Faced with the choice of hundreds of different gins from around the world to choose from I needed to call in some expert assistance, so a quick call to Doreen from the Co-op, whose drinking expertise ranges from Absinthe to anything starting with Z, was the first point of call, writes Michael Holland.
We were in Greenwich to check out the gin cocktails off Rivington’s Summer Garden Cocktail Menu, and I can begin by saying that those refreshing drinks provide everything you require from a summer evening of good company, good gins and a good cocktail maker creating drinks that looked just as good as they tasted.
That shaker-maker was Dan, a Venetian who had a real love of good gin, so was not just doing this as a job but as a passion. He wasn’t just serving us drinks, he was creating masterpieces that should be appreciated like a work of art. No corners were cut on the presentation and dedication to his craft; every cocktail presented to us was worthy of a round of applause.
Between drinks Dan was telling us about Swedish gins that were voted best in the world, he tempted us to take in the aromas of his rosemary spray, he imparted his knowledge and we soaked it up.
With so many gins on offer there were so many different ways they can be served up, so we let Dan guide us. And guide us he did, leading us right through the summer selections. My favourite was the Basil Cooler which was 5 different drinks, plus herbs and salt. Delicious.
From the drinks Doreen enjoyed she had this to say: The Pennant drew an ‘Oooh! That’s got a kick!’ I had a little taste and she was right. About the G&T Orange, there was simply an ecstatic ‘Ooooohhh’. The Pennant came in a fish shaped glass that, if you held it up to your ear, you could hear the sounds of tropical lagoons! Or Doreen could…
Rivington’s Summer Garden is perfect for the wonders that Dan concocts – weather permitting – and if it’s not clement weather they taste just as good inside at the bar where you can watch the magic as it happens. And it’s not just the gin you’re enjoying, it’s the small batch tonics in their various flavours and hues; the bouquet of herbs that add something special to every sip; fruity additions and the magnificent things Dan does with the humble cucumber.
Summer is-a-coming so spend it wisely.
Rivington sees the return of its annual Gin Bop on Friday, 16th August. Gin lovers can see gin experts host pop-up bars, each offering a G&T alongside two specially created cocktails. Alongside these bar pop-ups, visitors will enjoy live music, a burger menu from the Rivington kitchen and a chance to win bottles of gin from each bar. (Tickets: https://www.designmynight.com/london/whats-on/food-drink/gin-bop?t=tickets)
Rivington Grill, 178, Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN
www.rivingtongreenwich.co.uk – 020 8293 9270
Breakfast (Sat & Sun) 10am – 12pm. Lunch (Mon – Sun) 12pm – 5pm. Dinner (Mon – Sun) 5pm – 10pm. Late Dinner (Fri & Sat) 5pm – 11pm.
Gin Cocktails: £10, £9