Entertainment,  Food

Graphic Gin Off Round 3 Review

Tuesday saw the third round of Graphic Bar’s Gin Off. This round saw Hayman’s Gin take on Ophir Gin to book a place in the semi finals. Having partaken of the first round Gin Off and having sadly missed the second round, I was happy to be back judging and drinking. And so, hot Tinder date I was trying to impress in tow, I made my way down to Soho to expand my gin palate.


As with the last time the bar was heaving but we managed to squeeze ourselves onto a table. The first drink we had was courtesy of Hayman’s. It was served in a red solo cup topped with a chunk of pineapple and a dash of pepper. Full marks for a fun mixing of high and low culture, though I did have to fight my instinct to lob a ping pong ball into it. My first impressions were fruity but without the sickly sweetness that is the bane of so many cocktails. The pepper also gave it a savoury kick that made for a nice contrast to the cocktail as a whole. Extremely drinkable but still a unique take on a gin cocktail.


I sent my date to go retrieve the second round of drinks, an act that I instantly regretted when she returned with the cocktails and the observation that all the bartenders here were ‘super hot’. Joke’s on her though as I was checking out the waitress the whole night. The second drink was courtesy of Ophir Gin. For this drink the bartender gave us a thorough backstory. It was a spiced gin mixed with apricot-infused sake, eggnog and lime soda. The drink was garnished with a slice of dried orange and toilet caviar. This cocktail was loud! It was the kind of drink you could smell before you took a sip and when you did it was spicy. It was savoury and eggy with a real East-meets-West vibe to it.


It was a tough decision to make, but in the end my vote went with the Hayman’s. While I enjoyed the jazzy, fusion cocktail of Ophir I felt like it had too many notes. I see gin as a very elegant drink that can speak for itself. Hayman’s had enough to make it a unique cocktail but it retained a very clean gin-like flavour. To finish the night we had our final free gin and tonic and cast our votes. And just like General Election day, I was to be disappointed with Ophir gin taking the third semifinal place. But with cocktails this good, everyone was a winner and I’m already thirsty for the next round.


Reporter: Ken Plas


Graphic Bar

4 Golden Square

London W1F 9HT

020 7287 9241