4 Sophisticated Spots for a G&T
January 8, 2015
These four bars, with their wide selection of juniper-rich highball cocktails, have us convinced there's no finer summer drink than the classic gin and tonic. By Diana Hubbell. Photo courtesy of Ping Pong 129; G&T Cocktail Bar.
Published on Jan 8, 2015
Keep your vodka-spiked kale smoothies and your elderflower-tinis: the old-fashioned G&T is in the midst of a comeback. That's not to say it ever really went out of style. It's just that for a while it was relegated to the back of menus alongside Ms. Bradshaw's cosmopolitans and Mr. Bond's vesper martinis. At (1) Ping Pong 129 (facebook.com/pingpong129), a refurbished ping pong hall in Hong Kong's achingly hip Sai Ying Pun, it's the raison d'être. No fewer than 50 gins grace the shelves, ranging from traditional to more inventive, such as the Gin Mare, infused with olives, rosemary, thyme and basil.
Shelves lined with gin at Ping Pong 129.
Meanwhile just over in Central, the aptly named (2) G&T Cocktail Bar (gntbar.com.hk) boasts a whopping 80 gins from seven countries. Their namesake tipple is front and center, but there are also clever reinterpretations like the G & Tea: gin and oolong served in a chilled pot. One of Seoul's quirkiest gin bars is hiding inside a fully functioning florist shop. (3) Flower Gin (557 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu; +82 2 412 1983) will happily serve rose-perfumed Hendrick's with a bouquet of actual roses. In Singapore, the two-faced (4) Jekyll & Hyde (49 Tras St.; +65 6222 3349; 49tras.st) is a demure nail salon by day and a dashing gin bar by night, with rare finds such as the German-distilled Monkey 47 making cocktail cameos. Old jazz favorites play in the background, proving once again that classics are classics for a reason.
Main bar - G&T Cocktail Bar.