There are a few things in life that I don’t think I will EVER get bored of and drinking a really good quality gin and tonic (in moderation, obviously) is most definitely one of them. As such, I’ve tried and tested my fair share of good (and pretty terrible) G’n’T’s so I thought I would share my favourite places in Glasgow to unwind with some alcoholic juniper berries.
I’m also a self-confessed perfectionist (otherwise known as a snob) when it comes serving the perfect gin and tonic and, much to friends and family’s embarrassment, I’ll send any drink back if it isn’t just right. Yup, I’m that guy. (Although, I have done my fair share of bar shifts over the years so I send it back in a polite way, I’m not THAT guy.)
I’m predominantly a Hendrick’s kinda gal but I have been known to partake in a little Caorunn, Haymans 1850 Reserve, Opihr spiced gin (tastes great with a little ginger beer and served with a garnish of red chilli or raw ginger), or Botanist gin (great with some fresh basil or strawberries).
I have a pretty strict gin-and-tonic-code-of-conduct and as a result, if I go somewhere and they try and serve either Gordon’s Gin or Schwepps tonic, there is a very good chance I won’t be back. Tough critic, I know.
And, while we’re on the subject of tonic, if it’s not Fever Tree or Fentimans, it’s ruined! End of.
Anyway, onto the really good places who know much better than to serve lime or Schwepps with my Hendrick’s…
Alston Bar & Beef
Rather unsurprisingly as it is a Steak & Gin bar, Alstons has an excellent variety of gins available and you are always guaranteed a perfect serving of Hendrick’s ‘n’ tonic. Nice glasses too and I appreciate the attention to detail in the cucumber garnish. I may have even copied the cucumber twists myself once or twice. And taken the credit for it. Sorry.
Alston Bar & Beef, 79 Gordon St, (just inside Central Station and tucked away down the stairs next to Gordon St Coffee), G1 3SQ, 0141 221 7627, www.alstonglasgow.co.uk
One of my favourite hang-outs in Finnieston, the staff at The Finnieston all seem to have a really good knowledge of everything they serve and will happily recommend a new gin if you feel like being adventurous. I quite like The Forager cocktail which has The Botanist gin in it served with strawberry and cucumber. Again, good quality glasses… which should NEVER be underestimated.
The Finnieston, 1125 Argyle St, 0141 222 2884, www.thefinniestonbar.com
I always have a good night night in Chinaski’s, quite a chilled place but with good music and they pour a perfect Hendrick’s – what’s not to love?
Chinaski’s, 239 North St, G3 7DL, 0141 221 0061, www.chinaskis.com
The cocktails in the Kelvingrove Cafe are all quite whisky based so I tend to steer clear of them and just stick with what I know, Hendricks! It’s the perfect place for catching up with friends on a Saturday afternoon. Book a booth by the window, order some food (the fritto misto is amazing), get a round of Hendrick’s ordered and watch the world go by. You’ll be there for hours…
The Kelvingrove Cafe, 1161-1163 Argyle St, G3 8TB, 0141 221 8988, www.kelvingrovecafe.com
To be fair, there is actually nothing I DON’T like about Hutchesons. The restaurant upstairs, the bar downstairs, the breakfast, the lunch, the dinner, the service, the drinks – all amazing! And the Cucumber Collins No 2 is just divine, it’s like a cross between a mojito and a Hendrick’s – absolute perfection.
Hutchesons, 158 Ingram St, G1 1DW, 0141 552 4050, www.hutchesonsglasgow.com
Of course, I’ve picked up a thing or two about making a pretty kick-ass G’n’T at home over the years.
My favourite gin, in case you haven’t guessed already, is Hendrick’s. I went along to a Hendrick’s masterclass in Sloans a couple of months ago and it made me fall in love with the brand even more.
We learned that there is a woman who works for Hendrick’s – still a small, family-run company based in Girvan, who tastes every single batch of Hendrick’s that they produce! Where do I sign up to that job??
Tea cups of gin, how quaint.
Because of my obsession for Hendrick’s, my three sisters have now been converted from vodka drinkers to fellow gin connoisseurs. So much so that my dad has started to grow his own cucumbers to keep up the demand at family get-togethers.
Gin-soaked cucumbers from my Dad’s garden are my favourite!
I’m also a big fan of Caoruun gin, another delicious Scottish gin which tastes delightful with a couple of slices of red apple. Gin drinking is a sure-fire way of getting your five-a-day.
And, when you’ve devoured every last drop from your Hendrick’s bottle, make sure you don’t throw them out as they make the prettiest vases.
Let me know if there is anywhere I missed in Glasgow (or haven’t tried) that does an awesome G’n’T that I just NEED to try!
Happy weekend y’all – may it be peppered with a scrumptious gin and a good quality tonic.