One of the great pleasures of traveling is eating in all the great restaurants wherever your travels take you. Additionally, another treat is visiting the bars in these great eateries or just going to visit world class bars.
A unique bar I visited is the Plymouth Gin Bar at the Black Friars distillery in Plymouth, England. It is a storied building that was built in 1431 and it is where reportedly, the Pilgrims stayed the night before they boarded the Mayflower bound for their new life here. Unfortunately for them, it was just an inn in their time, but later became the home for Plymouth Gin in 1793. However, every bottle of Plymouth Gin has the picture of the Mayflower on the bottle label. Additionally, the bottle has in raised letters and numerals the date the distillery was established and the name of the distillery, Black Friars.
Plymouth Gin is one of the oldest gins and has been a protected geographical indication which means that any gin that has Plymouth in the name must be produced in Plymouth, England. Today, there is only one gin and that is Plymouth. Interestingly, the EU passed a law about the GI that changed the definition and Plymouth said it was not in their best interest to retain their designation.
The bar is on the top floor of the old distillery that is a terrific one to take a tour. They provide a hands on experience with the botanicals they use to infuse the gin and show you where the gin is distilled.
The dark wood bar is quite beautiful and is very long. It has a high and intricate barrel wooden ceiling. In addition, to the bar seating, it has numerous comfortable chairs. The bar features the many types of gin that Plymouth produces. My favorite is the Navy Strength version of Plymouth Gin that is higher proof than the regular Plymouth. Plymouth Gin was the official gin of the British Royal Navy. The deployment of the British Navy worldwide led to the popularity of Plymouth gin and in British India it was mixed with tonic water which contained quinine that helped prevent malaria. Even today, gin and tonic is one of our most popular drinks. This is an excellent bar to have a martini. Martinis were originally made with gin and Plymouth Gin was used in the first martinis. Additionally, the bar has many other types of liquor that is produced by Plymouth Gin’s parent company, Pernod Ricard.
If you are ever in Plymouth, England, do visit the bar and distillery as you will find it not only a historical place but a fun one, too!
If you liked this blog post about Plymouth Gin Distillery and the Refractory Bar, you might like my blog on Hosting A Gin Tasting Party. You can find it here:
If you would like to contact me about bars and bar accessories, you can reach me at my email below. Until next time, have fun at your favorite bar!