When news hit my inbox that the bar manager of Nightjar (frequently named London’s Best Speakeasy Bar, and for good reason) was going it alone with a new, adventurous cocktail spot called The Gibson, I diarised a visit pronto. An Edwardian time warp just off Old Street, The Gibson is very dimly lit, with Art Deco flourishes, and open till 1 or 2am Monday to Saturday – it’s pretty much a Tinder date-planner’s dream.
Behind the bar, the space is crammed with a variety of novel vessels (everything from vintage perfume bottles to borosilicate smoking pipes to silver goblets – sourced from around the world, there’s a different one for each drink) and a plethora of bowls and bottles of bitters, essences, garnishes and finishing touches.
Drinks are OTT and their dramatic creation means a seat up at the bar is a much-coveted commodity. But while you may be served a beverage in a repurposed lightbulb or a ridiculous monkey-faced tiki mug, you can be sure that the liquid within has been painstakingly created by flavour experts, following hours of experimentation, scholarly study of cookery books, and obsessive ingredient sourcing, to ensure mixological greatness is reached with each and every item on the menu.