Think that sipping on a chilled Martini makes you la-di-da? Well, almost two centuries ago, gin was the cheap crack of society, and the pubs selling it were considered hellish houses of sin. Gin Palace on Russell Place is no hellhole. There are lilies, and an impressive collection of fine liquor. But like the gin joints of yesteryear, their late night license and rocket powered Martinis still spell ruination.
Step down through the doorway and you’ll enter a kind of vault, separated into evil-deed doing nooks. Take your pick of Boston leather armchairs, golden armed silk lounges or peg an animal print strewn corner. It seems they’ve taken anything that could be construed as fancy here, and shoved it together to indulge all styles of themed debauchery. After 12 years of service, the upholstery could use a little pick me up, but take hold of a Churchill Martini (a dry-as-they-come 15 to 1 ratio of gin to vermouth) and your aesthetic cares (and all other mental faculties) will sprint away.
The list of gin rolls 60 deep, ranging from your familiar London dry styles that include Bombay and Tanqueray, to the botanical infused drops like Hendricks and oak aged Citadel Reserve. If you aren’t up for slinging gin, check out some old world wine or a not unimpressive list of whiskeys. For fans of the big chill, try a ‘surrealist’ Martini. All ingredients and utensils are frozen for two days for ultimate frost factor with minimal dilution. It suits a twist of lemon more than a slew of olives, but hey, this is your party and you can make it as dirty as you like.
The blue lit bar is a seat free zone and the staff seem happy with their own company on our visit, so if you feel like a chat you’ll need to BYO pals. The ambience here improves with a crowd, so book it down here in the later hours for maximum revelry.
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