To the uninitiated, the offer of a hot gin and tonic risks a bit of a Peter Kay garlic bread moment.
“Gin? Hot? Hot gin? With tonic? Hot tonic? You’re barmy.”
But once you’ve tried one, you’ll wonder how on earth mulled wine has held on to the warm booze spotlight for so long.
I’m not going to pretend I’ve been some sort of hot gin aficionado for the last decade, I only had my first hot G&T in the run-up to Christmas, but last Wednesday I pushed past beginner status (beGINner status?) as I took on the rather pleasurable task of working through Sipsmith’s “hot gin classics” menu at their Hot Gin Roof pop-up launch at Ham Yard Hotel.
Snuggled under thick blankets, we tried everything from warm Negronis in teacups to properly punchy Pharmaceuticals – a hot ginny take on the espresso martini and exactly what January needs.
My favourite though had to be the Reverse Martini, which came piping hot and served with a deep fried breaded olive…
If I’d only had Reverse Martinis all night I’d have still said it was a great pop-up worthy of your attendance. This cocktail would feature in my death row meal.
Unsurprisingly, everyone in London seems to want a ticket to Hot Gin Roof. It’s only a limited run til mid Feb and so far every batch of tickets that’s been released has sold out, but more tickets ARE being released by DesignMyNight according to their website. They recommend keeping an eye on their Twitter for updates.
If you can nab a ticket, for your £18 entry fee you can expect a Hot G&T on arrival, another warm cocktail of your choice and a nice little overview from one of the Sipsmith team (turns out enjoying hot gin in our fair capital goes way back to the 18th century, when the Thames used to freeze over and Frost Fairs were the party of the day). Heavy duty blankets and heaters are provided and then you can of course purchase further drinks to try out more of the menu. Obviously I recommend doing this.
Thank you Sipsmith and Ham Yard for inviting me to the launch…do let me know if you ever bottle that delectable homemade tonic for public sale!