London's gin revival has forced the capital's experts out of hiding but how many really know their Gordon's from their Aviation? 214 Bermondsey aims to find out and has set a challenge so tough that even those who consider themselves gin connoisseurs should forget everything they think they know and prepare to start again.
The Gin Flight – which has proved quite a hit in recent months – includes a collection of three named gins without labels, leaving your taste buds to do all the work. Once you’ve decided which is which – help is at hand from the knowledgeable bar staff – answers inside a sealed envelope will reveal all.
In search of quality, 214 Bermondsey stands alone. With over 50 brands of gin to choose from, expect brands such as Aviation from North America, The Botanist from Scotland and Bols Genever from Holland, the home of gin, and even Jensen’s Old Tom, made down the road in Bermondsey.
“We want to show people the taste you can get out of gin. No two are the same, there’s a variety of subtle differences, from those heavier on botanticals and gins with more citrus content and even fruit infused varieties,” said Nick Crispini, owner of 214 Bermondsey.
Keen not to mask the real flavour of gin, Nick and the team are even making their own tonic water because the quinine content of big-name tonics mask the spirit’s true flavour. “Our tonic allows you to distinguish and appreciate the botanicals of each and every gin,” said Nick.
Housed in the basement of celebrated restaurant Antico, 214 Bermondsey sits on the site of the old Bermondsey Antiques Market. Reclaimed brickwork, wood panelling, and deep leather sofa create a mix of urban chic, harking back to the illustrious trading history of the outskirts of the City of London.
For those who haven’t already eaten upstairs, there’s a lighter menu of contemporary Italian small plates to accompany your drinks.
Bar Opening Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 17.00 ~ 23.00, Thursday 17.00 ~ 00.00, Friday & Saturday
17.00 ~ 01.30
Reservations recommended either by phone: 020 7403 6875 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
214 Bermondsey St, SE1 3TQ