The Gibson lies along Old Street towards Clerkenwell and Farringdon; an area that's fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. You’ll definitely be spoilt for choice when choosing which bar to try next and now with The Gibson joining this elite crew, it’s a wonder how we’ll ever decide!
With all bars now proclaiming 'specialism' and 'authenticity' to a style, an era, a theme; it’s refreshing to actually feel like you’ve stepped into that time machine / Tardis you always long to appear, to head back in time to land in the place intended. The interior is quintessentially Edwardian in ambience and decor, with strong usage of dark tones and cosy candlelight to exaggerate the intimacy of the small corner venue - a thoroughly curated concept created by designer Helen Calle-Lin. Only a month old, this youthful venture has a mission to re-introduce London to the long-loved classic gin martini - The Gibson. This exciting endeavour is much more than a cocktail bar to go for a drink. It's an education of the mind and senses, telling the story of how The Gibson cocktail; the cocktail that threw caution to the wind and said no more to the martini's distinguished olive and hello to the pickled onion… and thus this small team aim to keep the classic Gibson alive with a few twists along the way.
Atmosphere & Clientele
Dark, intimate and focused on the corner-side bar, all tables were continuously occupied throughout the night on this Tuesday in the middle of the festive period. A mix of professionals from the neighbouring offices and houses were in attendance that evening, all trying a few cocktails each from the menu. The place came alive with the buzz of chatter and subtle background music, and with Rusty and Suzannah serving each cocktail individually and giving a quick overview of the drink - adding extra care and passion to the cocktails and our experience on the night - there was nothing more this venue and team could do to make us love the evening more.
The menu takes you through the calendar year a week and a cocktail at a time. With a meticulously devised selection of 4 cocktails per month, I decided to narrow my choices to my favourite month (why, December of course) and birthday month (June). I knew I had to try The Gibson, yet never one to stay on the classic route, I opted for The Gibson Girl (£10); Ketel One, Aged Chartreuse, Eau de Yvette, Absinthe Bitters, Lavender and Violette White Port (one from the June section). Served in a stainless steel martini glass and decorated with a single violet flower, the visual presentation was simple yet elegant. One for the little touches, our water glass was never less than half full and we were gifted with some pickled delicacies and parmesan cheese throughout the night - two punchy and strong nibbles perfectly chosen to complement the cocktail list!
If you're thinking the classic Gibson may not be for you then there are plenty of other choices, my favourite being the Electric Shiso (£11); Anquery No. 10, Earl Grey Liqueur, Electric Bitters, Lime, Fresh Grapefruit, Tonic & Grass Cordial (Purple Shiso, Eucalyptus, Kukicha), which was decorated with a single Szechuan flower or 'buzz button', we were told to take a bite of the buzz button and then try the cocktail, I’ll let you find out what this tastes and feels like...
With the New Year now upon us, The Gibson should be top of your 2016 to visit list. Throughout the year it will be hosting live jazz nights so you can sip your cocktails to the rhythm of some soothing, classic tunes.