The Connaught Bar, London, England

We've got a secret: cocktail recipes of some of London's best hotel bars.

One thing we know about London is that the cocktail scene is as competitive as a spectator sport (and we're not just talking football – or soccer, to us North American types). Bartenders hop, skip and jump from trend to trend as nimbly as Beckham bends it, and bring a historic-meets-new-millennium innovative approach to mixing a drink.

Recipes, some handed down from barman to barman over generations, are coveted and kept under wraps, while ingredients can run the gamut, from fresh-from-the-herb-garden botanicals to infused bitters to macerated fruit to far-flung ingredients like yuzu and hickory smoke.

 

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And another thing we know: Brits really love Gin.

Gin and tonic is the go-to drink, with a gin martini a close runner-up. Gin "Palaces" abound, while many hotels and bars are offering special Gin tasting menus – we've taken a few and brought back a recipe or two just for you, dear reader – while tour companies such as Gin Journey (one of their lovely bartenders, above) offer tours in the trendy Shoreditch and Bermondsey neighbourhoods of London (they also offer gin journeys in the English towns of Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh in Scotland. While on tour, you're chauffeured around to five of the most innovative bars in the area – our tour included a stop at a gin distillery as well as the World's 50 Best Bars top-rated White Lyan, where even the mix is made fresh everyday, with no refrigeration and ice cubes be damned! www.ginjourney.com

The Ginstitute in Notting Hill is exactly that. An educational institution dedicated to the schooling of all things gin, from simple tasting experiences, to master classes, to guiding guests to creating their own unique gin recipe. But that's not all. It's part of The Distillery, housed in a historic building on Portobello Road. The spot, where small batches of Portobello Road Gin is distilled also features a cocktail bar with barrel-aged spirits and classic Brit dishes on the menu, a Spanish-inspired G&T bar/resto and rooms, yes, we said rooms. You can now have a sleepover in a distillery, dedicated to all things gin. Cheers! www.the-distillery.london; www.theginstitute.com

Thirsty for more? Click through for secrets and secret recipes of some of London's best hotel bars.

www.visitbritain.com

 

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