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Thursday, 10 January 2013

City Of London Distillery (C.O.L.D), Blackfriars

Gin-soaked journalists? Shame I wasn't around back in the day to join caustic copper-top Anne Robinson on her legendary Fleet Street benders. I'm a bit of a closet fan of the ex-dypso dominatrix, you see. Another red top  - in charge of the News of the Screws before it was brought to its knees like some MP's cock-sucker whore exposed in one of its salacious stings - might fancy a few Fleet Street gin stiffeners when she comes up before the beak at the Bailey. The old bathtub brew - albeit cleanly and professionally produced - is the stock-in-trade of a new working distillery there; the only one to open in aeons in a City once awash with the stuff. Try the still's own label spirit for a fiver per large measure: master distiller Jamie Baxter (who has previous form at Chase) will talk you through the process.  But this juniper junkie's peepers were jeepered at the sheer scope of C.O.L.D’s blistering back bar offer. I lost count at brand #100. Try little-known local heroes such as Langton’s No 1 from  the Lake District or, produced in small batches on a Northamptonshire farm, Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin that's high on lavender and orange notes. Among an army of Johnny Foreigners, Death’s Door is the spirit guide I hope to meet at Death's door. Mainlining martinis in heaven -sans hangovers -  is my idea of bliss. Distilled from potatoes in Maine, Cold River is not your average gin joint pour. There again, nor are Clover Club and Corpse Reviver #2 - two 'tails from a small range of (not exclusively) gin-based joys at £8. Less impressive, is the basement lounge's inherited decor. The amiable Baxter is contemplating paint swatches when I descend on him: 'step away from the greens,'I say - never a good idea to colour match a room to the shade of one's gills after a heavy session on Broker's, Bulldog, Beefeater, Berkeley Square and all those other dangerous Bs
22 - 24 Bride Lane EC4Y 8DT 7936 3636   www.cityoflondondistillery.com