Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, Rick’s Café Américain is no longer the most noteworthy.  That honor now belongs to The Arch Bar in London, my new favorite spot to drop a few British pounds for an extraordinary cocktail.

 Cocktail Porn Money Shot

Cocktail Porn Money Shot

I had heard claims that it was one of the best places in the world to drink gin. In a city known for superb (and often pricey) watering holes, I felt the need to have a tipple to see if the hype was true. Located inside The InterContinental London Park Lane, the atmosphere at the Arch Bar feels like a swanky urban garden, the air bursting with the scent of fresh botanicals. The menu announces that it celebrates all that is gin and much more and that set the tone for the evening.

The Arch Bar Menu

The Arch Bar Menu is highly educational!

It may not have Sam singing “As Time Goes By”, but it does have Barcelona born, mixologist extraordinaire, Nicolas.  Not only did he help me navigate the extensive gin selection, he also schooled me on gin history.  For example, did you know that in 1820 over 80% of London residents were distilling gin in their own homes? I learned that by ordering the Poor Man’s Punch, which was the first time I got to drink a cocktail out of a Hendrick’s Tea Pot. Pricey cocktails go down so much smoother when you’re also getting a great education from the masters!

Mixologist Nicolas

Mixologist Nicolas at The Arch Bar

My verdict: expert mixologists who educate you about gin history + flare in presentation makes this spot definitely worth adding to your next posh pub crawl.

The Mother's Ruin

Food blogger @Rosana_McPhee of  http://www.hotandchilli.com/ couldn’t resist photographing the The Mother’s Ruin

Where else can you sip extraordinary labels such as Sipsmith, Bulldog, or Blackwoods 60? Or learn about the Gin Act of 1736? No doubt about it, I shall be back. Until then, here’s looking at you kid!

 

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