Around the World in Gin & Tonics
Even during these unprecedented times, International Gin & Tonic Day will be celebrated across the globe on 19 October. Luckily for us, the Gin and Tonic has come a long way from its creation by the British army in India as a way of fighting malaria and is one of the world's most popular cocktails.
The Ginstitute, London
Since its inception in the upstairs room of a London pub by four bartenders, the Ginstitute has taken a humble but genius concept and turned its gin tasting experience into a thriving business. Today it has a whole venue over four floors; a downstairs tasting and distillery room, a sleek ground floor cocktail bar, as well as a G&T emporium called GinTonica. Enjoy a gin-making history lesson in a wood-paneled room, sample the world's finest gin varieties, use botanicals to create your own blend, and get a bottle to take away with you.
Where to stay: The Portobello Hotel consists of lavish big rooms, each with a bright artistic décor, and is located on an elegant Georgian terrace. The hotel is within walking distance from GinTonica and the Ginstitute, so if you have one too many cocktails, you can easily take yourself home.
Amid Amsterdam's classy Foodhallen - a renovated factory space full of upmarket food trucks - you'll find the gin bar towards the back. Friendly bartenders are happy to help you choose a gin from the enticing menu; cloves and orange or lychee and grapefruit are especially popular. The only difficulty is the fishbowl-size of each cocktail, making it impossible to try everything in one night.
Where to stay: The avant-garde Hotel de Hallen offers modern, spacious accommodation situated just in front of the Foodhallen and achieves an edgy yet classy design. If you are feeling adventurous, you can rent bicycles to explore the city centre or hop on a tram at the nearby stop in Kinkerstraat.
Gin Palace, Melbourne
A tribute to the bawdy gin palaces of 19th-century London, this Melbourne bar was one of the first in the world to get on board with the gin renaissance. The decor is amusingly decadent, and the drinks are delectably delicious. The staff are experts, so you can ask them for tips or a surprise selection from the exhaustive menu.
Where to stay: Mantra Tullamarine Hotel is a fashionable, contemporary hotel with some rooms even offering a spa bath. Guests can indulge in the sauna, work up a sweat in the fitness centre or enjoy a few G&Ts at its Woodlands Lounge Bar.
The Botanical Club, Milan
For gin devotees, the Botanical Club in Milan, Italy's very first small batch gin distillery, is a great place to go to enhance your appreciation of the drink. Local plants and herbs take center stage on the unique menu (think generous portions of juicy, sweet Italian tomatoes and basil), featuring a massive range of blends.
Where to stay: The stylish 10 Via Giuseppe Sirtori with its sleek, modern furnishings has been praised for its cleanliness and hospitality and is conveniently located in the center of Milan. The apartment has everything you need in terms of amenities, so you could even embrace your inner bartender and make your own G&T cocktail.
Taking over the ground floor of one of Singapore's grandest Art Deco buildings, Atlas was a hugely-anticipated opening. It's a real Great Gatsby-esque affair, with symmetrical, spiral staircases, bronze statues, ornate patterns, and a lot of gold and dark red. Travelers will be amazed by the selection of thousands of gins available, including bespoke gins and rare, historic vintages. And the bartending talent is equally impressive.
Where to stay: Housed in a beautifully restored colonial building, the iconic Raffles Hotel provides a relaxing getaway for all. This luxurious hotel boasts an array of fine-dining options with an impressive fourteen restaurants where you can sample a fusion of cuisines from French, Western, Asian and Chinese.
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