The Gin & Tonic has come a long way from its creation by the British army in India as a way of fighting malaria. And, thanks to a recent renaissance, the drink has even had a makeover in Spain – becoming one of the nation’s most popular cocktails.
For gin geeks on a quest for the perfect G&T, here are seven of the best you’ll find anywhere in the world.
Guests at the Ginstitute get to make their very own blend of gin
The Ginstitute, London
Since its inception in the upstairs room of a London pub by four bartenders, the Ginstitute has taken a humble but genius concept and turned its gin tasting experience into a thriving business. Today it has a whole venue over four floors; a downstairs tasting and distillery room, a sleek ground floor cocktail bar, a G&T emporium called GinTonica, and bedrooms above making it London’s first gin hotel. Enjoy a gin-making history lesson in a wood-panelled room, sample the world’s finest gin varieties, use botanicals to create your own blend, and get a bottle to take away with you.
Spread across five white Georgian townhouses, The Laslett is the most highly-rated accommodation for the ultimate Notting Hill experience.
Sit at the bar and watch your cocktail come into being at Foodhallen
Amid the bustle of Amsterdam’s Foodhallen – a renovated factory space bursting upmarket food trucks – you’ll find the gin bar towards the back. Friendly bartenders are happy to help you choose a gin from the enticing menu; cloves and orange or lychee and grapefruit are especially popular. The only difficulty is the fishbowl-size of each cocktail, making it impossible to try everything in one night. But you'll be back.
Boutique B&B Bovien is the highest-rated accommodation in Oud West Amsterdam, within easy walking distance of de Foodhallen.
Gin Palace was at the forefront of the gin trend
Gin Palace, Melbourne
A tribute to the bawdy gin palaces of 19th-century London, this Melbourne bar was one of the first in the world to get on board with the gin renaissance. The decor is exaggeratedly decadent but the drinks are so good they’ll distract you from the velvet, burgundy, and low lighting. The staff are experts, so you can ask them for tips or a surprise selection from the exhaustive menu.
QT Melbourne is a fashionable, contemporary hotel right in the CBD, so you won’t have to stumble far to get back to your room after a few too many G&Ts.
Arguably the best gin bar in a country of fantastic gin bars
Bobby Gin, Barcelona
The Spanish are the biggest gin drinkers in Europe and Spain is arguably the best place in the world to taste it. Apparently the whole craze started with a gang of top chefs networking in San Sebastian over G&Ts, and was also the favoured tipple at the game-changing El Bulli restaurant. Spanish mixologists take gin very seriously, and are super experimental with their garnishes and infusions; smokey, herbal, fresh – anything you want you can get. And the staff at Bobby Gin in Barcelona seems to know exactly what that is the moment you walk in the door.
In a peach-coloured, modernist building, this luxury hotel is the perfect place to nurse your hangover - cool down in the gorgeous plunge pool, or sit on the rooftop terrace gazing over the rooftops of Barcelona.
Try gin infused with local plants and herbs in Milan
The Botanical Club, Milan
Welcome to Italy’s very first small batch gin distillery. For gin devotees, the Botanical Club in Milan is a great place to go to enhance your appreciation of the drink. Local plants and herbs take centre stage on the unique menu (think generous portions of juicy, sweet Italian tomatoes and basil), featuring a massive range of blends.
The colourfully- and stylishly-decorated B&B Raffaello is conveniently-located right in the centre of Milan.
Try a glamorous gin & tonic at Atlas, Singapore
Taking over the ground floor of one of Singapore’s grandest, Art Deco buildings, Atlas was a hugely-anticipated, recent opening. It’s a real Great Gatsby-esque affair, with symmetrical, spiral staircases, bronze statues, ornate patterns, and lots of gold and dark red. Cocktail geeks will be floored by the selection of thousands of gins available, including bespoke gins and rare, historic vintages. And the bartending talent is equally impressive.
Stay in regal splendour at the iconic Raffles Hotel to get yourself in a Great Gatsby mood.
A gin bar inspired by Prohibition-era speakeasies in New York
Bathtub Gin, New York
Inspired by the Prohibition-era speakeasies, Bathtub Gin’s name refers to the home-distilled methods used when alcohol was banned in the USA. But of course the cocktails have improved now that they’re not accompanied by a police raid. In the middle of NYC’s Meatpacking District, this laid-back, fun bar has myriad gin-based concoctions, with additions like wildflower honey, fresh sage, lavender. And they’re not stingy on the gin either.
The highly-rated Crosby Street Hotel is a beautifully-renovated building, typical of the Meatpacking District, with on-trend interiors, an inner courtyard, and terrace restaurant.