A new London drinks tour focusing on the gin-vermouth-Campari magic that is the negroni takes in clubs, hotels and speakeasies across the city
“I don’t really know what a negroni is,” confessed my companion who I’d roped in to accompanying me on London’s first negroni-themed tour. Our collective hipster point total plummeted. We were sitting in an upstairs room in 68 & Boston, a wine-and-cocktail bar in Soho, which has a gentleman’s club feel with its panelled walls, corniced ceiling and stained-glass windows. “Gin, vermouth, Campari,” I whispered to my friend who had unwittingly stumbled into this baptism of firewater.
This was the first stop out of five, as our guides, Leon and Max, took us on a quest to find the best negroni in town. While my friend had no idea what to expect, I had some prior experience. I had attended Leon’s inaugural tour, a London “gin journey” in 2013. The format was similar: a minibus drives a small group around an eclectic selection of bars, with a cocktail and some good-humoured education at each stop. Since then, Leon has launched the tours in Liverpool, Manchester and, from June, Edinburgh. There are even plans to expand internationally, to Singapore, Sydney, New York and Amsterdam.