Where’ve You Gin? Liverpool Gin distiller John O'Dowd

Where’ve You Gin?

Cool, clear, but curiously complex – Gin’s a drink that always hits the spot. It’s no wonder that more classic cocktails are made with it than anything else on the top shelf.

And thanks to inventive brands like ‘Liverpool Gin’, the drink is back and more varied than ever.

Now we’re not one to talk, but Liverpool Gin distiller John O’Dowd frequents quite a few bars (all in the name of work, of course). Here he shares his five favourite Liverpool gin joints.

If you get the chance, you should visit one or two, in-fact visit all five, that’s the spirit.




Steeped in history and soaked in character, the Belvedere has probably given birth to many a great idea since it opened over 180 years ago. John has a special place in his heart for this pub, he said: “This classic Victorian pub is the birthplace of Liverpool Gin. Whilst the liquid was in development it was tested on many willing volunteers”. Belvedere is a bar which has taken it’s time to get things right.

Visit belvedereliverpool.com

Berry and Rye

Berry and Rye, Berry Street, Liverpool
Berry and Rye, Berry Street, Liverpool

No neon. No signs. No faux books or salesy promotions.  Berry and Rye have deconstructed ‘The Pub’ and they’ll make you realise just how bad your local boozer really is. Black shutters, dark curtains and an unremarkable exterior hide the building’s true nature. John said: “This bar is hard to find but worth the effort, spare a thought for all those who couldn’t get in.”

Personally, we love this low-key approach. Who said bars need to shout? The speakeasy style Berry and Rye is the kind of tavern that will turn you into a dedicated booze hound. You’ve been warned.

Visit Berry and Rye’s Facebook page.


Vincent Cafe and Cocktail Bar
Vincent Cafe and Cocktail Bar

A premiership footballer opening a bar/restaurant might have you running a mile. But bear with us. Yes, Vincent is part owned by Stevie Gerrard, but it’s also one of the most professional cocktail bars in the city. John agrees, he said: “Grab a barstool, watch those mixologists at work”.  Vincent is also the first UK restaurant to serve up Gringo Sushi. Don’t know what Gringo sushi is? Better head down there then.

Read more about Vincent here.

Filter and Fox

Filter and Fox, Duke Street, Liverpool
Filter and Fox, Duke Street, Liverpool

Whether sneaking in a sly pint, romancing your hot date, or taking your mum for tea and cake. Filter and Fox is good for all occasions. The bar is a bit on the small side, but John doesn’t mind, he said: “What it lacks in size it makes up in atmosphere and there’s good coffee to match the quality bar”. Filter and Fox has it all, without becoming a generic snoozer-boozer. If you don’t know where to go, go Filter and Fox. Good times guaranteed.

Visit filterandfox.co.uk

Pen Factory

Pen Factory, Hope Street, Liverpool
Pen Factory, Hope Street, Liverpool

Hope Street couldn’t get any more buzzing, right? Wrong. Pen Factory blasts away the kitchen walls and double hinged doors to show you what the chefs are really up to, and it’s a sight to behold. Located right alongside Liverpool’s Everyman theatre, this restaurant and bar is also full of showmanship. John said: “If you want good food to match your gin, this is the place”. Next intermission we strongly suggest you pop next door and catch a different kind of drama.

Visit pen-factory.co.uk

For more about Liverpool Gin click here. 

For more top places to Liverpool to visit download the It’s Liverpool app. 


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Published: 11/01/2016