Here comes the latest venture from the London Bar Consultants – Merchant House – a gin and rum bar that treats both spirits with equal parts passion and respect. The underground space is elegant yet inviting, with flickering candlelight, leather banquettes and antique frames scattered about the walls. And don’t forget to peek around on the ground floor, this is where the masterclasses are hosted.
To drink, there’s truly an endless array of high-quality (and high taste) rum and gin. The short but strong menu features zingers like The Merchant made with coffee, spices and almond — think elegant Espresso Martini, if you will. If you are heading here with a pal, order a couple of Old Fashioneds and get one with gin and one with rum. Plus, the £16.50 price tag includes a beer to pass the time while you wait.
Despite sitting in the middle of the City, the crowd here is a happy mix. From the after-work suits to the dates looking to impress, this haunt is for anyone who appreciates a well-made drink. And if you want to really get involved, join The Connoisseurs’ Collective — a membership club that includes invitations to exclusive events, special prices on bottles, and both ways drinks — aka a nip of your chosen spirit alongside your cocktail.
Best Bars tip: If you want to learn your stuff (from those who really know gin and rum), then book into one of the masterclasses. The gin version spans Europe and includes five tasters plus a nip of a vintage gin from the 1950s. Or if it’s rum you fancy, go for the rum experience spanning the globe where you get to taste six varieties along the journey. Can’t choose? Lucky for you, the mercantile masterclass covers both spirits.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips