The ‘drinks cart’ at bitters & twisted is not left wanting, but Beefeater 24 does not feature among its (respectable) selection of gins, and as such, I found myself heading for Soho, needing to compare 24 to Beefeater. So a short tube ride later I am in LAB, sat at the bar with James, who by now is buffing a couple of tasting glasses for me.
I have tasted 24 before, in a deliberate ‘on its own’ tasting at Casita, but too many tequila verditas and some months later, I can’t really recall, with any great accuracy, what it was like. So I think that maybe I ought to pay attention this time and even go so far as to write something down.
Anyway short story long, I am reassured to discover that my preference is for the traditional. I like 24; it’s different and I guess that’s the point – it has (as James put it) filled a real gap in the market. It’s not floral, it’s not weak, it’s long on flavour and it’s certainly not shy. It’s an acquired taste and a definite spin on the regular Beefeater. But then again, as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing ‘regular’ about Beefeater; it’s simply a great gin*.
So time passes at the bar with me and James discussing how gin is made, trying a couple of others, (with me sill making notes), and a woman approaches and orders a French Martini on the rocks. Internally, I raise an eyebrow.
“James, is that a regular request here?”
“No, but if there’s one thing that LAB has taught me, it’s that people like all sorts, and LAB is certainly the place to find what you like.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
*You’ll be able to read my full comparison notes when the full B&T website goes live!