Like we needed another excuse to knock back a G&T or five, World Gin Day comes along to tempt us into an entire day of gin based revelry!
Once associated with backstreet abortions and ruined mothers, gin has undergone a huge transformation since the 18th
century to become the classy beverage of choice. However, this seedy beginning gives it a bit of an English edge that other drinks fail to capture, making it one of the most popular spirits in the UK.
While you never need an excuse for a stiff G&T, World Gin Day makes it practically mandatory this weekend. Check out our pick of the best places to celebrate, and you'll be sozzled in the sun by Saturday afternoon.
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The name suggests a tiny London version of Woodstock, with gin instead of LSD - not really like Woodstock at all then. However there will be eight bars offering eight different gins (including Beefeater, Ophir and Boodles,) food from Dishoom and Milk&Honey, and plenty of live music. Located at Dalston Yard (the usual haunt of Street Feast), you can expect a beardy crowd.
Gin Stock, Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, London, E8 3DU
Gin Walking Tour
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If you get to Sunday morning and realise you lost the whole weekend, never fear – a walking tour of London's gin history is being held on next Wednesday afternoon (June 18th), giving you an insight into the drunken habits of 18th
century Londoners and ending at (where else) Gin Lane.
Royal College of Physicians,11 St Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE
Fever Tree Pop-Up Bar
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Jamie Oliver's favourite tonic water has opened a pop-up bar in Hoxton until July 26th. With more than 160 different gins on offer, this is the place to try unusual brands you might never have heard of. ‘G&Tree' sampling flights are also available weekly, at a reasonable £12 for four different gins
Fever Tree's Ultimate Gin and Tonic, Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU
Beefeater Distillery Tour
For those who take their spirits rather seriously, you can actually learn something on World Gin Day if you head down to the Beefeater Distillery in Kennington. They've just opened a new visitors centre and are now offering tours, where you'll learn about the history and the distilling process, then enjoy a complimentary G&T.
Beefeater London: The Home of Gin, 20 Montford Place, London, SE11 5DE
The Lucky Pig
Following the Tanqueray Tones party last week (complete with a jazz band and an old-school barber), decadent drinking den The Lucky Pig in Fitzrovia has added some deliciously lethal Tanqueray gin cocktails to the menu. Try the Bee's Knees (£10.50) for a luxe gin, champagne and honey mix, while the Midnight Reviver (£10.50 will perk up any gin-soaked revellers.
The Lucky Pig, 5 Clipstone street, Fitzrovia W1W 6BB
If mingling with the sweaty hordes in search of a decent Tom Collins doesn't appeal, embrace the weather in your garden and mix up some cocktails al fresco.With England's first World Cup game being shown on Saturday night, keep it British with Sipsmith, Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire.
Sipsmith Summer Cup cocktail
Mix 1 part Summer Cup to 3 parts lemonade. Stir and serve in a large wine glass, over ice and fruit.
Ultimate Bombay Sapphire and Tonic
Mix 50mls of Bombay Sapphire Gin with 100ml of Fever Tree Tonic. Stir and serve over ice, with a wedge of lime.
Tanqueray Martini Cocktail
Mix 50ml of Tanqueray No.TEN gin and 10ml Dry Vermouth. Strain into a frozen Martini Glass, and serve with a garnish of twisted grapefruit.