A Little GINspiration

Once upon a time, posh Brits in India needed to consume quinine to fend off malaria, but as it was so bitter, and colonising other nations was such thirsty work, they added it to soda with a glug of gin and alas the G&T was born.

Winston Churchill apparently said, “The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all of the doctors in the Empire.” Although he too was probably drunk at the time.

Patchy history lesson over, let’s get to the important stuff.

Gin seems to thrive in difficult circumstances; from hostile takeovers, to prohibition and hipsters serving it in wellington boots… gin has come out the other side smelling of roses and juniper and pink peppercorn and cinnamon and almonds and cassia and orange peel and… well, you get the point.

The myriad of botanicals that make each gin so unique and varied is something to be very thankful for as it simply means we must endeavour to taste them all.

It’s refreshing, it’s warming and it makes the simplest of cocktails sing. Gin is without doubt one of the good guys.

Here are our top tips for every gin lover in Glasgow:

Best At Home – Makar Glasgow Gin
Makar Glasgow Gin
Makar Gin

Award-winning Scottish handcrafted gin, hand bottled in small batches and distilled in the heart of Glasgow. The first gin brand to be produced in our city, be sure to pick up a bottle the next time you’re perusing the spirit aisle or order online at GlasgowDistillery.com.

Drink the original with tonic and a slice of fresh chilli for a twist on your usual tipple, or go for their latest addition ‘Old Tom’. With hints of orange peel, almonds and finished with a touch of honey to create a slightly sweeter style of gin – perfect for a classic Tom Collins on a warm day lazing in the garden.

They’re doing big things over at The Glasgow Distillery and we should all get behind them.

Experiment at Gin71 – Renfield Street

Glasgow’s first dedicated gin bar and a haven for gin lovers, not least because they have 71 different varieties to choose from! Their policy of ‘seated service only’ instills a level of calm not often associated with bars in this part of town.

On top of that, reading their menu alone is like a mini-adventure and the very knowledgable staff are always on-hand to answer your queries. First impressions are that it’s pretty expensive but upon closer inspection you’ll find that you get a 50ml pour as standard (25ml upon request) plus your bottled mixer and fresh garnish are included… which actually makes it pretty good value for the quality of gin and excellent service you receive.

beGIN Glasgow – The Perfect Serve
beGIN Glasgow

Formerly BoBar, this Hilton owned venue has had a fresh lease of life breathed into it with the launch of BeGIN. Not to be left behind in Glasgow’s gin revolution, the Hilton took it upon themselves to launch the first of its kind in the West End.

With over 60 gins to choose from and every conceivable garnish at hand, you can opt for the recommended perfect serve or get your own creative juices flowing.

Gin Tasting Menu – Gin71 Merchant City
Gin71 Tasting Menu
Gin71 – Merchant City

When drinking copious amounts of gin from all over the world isn’t enough to satisfy your lust for Mother’s Ruin, you can head along to Gin71 in the Merchant City and enjoy a 5 or 7 course tasting menu.

With everything from Treacle Gin & Fennel Cured Salmon, to Gin Marinated Olive Petals and Gluten Free Gin & Tonic Sponge. You can even add gin pairings to your meal to ensure you leave well and truly gintoxicated… I’ll get my coat.

Alston Bar & Beef – but mainly GIN!
Alston Bar & Beef
Alston Bar & Beef

Hic!! Okay, so you’re heading for the last train and somehow end up veering off to the left as you try to make it onto the concourse at Central. As luck would have it, you’ve found your way down the steps to a subterranean gem hidden under the station.

Sure Alston do great steaks but that ain’t what we’re here for is it?

Gin bars like to boast about the size of their selection and Alston are right up there with the best of them, hitting triple digits and still going. With so many to choose from we recommend booking a Gin Masterclass and let the experts guide you to your perfect tipple. For £30 you get a cocktail of your choice and 6 different gins to try, plus for an extra 20 quid they’ll also throw in a three course meal.

The Finnieston – Best in the West 
The Finnieston Bar & Restaurant
The Finnieston Bar & Restaurant

A seafood restaurant and gin bar in the heart of Finnieston – what’s not to love?

Everything they do at The Finnieston is done right. The front of house staff are knowledgable and the venue itself is completely unique.

The Finnieston is our bar of choice when it’s pelting down outside and you need somewhere to hide from the elements. The low ceilings and original features create a cozy atmosphere, making it the sort of place you can lose a few hours without noticing… the excellent gin cocktails probably help with that too.

The classics are consistently perfect and new concoctions always inspired.


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