Shaken or stirred – juniper from the bottle

Ku'damm, Berlin, Charlottenburg, Boulevard, Einkaufsstraße

Dark leather armchairs, old trunks as tables, and swing music playing softly in the background – as soon as you enter the House of Gin, all traces of hectic daily life and the throngs of tourists on Kurfürstendamm are immediately forgotten. The bar is part of the Hotel Palace Berlin complex, and it immerses its guests in a stylish and tasteful world – one that is reminiscent of the 20s at first glance, but thanks to modern photographs and elegant table decorations, is very much anchored in the here and now.

Behind the wood-panelled bar, Marcus Wolff and his team aim to fulfil their guests’ every desires – in particular when they have to do with gin. There are over 150 different types of the juniper drink to choose from: from fruity and sweet, with notes of cinnamon, to dry, no-nonsense tastes, there is a gin here for everyone. And head barman Marcus Wolff can tell you a story about each and every one: “First of all, I try to understand the guest’s preferences – then I can serve the perfect drink for them. Sometimes people are surprised how multi-faceted a single spirit can taste.” The host, who has won several awards for his craft, always encourages his guests to try something new – like a straight gin with an iced slice of cucumber; or with a tonic, garnished with frozen strawberries. Gin lovers can choose an entire tasting menu at the House of Gin, and compare and contrast the wide variety on offer.

Typical Berlin: Gin and currywurst

For those interested, there are menus on the bar counter in which every gin is listed, along with its place of origin, taste profile and a suitable cocktail recommendation. They are lovingly handwritten, and every guest is certain to find out something new about the wonderful world of gin. The palette varies from classic English tastes, to variants from India, Canada and Belgium. There are even some Berlin gins available, as Marcus Wolff is a big fan of regional producers.

The bar team serves finger food to accompany the drinks: the menu features mini-burgers or snack-sized currywurst. This way you have everything you need to spend a pleasant evening at the bar or on one of the huge upholstered sofas – after all, you’ll need plenty of time to sample all 150 gins.

The House of Gin also offers champagne and other spirits, but for those of you who haven’t yet been convinced by gin: give it a try! As Marcus Wolff shows with his enthusiasm and background knowledge: gin isn’t just gin.

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