantastic menu. Every cocktail we had was worthy of its description in the menu, served in its own unique vessel with accompaniments. This place is the drinking equivalent of the fat duck. Hats off to the pianist too.” – Alex Morgan.
What Makes Them Different – Combining a gin bar with a hotel, you can book a room and visit from out of town while choosing from more than 100 gin varieties.
Atmosphere – Classy yet comfortable, it has the up market feel of most Notting Hill drinking houses, but without too much pretentiousness in the atmosphere.
Gins Available – A global range of gins, served in Copa de Balon glasses.
Reviews – “The Ginstitute is the coolest spot for all gin-loving freaks like me. Learn everything there is to know about gin AND make your own unique blend! It was such a fun, educational class and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves gin and spirits!” - Monique Karabach.
What Makes Them Different – Famed for its affordable gin punches, this centrally located bar is staffed by cocktail specialists who are happy to help you find the perfect drink to suit your tastes.
Atmosphere – Undeniably lively due to its position and popularity, you can expect to be packed in with plenty of other punters most nights of the week.
Gins Available – Choose from 180 options that run the gamut from classic London Dry to more outlandish botanically-enhanced gins.
Reviews – “Graphic bar is a cool and hip gin bar. Very skilled bartenders, but it is on the pricey side. The choice of gins seems endless and the cocktails are really nice. But it is very loud so only bring people you don't want to talk to :-p” – Tim Scholer.
4. 214 Bermondsey – London Bridge
What Makes Them Different – The low-lit interior of this vintage-inspired gin bar is littered with padded bench seating, worn wooden tables and wonderfully archaic glassware.
Atmosphere – Ideally suited to sharing a G&T with a small group of friends, it is a bar that invites intimate chatting over raucous behaviour.
Gins Available – Plenty of small batch gins from London distillers, with 50 or more available at any one time.
Reviews – “Great bar with a good variety of gins and cocktails. Very cosy and not over priced. Lovely place to chill and unwind for a while.” - Martin Harrison.
5. The Library Bar at The Ned - Bank
What Makes Them Different – With its book lined walls and swanky sensibilities, this is an upmarket option for gin drinkers with a bit more cash to flash.
Atmosphere – Cushy seating and delightful gin cocktails combined with the sensibilities of a library, at least in terms of decor, give this bar a well heeled feel.
Gins Available – Popular options like Sipsmith, Fords London Dry, Hendricks Orbium, Tanqueray, Plymouth Navy Strength and Oxley are just some of the gins on offer.
Reviews – “Stunning martinis, apertifs and cocktails. Would definitely recommend the Gibson and Vesper.” – Sandeep Chadda.
6. Coburg Bar - Mayfair
What Makes Them Different – Style and substance go hand in hand in this beautifully appointed Mayfair bar where every detail is carefully considered and every member of staff dressed to impress.
Atmosphere – A low key sensibility is cultivated, so if you want to avoid loud music and focus on the company, this is the gin bar for you.
Gins Available – Pick from lots of gins including Sacred, Plymouth, Tanqueray and Sipsmith.
Reviews – “One of the best bars in Mayfair!! Lovely wine and champagne list, if you are visiting London make sure to have a drink here.” – Simone Artuso.
7. City of London Distillery – Smithfield
What Makes Them Different – Opened in 2012, this distillery has its own bar and serves some of the most mouth watering London Dry Gin in the capital, while also making room on its shelves for rival brands from other parts of the world.
Atmosphere – Friendly, fun, functional and full of life, there is a reason that this distillery’s bar remains a popular spot for drinking, eating and making merry.
Gins Available – The City of London Authentic Dry Gin is clearly the main offering of this bar, alongside four other in-house variations.
Reviews – “Had a great tour here. For £25, we got a gin and tonic and taste of 3 gins including the undiluted Square Mile. Also learned about the history of gin in London and got to see the stills up close. Plus, you get a small discount off the bottles. Sat down at the bar after the tour, and the cocktails are really inventive and tasty.” – Carolyn Feng-Friberg.
8. Four Thieves – Clapham Junction
What Makes Them Different – With an outdoor setting for gin drinking, this pub is the place to be in the warmer months. There is even an arcade gaming section, complete with VR headsets for further entertainment.
Atmosphere – Always bubbling with life and laughter, this venue combines a pub ethos with a gin bar’s selection of drinks.
Gins Available – As well as distilling their own gin, you can sift through almost 50 different alternatives.
Reviews – “Great local boozer with a good selection of craft beers plus the usual brands, especially good fun for a party due to the gaming area upstairs and the Panic room.” - Mike Barclay.
9. Rivington Grill – Greenwich
What Makes Them Different – If you want to drink gin in London more affordably, head to Rivington Grill to take advantage of their happy hour and outdoor terrace seating area.
Atmosphere – As this is more of a restaurant, the experience is food-oriented and the staff are friendly, even if you do just pop in for a drink.
Gins Available – The list extends to beyond 200, with tasting notes for each provided. Classics like Beefeater Gin and Tanqueray sit alongside modern upstarts like Sipsmith.
Reviews – “Friendly local restaurant with a classy menu and great bar.” – Rob Devaney.
10. Dukes Bar - Mayfair
What Makes Them Different – This is a hotel bar that blows patrons away with its gin cocktails, making it the best place to go for a definitive martini.
Atmosphere – Pristinely presented to the point of being imposing, this is a classy establishment that is not exactly ideal for casual quaffing.
Gins Available – Small batch gins like Sacred are often on the menu here.
Reviews – “Wonderful service - martinis are crafted at the table. A great place to take visitors.” – Gina M.
11. Mart - Mile End
What Makes Them Different - The setting is suitably hipster-friendly and you can drink gin within meters of where it was originally distilled.
Atmosphere – Informal and lively on busy nights, with all the distilling kit on display near the bar.
Gins Available – 3 types of London Dry Gin and a special barrel-aged gin
Reviews – “We had a brilliant night on the Gin tasting & tour. It was really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes of a gin distillery as well as trying all their gins which were excellent. The tour was fun and our guide, Jess was awesome and answered all the questions we had! We hung around after the tour and also had some great food at the bar, the Burrata was so good!” – Rebecca Hamilton.
12.Little Bird Gin at Maltby Street Market – Bermondsey
What Makes Them Different – Rather than a dedicated bar, this is a weekly popup venue that offers surprisingly affordable gin cocktails and tasty street food to go along with them.
Atmosphere – Bustling and full of life thanks to the market setting and the popularity of this popup.
Gins Available – The signature London Dry Gin from Little Bird, in a range of cocktail guises.
Reviews – “They make excellent gin, but above it - creative, wonderful cocktails. Also, if you prefer to sit while enjoying the delicious food from the other stands in the lovely Maltby market, this bar is located right at the center of the street ;)” – Emmanuel Rosenzweig.
13. The London Gin Club - Soho
What Makes Them Different – Offering gin in a tasting menu format is this bar’s stand out selling point, letting you sample up to eight different varieties in one sitting.
Atmosphere – A chilled out vibe with low lighting, classic ads on the walls and closely clustered table makes for an intimate experience.
Gins Available – A constantly shifting line up of gins from around the world – check ahead for the latest offerings.
Reviews – “Absolutely fabulous place. The gin menu is extensive and well thought through, the owner knows her offering extremely well, and the snacks are great. This is my new favourite bar in Central!” – Rebecca Krief.
14. Martello Hall – Hackney
What Makes Them Different – This dinky distillery is a real hotspot in Hackney that also serves gins from other local innovators, alongside wood-fired pizzas and lots of other cocktails.
Atmosphere –The look and feel of Martello Hall is deliberately unrefined and deliciously rustic, making a visit feel like a trip to another time and place.
Gins Available – Homemade gin along with offerings from East London Liquor Compnay, Aviation, Canova, Jenson Bermondsey and others.
Reviews – “Superb atmosphere, really friendly staff, good selection of cocktails and damn good pizza in a fantastic steam punk setting, and they found my keys and sent them to me at no cost, cannot recommend these guys enough” – Djbreed Kronikaudio.
15. Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour – Covent Garden
What Makes Them Different – A huge range of literally hundreds of gins to try makes Mr Fogg’s a paradise for gin lovers.
Atmosphere – Delightfully anachronistic interior design makes this fee like a historic gin parlour, albeit one filled with people sipping cocktails and scrolling on their smartphones.
Gins Available – If you can think of a gin, it’s almost certainly stocked at Mr Fogg’s.
Reviews – “What a brilliant little place! Definitely worth a visit before a meal or theatre and must book with credit card details. Lovely service and atmosphere! Highly recommended and will be back!” – Kohan Reberio.