Yes, really. A WHOLE DAY dedicated to GIN. And to commemorate the event, we’re giving you a whole article dedicated to it, too.
Let’s start with the basics. Gin. It’s not the most popular drink on the cocktail list in Sydney – though it does have quite a following in countries like Spain. Here, there is a growing trend toward gin and tonic's, which are dedicated gin bars that stock their shelves to the fullest with a myriad of imported and local gins and tonics, and ask you, the customer, which pairing you’d like.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? While we’re not quite there yet, we are starting to gather a bit of a following with gin-heavy bars like The Clock Hotel and The Barber Shop doing their bit for the spirit.
Do your bit, join in the celebrations on World Gin Day (14 June 2014) and trailblaze because gin and tonics, are a thing now.
Where to buy gins and tonics
No one wants to lug bottles from the bottle-o home, and this is why online shopping is so fantastic. You can browse the websites from the comfort of your home/kitchen, and have the gins delivered straight to your door. Here’s some gin for thought:
Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
There's a reason why mixologist Jeremy Shipley chose Gin Mare to feature in one of his 14 G&Ts at The Clock Hotel. It's light, refreshing and citrusy, and pairs well with basil leaves and olives.View details
Hayman's Old Tom Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
Old Tom knows his stuff. He's a potent gin infused with fresh citrus, juniper and coriander. He also goes well paired with capsicum. No joke.View details
Hendrick's Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
Award winner and gin and tonic mixologist's favourite, Hendrick's is infused with cucumber and rose petals. Think that's odd? Trust us, it works. The Barber Shop use it in their Worshipful Company Punch, and The Clock's named a G&T after it, complete with a side of cucumber sticks.View details
Tanqueray London Dry Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
A classic. Every gin drinker will have come across this one at least once in their lives, and have either paired it with a botanical and tonic, or drunk it, straight up, on the rocks. It's also one of the gins featured at The Rock's Seven Deadly Gins event.View details
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
For a special treat, try The Botanist. The botanicals used in this one comprise of nine different gin varietals and 22 Islay native botanicals.View details
Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
Here's another classic, and one you won't be able to miss when running around the good old bottle shop. Whether it's a G&T or a Martini in your hand, the Bombay Sapphire will make it sparkle.View details
Plymouth Traditional Sloe Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
This one's not for the faint hearted. It's a rich spirit made of sloe berries carefully distilled using a formula that dates back to the 1800s. Drink slowly and enjoy it. It's a particular favourite of The Barber Shop, who features it across more than one of their killer cocktails.View details
The West Winds Gin The Sabre 700mL from Dan Murphy's
Feeling patriotic? Yours is The West Winds. It's made with triple filtered Margaret River rain water, wattle seed, and lemon myrtle. It's also one of the gins being served at The Rook's Seven Deadly Gins event. But if you miss it there, you can always find it at The Clock, paired simply with a fresh slice of lemon.View details
Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin 700mL from Dan Murphy's
Not the prettiest bottle, to be frank, but this gin is making waves around the circle. It's a Yarra Valley native and is only made in small batches. Get it while you can. At Dan Murphy's, naturally. Or mixed as a G&T at The Rook, The Barber Shop AND The Clock. Yes, that's how good it is.View details
Capi Tonic Water 750mL from Dan Murphy's
Fact: some tonic waters are more equal than others. It may cost you an extra $1 at The Barber Shop to have Capi in your G&T but it's worth it. This Aussie tonic contains natural quinine, and blends it with orange and lemon essential oils. The result? Taste it for yourself.View details
Fever Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water 200mL from Dan Murphy's
Only the highest quality quinine goes into Fever Tree's premium Indian tonic water. It's an award winner, too. And like Capi, it's what the good mixologists at The Clock and The Barber Shop consider a quality, artisan tonic.View details
What’s happening on World Gin Day in Sydney
Sydney’s not going to go silent and let the opportunity to mix and drink gin and tonics pass it by. Clear out your weekend because all the best makers and mixers are clamouring to show you the best G&T and gin-based cocktails they can concoct on World Gin Day. And if you happen to still be sipping into Sunday morning, then that can only be a good thing. Right?
Seven Deadly Gins @ The Rook
- Address: Level R 56-58 York St, Sydney
- When: Lunch, (10 June 2014 @ 4pm – 14 June 2014 @ 12am
- Event page: Seven Deadly Gins
And the prize for the biggest party animal today is… The Rook! They’re taking seven of their favourite gins (Martin Miller’s, Tanqueray Ten, Four Pillars, Beefeater 24, Tanqueray Dry, Aviation Mexican, and The West Wind) and are mixing them into seven deadly cocktails. All. Week. Long. Drop in on the 14th from 7pm for the big event where all seven will be available to taste, alongside delicious Rook treats and Motown tunes.
The Gin Queen presents: Australian Gin Tasting Sydney @ Eau de Vie
- Address: 229 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
- When: 12 June 2014, 7pm-9pm
- Event page: The Gin Queen Presents: Australian Gin Tasting Sydney
This is gin appreciation at its best: a two hour tasting with the queen of gin at one of Sydney’s best cocktail bars, Eau de Vie. She’ll talk you through the history of gin, share stories and secrets, and (this is the part you’ve been waiting for), provide you with samples of some of Australia’s finest gins. Note, this is a ticketed event. Click on the event link above to book.
The Clock Hotel
- Address: 470 Crown St, Surry Hills
- When: 13 June - 15 June, 12pm-12am
- Event page: Clock Hotel Surry Hills
Now that they’ve got a dedicated Gin Bar to brag about, things wouldn’t be right if The Clock passed up the chance to show it off during World Gin Day. It’s celebrating all weekend long (Friday night included) by giving you all Back Bar G&T’s for the royal price of $9. They’re also doing a Hendrick’s Hot Gin punch, because at the rate this weather’s going, it’s going to be a cold out this weekend. Warm up here.
This pop-up is all about choosing the best barrels and the best beasts to sip and sump on, respectively. Four Pillars gin has been on the top of their drinks list since day one, and so naturally, when the chance to showcase it in all its World Gin Day glory, the boys behind the outfit couldn’t resist hosting a event in its honour. From 3pm they’ll be serving Four Pillars Barrel Aged and Rare Dry Gin based cocktails. Stay for dinner, and you’ll get to enjoy it with the beast a.k.a. a Melanda Park Pig.
Juniper Delight @ The Workers
- Address: Level 1, 292 Darling St, Balmain
- When: 14 June 2014, 5pm to late
- Event page: World Gin Day at The Workers
According to The Workers, the story behind World Gin Day goes like this: “World Gin Day sees families up and down the country gather round the Gin Tree to say prayers to Mother Juniper before the children take to the streets, knocking on doors for gin.” Sadly, there is no gin tree at The Workers, but there are doors and there is gin. Good enough, we say! They’re offering 2 for 1 gin cocktails all night, so bring a friend, or just double up. We don’t judge. (But we do drink.)
The best gin bars in Sydney
We’ve been picky, here, because we know you’ll appreciate just how much effort we’ve put into suggesting for you the best gin palaces this side of the Pacific.
The Barber Shop
- Address: 89 York St, Sydney
- Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday 4pm-12am, Thursday and Friday 3pm-12am, Saturday 5pm-12am, Sunday closed
- Find them on Facebook: The Barber Shop
A article on gin would never be complete without at least ten mentions of The Barber Shop. We’re up to nine, which means, we need to repeat this gin palace’s name one more time. The Barber Shop (ten!) is a barber shop by day, and a cocktail bar by night. Its menu houses almost as many gins as times the words ‘old sport’ was said in The Great Gatsby. (49 and 55, respectively.) This includes old Dutch gins (genevers), and vintage gins (eg. Plymouth 1970s edition). Let’s not even get started on those cocktails…
The Clock Hotel
- Address: 470 Crown St, Surry Hills
- Opening hours: Daily 12pm-12am
- Click here more info on The Clock’s Gin Bar: Clock Hotel Surry Hills
Thanks to one Mr Jeremy Shipley, who’s recently been appointed Groups Bar Manager of all of Solotel’s outfits, The Clock Hotel now has a Gin Bar with a 14-strong G&T list. He’s personally chosen the gins, matched them with fitting botanicals, and mixed them with New Zealand’s Quina Fina tonic, which is the lowest sugared tonic you can get, meaning you won’t get trashed as quickly as you usually do on that G&T. Which REALLY means… you can put one more into you. Thoughtful, eh?
- Address: The Establishment, 252 George St, Sydney
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7am-late, Saturday 6pm-late
- Find them on Facebook: Establishment
There’s a silent ‘gin’ in-between the words ‘The’ and ‘Garden’ that you may not be privy to. It’s there, trust us. Surround yourself in this colonial-themed oasis, and continue the journey through time and luxury with a classic gin in hand. The bar houses 28 gins (from the UK, Europe and US), and offers seven classic cocktails, and eight signature cocktails. All gin. Like we really had to tell you that. It’s getting colder, so we suggest you put some hairs on that chest with the Bloody Plum Negroni (Plymouth Navy Strength Gin, Campari, and Martini Rosso, stirred with freshly pressed blood plum, and rounded with vanilla).
Learn the art of cocktail making
Now that you’ve been inspired by the decadent creations of Sydney’s finest gin bars, its time to get behind the bar, and shake up your own. We talked to The Clock’s Jeremy Shipley for some pro tips to get us started:
finder.com.au: What makes a good gin and tonic?
Jeremy: I think its pretty simple. A really good quality gin (measured to 30ml/ 1OZ), heaps of ice, fresh garnish and bottled tonic. Not the big 1.25 litre stuff, but small tonic bottles such as Capi, Fever Tree or Quina Fina.
f: What about the gins? Any advice on how to choose these?
J: A good staple gin is the London dry styled gins. Bitter, light, crisp and incredibly mixable.
Brands such as Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Sipmsith, Beefeater 24 etc. That said, have fun with Hendricks & cucumber, Gin Mare-olive & basil or Hayman’s & capsicum.
f: Can you give us a recipe for one of your favourite gin-based cocktails?
J See below:
Place all ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and fine strain into a fancy cocktail glass
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
PS - We tried this one at The Clock and it was impressive. Ladies: if you’re the kind who pulls a face over how dry a gin is, you’ve got to try the Hotel Georgia. It’ll change your opinion FOREVER. Gentlemen: We haven’t forgotten about you:
Build all ingredients into a tall glass. Fill with ice and top with tonic. Garnish with a cucumber slice.
Missing something? Don’t forget to buy your gin cocktail making equipment.
Not too apt at following written instructions? Try some verbal and practical ones with this:
Cocktail Making Class - Sydney from Adrenaline
Set in a bar in Surry Hills, learn the art of mixing your own martini and mojito under the guidance of a professional mixologist. You'll even receive a glass of bubbly upon arrivals, and some canapes to snack on while you learn how to shake and pour your very own deliciously alcoholic creations.View details
Now, where’s my gin and tonic gone...?