Much like British food, when people consider British booze, they tend to image something dull and uninspired. A pint of bitter, I suppose. At a stretch, they might consider a gin and tonic, a tumbler of whisky or, perhaps, the archetypal Pimms and lemonade.
Unfortunately, this is somewhat accurate of the general approach towards drinking in our country. In London, however, things could not be more different. In London, everything is changing.
There are over 7000 pubs in London, or around 10 pubs per square mile. That, however, is just the very beginning. From tiny speakeasies hidden behind fridge doors, to mega-clubs wherein 4,500 people can gather to drink and dance until 07:00, the city is awash with incredible places to drink.
You can step out of craft beer pub after sampling the strongest beer in the world and walk straight into a glitzy bar, to order yourself a couple of Pornstar martinis in the Happy Hour. In the winter, you can nurse mulled wine and hot cider in a rustic tavern, then experiment with beer cocktails come the fabled British summer!
Some of the most significant changes to drinking culture have been thanks to the Campaign for Real Ale and, more recently, the craft beer revolution. However, it’s not just beer that has had a makeover.
These days, there is so much more to mixology than simply combining spirits. At bars like the Perkin Reveller, the barmen actually make, age and combine their own spirits and infusions, to ensure every cocktail on the menu is original. Of course, you can still order a JD and coke, but why would you when you can choose for a leather-bound bible of unique mélange?
At a few places, like Polo Bar outside Liverpool Street Station, you’ll even find the coveted 24-hour license to serve booze…