The Gin Lovers Guide to Glasgow

  • pink and clear cocktail on a wooden bar at the Finnieston

  • Girl holding two cocktails

  • Glass bottles and cocktails on a bar at the Spiritualist

  • Wine glasses with gin and berries at a bar in Glasgow

  • Cocktails on a bar top at The Alston

  • unique light fixture at The Alston Lights

The ‘Gin-volution’ (as I like to call it) is taking the world by storm and doesn’t seem to be slowing down – especially not in Scotland, where 70% of the gin consumed in the UK is made here – lucky me!

I’ve always been a fan of Gin, even before its popularity soared. So, living in a country that produces a high volume of it means there’s an unlimited number of options available when partaking in the good old ‘mothers ruin.’

Returning home to Glasgow, the landscape for purveyors of this fine spirit has changed over the years, my thirst for Gin and love for the city of Glasgow lead me to a specific question: Where is the best place to enjoy a cheeky G&T?

To ensure accuracy, it would be foolish of me not to peruse some of these fine establishments, and to do so alone would question my reputation. So I enlisted the help of four friends, also gin lovers, and we embarked on a research trip to find the best gin joints around Glasgow! So sit back and relax, as I take you on a tour.

The Alston
Starting our day at The Alston, located inside the Glasgow Central Station that dates back to 1879. The bar’s atmosphere definitely has an underground feeling, not because of its location, but the fact that there is so much happening around you while you’re just there drinking Gin!  The Alston features a mixed crowd, some people are just getting their day started and others are having a quick drink before their journey home.  The blue neon lights give a funky feel, especially paired with the Timorous Beasties wallpaper.

We went around noon and it was fairly quiet enough to have good conversations with the bartenders who provided us with some great recommendations. When visiting this bar, I recommend trying the Copeland Raspberry & Mint and Jinzu – those seemed to be the fan favorites amongst our group.

The Spiritualist
The next location we found ourselves in was The Spiritualist, chosen specifically for its unique name and labeled by their website as ‘Scotland’s Greatest Bar Gantry’. It is located in the heart of Glasgow’s city center and is only a short walk away from The Alston.

Along the way, you’ll pass some infamous tourist attractions like the Royal Exchange Square where you can visit the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and George Square home of the City Chambers.

You can find the more ‘life experienced’ crowd at The Spiritualist. It’s a great place to grab drinks before a night out or to catch up with friends. We had two rounds of drinks (and chips to soak up the alcohol)– it’s not the best idea to drink on an empty stomach. My favorite drinks at The Spiritualist were the West Winds on the Cutlass, the Citadel, and Indian Summer. All of the beverages are served in oblong glasses, making it more pleasurable drinking experience!

The Finnieston Bar & Restaurant
During our visit, there was a Gin Disco taking place in the Finneston area, an area which The Times recently voted one of the UK’s hippest places to live!  We jumped into a black cab and headed over to The Finneston Bar & Restaurant – self-described as ‘Glasgow’s First and Best Gin Cocktail Bar.

This bar has a nice, cozy, dog-friendly gin garden with soft, warm blankets provided by Bombay Sapphire. Judging by how quiet it was on a Saturday afternoon, it’s the perfect place to re-charge or spend a more relaxed rendezvous with friends or close family.

If you visit this bar, the Finneston Cocktail Club and Clover Club are must-haves! They even offer a Gluten-Free Frito Mixto which scored them even more points as I’m Gluten Free.

Although we didn’t visit nearly half the Gin bars in Glasgow during our tour, these spots are great starting points with a few tourist attractions thrown in for good measure – pun intended. If you’re a Gin fan, I hope you make Glasgow your next vacation destination. Until next time! Slàinte! (Cheers in Scotland!)

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Sheetal R. Are you interested in traveling to Glasgow? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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