That Gin & Cocktail Bar – Swan Street, Warwick

On my last visit to Warwick I was invited to visit the medieval timber framed buildings of the Lord Leycester Hospital, located next to the West Gate on the High Street. These ancient group of buildings, originally the home of the Warwick Guilds, comprises a chantry chapel, a Great Hall, Guildhall and various other medieval buildings, mainly from the 14th century. I was very impressed!

It was a Sunday afternoon in Autumn and there was a Chocolate Festival taking place out on the Market square, so I was obliged to start my day with a little chocolate! The festival was in full swing with smiling families & young children excitedly exploring each of the chocolate stores. A clown on stilts was carefully making his way amongst the throngs of shoppers & loud pop music was being played across the square. What is there not to like about Warwick!

“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin and waving it in the general direction of Italy.”

Noel Coward
Owner Steve Bazell

On this occasion I was visiting That Gin and Cocktail Bar on Swan Street which is right in the centre of this beautiful county town. Before making our way to the bar my wife & I decided to check out the nearby St Mary`s Church, just around the corner. The tower was open to visitors, raising some money for much needed restoration so I decided to give it a go! It turned out to be a climb of 130 feet or 40m up 167 very tight spiral steps! Having struggled to the top, by which time my legs had turned to jelly I was afforded a glorious view of the town & surrounding area including Warwick Castle & Warwick Racecourse. It was an arduous climb but well worth it.

Warwick from the Tower of St Marys Church

By this time I was ready to relax in the pleasant surroundings of That Gin and Cocktail Bar on Swan Street! Owner Steve Bazell and mixologist Alex both greeted my wife & I warmly when we arrived at the Bar. The sun was shining brightly, and the doors had been opened wide. Two large barrels serving as tables with stools provided a decorative frontage to the bar.

There were a number of tall tables & stools on the interior bar area and Steve showed me a further lounge/events space further back of the bar. There were also some outside seating areas at the rear and a further room which could be hired for special parties & other celebrations which could be made up in whichever way was required for the event.

“The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”

Sir Winston Churchill

The backdrop of the Bar included an impressive display of about fifty Bottled Gins & other assorted spirits which are necessary to help create their extensive range of traditional & requested cocktails as well as those flavoured gins assembled in-house! Every Gin has its own story! All of the gins at That Gin & Cocktail Bar are served large (35ml measures) with 200ml of the customer’s choice of premium tonic to ensure a perfect balance of spirit and tonic. As well a bountiful range of Gins, an excellent range of House Spirits & Rums, the bar also stocks a splendid selection of Wines.

“When you go to the bar you often opt for the gin that you know. We offer the customer a choice of a few that fit their description and have a conversation about them. Ideally we’d like people to try something they haven’t tried before. We use a base gin from one of our distillers and infuse it with our own flavouring so that gives us the ability to produce new flavours that aren’t on the standard supermarket shelf and means it’s a unique gin every time!”

That Gin & Cocktail Bar – Steve Bazell – Owner

My wife doesn’t often choose Gin but after chatting to Alex about what flavours she did like it was not long before she chose one of the Rums. We were told that Two Swallows Spiced is made with one of the finest rums from Guyana & is infused with 100% natural Orange & Ginger flavours, making it the perfect drink for my wife. Made by multi award-winning spiced rum creator Thomas G Hurst of Rockstar Spirits, who I was told had been featured on Dragons Den, is a tribute to his famous ancestor Captain Matthew Webb the first man to swim the English Channel! Webb died in 1883 when trying swim the whirlpool rapids at Niagara Falls. In Naval tradition it is said that if a sailor drowns then the Two Swallows in the tattoo will carry a sailor’s soul to Heaven. Not only a great drink but some History too!

I opted for an Italian classic, the Negroni! A cocktail made of gin, vermouth rosso and Campari, garnished with fresh orange peel. A traditionally Negroni is stirred, not shaken and is prepared over ice and garnished with a slice of orange. My glass contained a large ice ball, which melts more slowly than any ice cubes so preventing my drink from watering down! It was beautifully presented and tasted fantastico!

It was a very warm day, so I chose a Southside Mojito Fizz to complete the afternoon. Minty, fresh & botanical made with sugar, lemon, lime & gin not rum then topped up with cool soda water! It was a sweet, crisp, cool & refreshing drink, a perfect drink for sipping in the sunshine on the patio of That Gin & Cocktail Bar with my best friend!

Our Cocktails: Left to Right

Negroni – Sweet Vermouth, Gin & Campari

Southside Mojito Fizz – A Mojito with Gin instead of Rum, Sugar, Mint, Lime & topped with Soda

Two Swallows Spiced – Flavoured with Orange & Ginger this makes a delicious drink

Two of our cocktails came with a metal straw which included a small filter at the end of the straw which prevented fruit pieces from being sucked up! The straw can also be reused time & time again! After being used the straws are sterilised using the Milton system, familiar to anyone who has cleaned baby’s bottles!

We have always said that a good drink needs to be complemented with some healthy food and That Gin & Cocktail Bar was able to provide that too! A beautifully presented afternoon tea arrived making for the perfect afternoon. There are several deli boards & sandwich platters on the bar’s menu, or you can have a choice of charcuterie, cheese, fruit and veg boards or the ultimate sharing board which is a combination of all three! We stuck with the delightful afternoon tea which was more than enough!

Our Afternoon Tea:

A selection of 4 different finger sandwiches

(Coronation Chicken/Prawn/Cheese & Pickle/Egg Mayonnaise)

Two Fresh Scones/Two Small pots of Strawberry Jam/A large pot of Fresh Clotted Cream/Two Small Pork Pies/ Two Mini-Quiches/ Two Raspberry Cheesecakes/ Two Slices of Chocolate Cake & Coffee cake

The Afternoon Tea was excellent, presentation was perfect, and the service is what you would expect from a well – run, professionally trained staff who were both friendly & efficient. The bar interior was pleasing, bright and engaging with a comfortable outside space looking out on to the pleasant pedestrianised street.

We were made to feel very special during our visit to That Gin & Cocktail Bar. Its location right in the centre of the town makes it ideal for meeting up with friends after work, at the weekend or in the evening. That Gin & Cocktail Bar is a friendly, comfortable bar with outstanding service & a comprehensive selection of cocktails, wine & coffee! Both Steve & Alex possessed an encyclopedic knowledge about Gin & all things related to cocktails & spirits. Visiting That Gin and Cocktail Bar has certainly given us both a much greater understanding about Gin & Cocktails.

Next time you are in the vicinity of Warwick I would fully recommend you drop in. You will not be disappointed!

That Gin & Cocktail Bar

22 Swan Street

Warwick CV34 4BJ

Disclosure: My visit to That Gin and Cocktail Bar was courtesy of Steve Bazell & Chalmers News PR

The views and comments expressed are, as usual my own.