Recently, my social media feeds have been full of people giving up something for the new year. In the midst of Dry January and Veganuary, it was with a sigh of relief and validation that I’m not an awful human being, to see Ginuary pop up. A number of foodies that I follow have chosen this month to partake in a trying a few of their favourite juniper tipples, and I am here to tell you that 146 Paddington* is not a bad place to start if you’re on that train.
Speaking of trains, the bar is in fact located in the Hilton hotel next to London’s Paddington Station, but is hidden quietly to the side, prohibition-like, which is perfect for their speciality spirit. The bar is practically busting at the seams with bottles of all shapes and sizes, but just ask the knowledgable staff to give you some pointers on where to start. I noted that I didn’t like anything too sweet but also hate anything too woody, which inspired three bottles to be sent our way for an evening of gin tasting.
Sharish Blue Magic Gin
Blue gin?! What kind of voodoo is this?! Skeptical to the max, I mixed Franklin & Sons tonic water into the glass with dried limes as garnish and watched with absolute glee as the gin turned PINK. So, 10 out of 10 to Sharish Blue Magic Gin for novelty factor, and I absolutely want a bottle at home to impress guests, but when it came to the flavour I found a little unremarkable. I found the main note to be coriander, so a little too herbal for me, but pleasant enough to sip on a cold Friday night.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
Now, this is my sort of gin. Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin gets its name from gunpowder green tea, and it’s that slightly bitter but soothing taste that makes this familiar and delicious. It’s served with grapefruit which brings a sour twang to even out the flavour. Soft on the tastebuds and very easy to drink, without any harsh aftertaste, it is one that will happily sit on my shelves at home.
If you’re the sort of person who thinks that all gin tastes the same, it’s time for you to give Malfy Gin a swig. Distilled in Italy, it’s made with local lemons and it is absolutely, undeniably citrusy. In fact, this isn’t really a drink for this time of year, this is made for warm summer evenings, sat outside with a charcuterie board and good friends, but I had it in winter, with Indian bar snacks and my little sister for company, so I can’t complain too much. It’s a refreshing, palate-cleanser of a drink, perfect for after a heavy meal to reset your senses.
Three very different gins that really show why this spirit has come back into fashion over the last couple of years. Versatile, delicious and unique, showing next time you’re at the bar, ordering just a ‘G&T’ might be a bit more complex than you anticipated.
146 Paddington, Hilton Paddington, 146 Praed St, London W2 1EE