It's official - gin is the quintessential British tipple. Historically, it has captured our imagination, from Hogarth's 18th century illustrations, to gin sales reached an all-time-high in 2016.
So has the ship sailed? Has gin o'clock had its time? Is it time to PUT.DOWN.THE.TONIC? Hell no, we say. Embrace your unfettered fancy for crisp quinine and fresh botanicals. With numerous bars dedicated to serving the best G&Ts, Brighton is Britain's homeland of gin.
Here's some ginspiration for finding a tonic to your hard days work.
This light, airy, Thai food-serving bar in North Laine is a temple of gin. Depending on when you rock up, you’ll have a choice of around 40 different varieties of Mother’s Ruin, with thoughtful, easy-on-the-eye staff happy to suggest tonic pairings. Plus, they frown on kids coming in, which can be a plus at times.
Hove is by default a gin-drinker territory, so it makes perfect sense that this spot is making waves. Gin waves. Nu-prohibition decor (you’ll fall in love with the ceiling drapes and stained-glass lamps) reaches its apex in the amazing speakeasy detail that every table has a dial-up telephone to put orders through to the bar. Enjoy.
Spruce up your classic G&T with a trip to this speakeasy inspired haunt down in Kemptown. This place whips up a hella tasty cocktail and have a fine range of seasonal, flavourful gins. Choose from their ever so Art Deco menu or have the bar staff throw together a special, just for you. When it comes to getting trollied (in a classy way) there’s no place finer.
Don’t expect any trendy flim-flam at this louche, atmospheric bar near the Theatre Royal. While not one for food fads, it really likes gin – each hand-chosen variety boasts a full paragraph of tasting notes, as do the range of tonics. Settle down with your beau, and envision yourself as a couple of Edwardian swells awaiting your hansom cab to a show.
Looking like a 1930s gin palace, this rambling Lanes boozer with heady burlesque decor has conspiratorial nooks to neck a few gin-based cocktails in. Best of all, they serve Brighton Gin, distilled locally and hand-bottled. What a way to relish an artisan tipple, and to conclude that your drinking habit is doing some good by supporting Brighton independents.
In the heart of the North Laine is where you'll find this 1920's inspired prohibition bar, complete with 'secret' door, ramshackle furniture, misty jazz sounds, and 300 strong spirited bar. Head to this speakeasy haunt to try out their special selection of gins mixed with fever tree tonic and served in beautiful vintage glasses. Or how about a gin cocktail, a French 75 or White Lady perhaps? Go on, you know you want to!
Smack bang in the centre of Brighton is one of the trendiest pubs in town. Renowned for their vast gin selection, this blinder of a boozer calls Sipsmith their house pour. They handcraft small batches of delicious infused gins which you'll see in the giant 'Ginfusion' glass balloons behind the bar. The Lavender infusion is a big Wriggle favourite. They also have a decent premium gin selection from the likes of Monkey 47 and Portobello Road. If a cocktail is what you're craving, the 'Gintini' is a proper crowd pleaser.
Old Albion is bringing the gin palace back to Hove. The glamour may be faded, but there’s beauty and life and art in every grain. From stunning food, over 40 Gins and a wide range of Craft Beers, to DJs that bring the party to Hove weekend nights – you’ll never need to leave this neighbourhood again. They even stock their very own, Old Hove Gin is exclusive to Old Albion and is mighty tasty with ginger tonic.
A lavish performance venue nestled above the famous Grand Central pub, The Nightingale Room is the scene of some of Brighton’s finest theatre, music and comedy. Recently redesigned to recapture its 1920s opulence, it’s a stunning place where you’ll be entertained in style. A delicious drop of decadence awaits you at their dedicated gin bar - where the humble G&T is elevated to something truly special. They use our own garden of garnishes and botanical infusions to put fresh new twists on the age-old tipple, keeping the era of the gin palace alive.
As masters of mixology, the Plotting Parlour’s cocktails are nothing short of enchanting and to them, the classic gin and tonic is the king of cocktails. All their G&T’S are served over loads of ice with various local and seasonal garnishes. The Pear Pressure is a Wriggle favourite - a short gin sour with the fresh flavour of pears, poached in boozy goodness. A little spice from garam masala adds extra excitement and depth to the cocktail. Take your G&T game to the next level.