I have said it before .... And I shall say it again ...
That Gin is the comeback king of drinks.
Gin's reputation took a bit of a knock in the 18th century when its extreme cheapness led it to become the drink of choice for those without many pennies to spread around. That old wag of the arts William Hogarth engraved Gin Lane and gave Gin some seriously negative PR ....
It was not really Gin's fault ... It was a cheap drink and when you lived in the 18th century (a period without Google ... Or Youtube ... And lets face it ... Getting a mobile phone was a bit of an issue ... So you can forget Twitter too!!) you needed something to get you through the day. So Gin was a bit of an obvious choice.
Happily for the old clear one redemption was at hand in the 20th Century and in especially in the 1920's when the cocktail hit the world with a loud smack. Gin was essential to many of the fine cocktails and if you were classy ... You drank fine cocktails.
Gin's reputation has gone up an down ... Someone recently told me that the dockers in Belfast chose it as their ruin of choice ... and dockers in 50's Belfast were not well known for enjoying cocktails ... More to dull the pain of having one of their finest ships slam into a iceberg at 23 knots .... Curiously while many of the passengers may have been drinking cocktails ....
Now of course ..... Gin is once again King. And if it is the King then one of the thrones upon which it sits is at the Vintedge Gin Bar on Abbeydale Road.
Here one comes to enjoy Gin and not to mope about living in an age when Twitter was what birds did and Googling was probably the name of some forgotten sport. It wonderfully relaxing surroundings and pleasant wooden atmosphere where one may sit at the bar or cosy up in the snug testify to the current refinement of Gin.
The only problem is that one never knows when Gin's reputation is going to dip again ... All it needs is another Hogarth to do much to malign its rep .... But it is not going to happen at the Gin Bar ... Its too classy and stylish.
And then gin ...? Well its just so damn tasty.
Photography by Chris Carter of Barton Chase Inc