Category Archives: Glasgow drinks

Take flight at Gin 71

I like a nice gin. So I’m thrilled to discover Glasgow’s first dedicated gin bar – Gin 71.

Gin 71 bar in GlasgowBy day this inviting Renfield Street spot is the Cup Tea Lounge offering delicious tea and cakes. And by night after 6pm, it’s a seductive gin lover’s dream.

Not your grandma’s gin

But this isn’t gin as you know it. It’s better, enticing and beautiful. There are so many – we hardly know where to start.

But why choose just one when you can have three. From the fabulously fruity to the exquisitely earthy and even the exceptionally dry, Gin 71’sFlights lets us sample different artisan gins perfectly matched to specially-made tonics. Sensational!

The Flight trays are impeccably presented. In fact they’re almost too pleasing to disturb. Almost. The delicate ritual of putting it all together is delightful. And the high-powered soda water bottle adds a bit of excitement – go gently.

There are several Flights to choose from but the Fruity Gin Flight is a must. Or if you’re longing for the taste of home, try some of Scotland’s finest with the Homegrown Flight.

And if you’re feeling peckish (or need to coast a little), try something from their food menu.

Beautiful surroundings, alluring tipples and helpful staff equals totally wonderful.

So go on, take flight.


Silent Sunday – 8 June

It’s calling.  You should answer.  You won’t be disappointed. 

Drygate bar/brewery in Glasgow



Chandeliers and champagne

An old friend is in town and persuades me to check out Grand Central Hotel. Why?  The apparent must-see magnificent chandelier, of course.  So having decided our drinking locale purely based on light fittings, we set off.

Not my usual scene but I’m intrigued.  And the promise of champagne is too good to turn down.

Impressive chandelier at Grand Central Hotel  in GlasgowPrepare to be dazzled

From the bowing doorman at the entrance to luxurious decor –even the floor is impressive at the Grand Central Hotel.

And as promised the elegant chandelier in the hall with its long slim prisms of glass – well, it’s pretty spectacular too.  Standing directly underneath gives a wonderful view;  it stretches on and on past three floors at least.

We head up the stairs to Champagne Central where we’re greeted by another chandelier. More of a round-faced younger sister compared to the previous all-encompassing chandelier, but dazzling nonetheless.

Chandelier in champagne bar in GlasgowIn good company

It’s only 6:30 on a Saturday night but the bar is already heaving.  We manage to nab two chairs and settle in.  And then the fun begins.

We go for a classic glass of champagne, although there’s a myriad of cocktails as long as the chandelier to choose from.   And it’s absolutely buzzing inside – perfect for people watching.  Set against decadent wooden furnishings and trains puffing away in the background, anything goes –  zebra striped heels, fake furs, bouffant hair, jeans and trainers  – it’s all sorts and all good.

Here’s to us

Long before its swanky refurbishment, Grand Central hotel attracted a slew of other interesting characters including Laurel and Hardy, Winston Churchill and the Beatles to name just a few.   And I can’t think of a better way to join this illustrious group  (past and present) than indulging in a glass of champagne and simply enjoying the view.

– B

Get into the festive spirits

Tis’ the season for a tipple or two.  So why not try something different – something more extraordinary than ordinary to celebrate the festivities.  But what?  We’re not quite sure so treat our pallets to the good stuff at a gin tasting at The Good Spirits Co.

Gin tasting at The Good Spirit Co in GlasgowTucked in behind the shop front is their sampling room where along with approximately 30 others, you’re in for a tasting treat.

Never judge a gin by its bottle…or name

If you think all gins are the same, oh how wrong you are.

Via co-owner of the shop and knowledgeable host of the tasting, we discover they can be surprisingly and wonderfully different.   From the rather earthy tasting Gin Xoriguer, that’s bottle suggests it’s been brewed by pirates,  to the totally effortlessly smooth Brockman’s concoction of orange and berries with the right hint of coriander, our tastebuds are both challenged and enchanted.

In addition to learning about gin’s early Dutch origins and that post-regulation in the late 1600s one-in-four flats in were brewing gin in London, we also discover to never judge a gin by the bottle or its name.   The slick-bottled Berkeley Square is unexpectedly herbal with hints of, would you believe, basil.

In total we happily sample (ahem throw back) six gins and one gin-based cocktail.  And admittedly although the room’s quite jovial by the end, we learn a lot about the once medicinal juniper-fused delight and importantly discover what flavours we actually enjoy most.

Just don’t drink, taste

So, if you’re up for discovering something new in a relaxed friendly setting, get yourself to the next The Good Spirits Co. tasting session.

And if gin’s not your thing – try one of their many other nights on offer like bourbon, wine, whiskey or even beer.  At just £15 it’s a fantastic deal.  Even better – 10% off all bottles tasted on the night.   So go on liberate your tastebuds and as Good Spirit Co says, don’t just drink, taste!

– T

Eat, drink and be merry – even if it’s not quite Christmas

If the High Street twinkling back at me from every shop window is anything to go on, the festive party season is already upon us.  Shiny frocks aside, it’s also the time of year I attempt to catch up with pals of all varieties.

If, like me, you have an assortment of special friends of varying and sometimes competing tastes, then here’s a few recommendations that will hopefully keep you going and in their good books.

Comfy chitchat

Malmaison cocktail - gingerbread manIf it’s a good natter you’re after without the toil of yelling over booming music in an overcrowded dingy space, then look no further than the elegant Malmaison .

Tucked away down the spiral staircase, the Malbar on West George Street is an oasis of calm – and has a rather impressive collection of cool cocktails like the irresistible Gingerbread Man. Dessert in a glass.

North Street merriment

For the more fun-loving, the Berkley Suite’s cosy red-hued upstairs bar is a nod to the era of art deco and their anything-goes downstairs is an interesting mix of music, ages and eccentricities.

And since you’re already in the neighbourhood – North Street’s Chinaski’s  and the Black Sparrow are great places to people watch and have tipple or two. They also serve food.  And if by some stroke of luck it’s not raining or happens to be warm winter night, pop round the back for a little outdoor stargazing and general banter in their gardens.

All-in-one fun

If you’re looking for the perfect combo of dinner, drinks and dancing, then the Brunswick Hotel’s Brutti Ma Buoni  is a must.  Fantastic staff, social crowd and you can eat, drink  and then conveniently go down stairs for a bit more celebrating and dancing.

Wherever you find yourself – be festive fabulous and enjoy!

– T