The GT is definitely back. In most bars now you can find a separate menu with fancy GTs.
Lately this global trend is starting to take off also in Tirana. But first, let’s go through some facts on why this is not just a regular GT. Why it is special, and what’s all the fuzz about?
Basically an old ‘boring’ GT would have a commercial gin and a regular tonic, with maybe a bit of lemon. Well, now is pretty much the same, but better. The gin is selected from a myriad of small house’s gins from around the world. The tonic may also be less sweet or flavoured and produced by smaller companies. The garnish is picked carefully to get along with the gin’s notes and it can be everything from fruits to spices and herbs…and yes it’s more expensive, but we love the experience.
Before my trip to Barcelona two years ago, i would have never ordered a Gin & Tonic. There, following my fellow Barcelona spotters of Spotted by locals, I found some amazing gin places like this tiny one here. So, I discovered a big world made out of fantastic aromas and flavours, that I didn’t knew it existed. But now I know, and I love the new GT trend.
Back in Tirana I started looking for bars that were embracing the long going trend. What it often disappoints me, is that most bars wait for the clientele to ask for a product, while they should be the first to offer. Fortunately we have some good bars that do their homework and follow the trends.
Hemingway Bar: As mentioned in other posts, Hemingway is my favorite bar and that’s because they have a fantastic choice of spirts. Beside the 200+ rum types they also have a great signature gin collection that you can pair with a tonic brand of your liking. Check location
Radio Bar Tirana: Another personal favorite. At Radio they are serious about drinks and cocktails. Many signature Albanian styled cocktails and obviously a great choice of gins. Radio was one of the first bars to put a lot of effort in seeking special spirits. They also import some etiquettes. Check location
As I mentioned the prices for a premium GT are obviously higher. Generally a regular GT costs 500-600 Lekë (≈4-5 €), a classic premium one (ie Hendricks, Bulldog etc.) can cost around 700-1000 Lekë (≈6-9 €). If you also pick a ‘fancy’ tonic it can go up to 1200 Lekë (≈10 €). For other more unique brands such as Jinzu, Alkimist, Copper Head, Geneva, Bathtub, Black tomato prices can vary.
Well, now you know what to do…Cheers! 😉