The Gin House in Sofia, Bulgaria- Cocktail Bar +
The Gin House Cocktail Bar rating by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com: 5 out of 5.
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I’m not in the habit of writing whole reviews with a rating for bars. I have many favorite locations for cocktails in Sofia, Bulgaria and around the world, but I usually post them only on Instagram and Facebook page of the blog. However, The Gin House impressed me so much that I was tempted and set a precedent. Read below why.
I add that the place opened in October 2020, but the pandemic and the closures compressed the months in-between so that as if it started at the beginning of May 2021, when all the restaurants and bars finally reopened.
…. А shop, on Slavyanska Street, just opposite of Lili Pham, dedicated to Gin, with super variety and on the front line, carbonated drink Pate Mate;
Pate in Bulgarian means a duck and Pate Mate is a carbonated drink based on mate tea. I noticed it at the street food fest at the Women’s Market, but somehow I couldn’t get to try it. I just noted in my mind that I have to do it at all costs as soon as possible because I am a big fan of tea-based drinks.
I went in for Pate Mate, with the idea of drinking it right away. The man in the shop apologized for not being able to open the bottle for me because there was no opener and we were just joking that I would have to open it in a hooligan way, but with this furniture with beautiful wooden edges, I had nowhere to support it for slamming it on top, when he suggested the bartenders bring a bottle opener. When I heard bartenders, I raised my brows and asked where was the bar there. It turned out to be at the next entrance, and it was remarkable.
…. Strange, not very friendly metal door, with a gear mechanism instead of a handle.
At first I said to myself that The Gin House is another speakeasy bar, similar as my favorite 5L and you have to enter in some strange secret way – with a special password, key or puzzle solution. 😊
Speakeasy were called the illegal bars during the dry regime in the United States. People had to enter in with a password.
The man from the store opened the door for us, we entered and saw a dark staircase facing us. I said to myself: wow, another dark, lightless place. Yes, but no!
…. Spacious rooms, with a chic interior and great original paintings – the effect after the dark staircase and the strange door is WOW!
…. The second WOW comes when you realize that there is a garden, and it has a friendly wooden deck, a pergola with party lights, and an extremely tempting green meadow.
…. There is also live moss on the wall.
But what a great place!
…. Super welcoming people, like I’ve been visiting old friends;
It turned out that The Gin House is not just another cocktail bar.
They explained to me what other mega interesting things you can do with them, wait for me to list:
… To eat brunch – I saw the menu, it’s very nice;
… To have a picnic on the grass – they give you a blanket and you sit on the grass in the garden;
… To try cuisine from famous names on the Bulgarian culinary scene, invited as featured chefs for brunches;
… To try over 200 types of gin – they shared that they are trying to restore the popularity of the juniper drink from the socialist times and outside the limited context of Gin Tonic cocktail;
Here I thought that the Lada parked in front of the restaurant was for advertising purposes, related to the memories of the socialism and the popularity of gin at that time, but it was not. 😊
I had the feeling that I had passed through the portal of Sofia University. If you are wondering what the connoation is, then you have not watched the Bulgarian mini-series “The Portal by Ilian Dzhevelekov”. It is available on YouTube.
You don’t watch Bulgarian TV series, although this one is good. Okay, here’s another link – here I found a nice gin “Time Shelter”. The novel is by the famous and vastly translated writer Georgi Gospodinov.
I recommend the above two works to have to notion what life was in Bulgaria back then in the socialist times.
I continue with the list of what else you can do there… (this turn our to e quite a fragmented review)
… To attend various events dedicated to different brands of gin;
… To try different signature cocktails based on gin and not only- that’s my place!
… Not only to see, but also to buy original paintings – they organize promotions of different artists and help them sell the works – nice job, people!
And all this was told with a big smile – the staff has been vaccinated, yey!
…. Super cool music – Caribbean, funk, soul and a mix of these three.
Hey, that’s how the extrovert’s senses are filled!
Movie watching time: 2:11 min.
…. Raspberries and strawberries in Velvet Club cocktail;
…. Violets and almonds in the Violet Fields cocktail;
…. Fresh carrot flavor in carrot cake dessert.
…. Cocktails, of course, and why not neat gin to smell the juniper;
Juniper is a coniferous plant of the Cypress family. It has healing properties. I’m not sure about gin. 😉
I explained about juniper in the 5-part interview, in the FacesCases section, with two of the most emblematic chefs in Bulgaria, Chef Boykovski and Chef Velikov: Who is Juniper and who is Raven in chefs Velikov and Boykovski tandem from restaurant Gotvarnitsa in Sofia?- Part 2
…. The carrot cake was served in an ingenious way – it looked like a plant pot with a carrot cake on the bottom, white chocolate mousse on it, cocoa soil on top, and pea sprouts stuck in it – interesting and tasty!
I’m waiting for the rain to stop, to go to a brunch with a picnic on the grass at The Gin House. I planned to try some pure gin and another cocktail. I cannot wait!
How to get to restaurant The Gin House?
Don’t worry about getting to The Gin House in Sofia. It is just the opposite from Lili Pham and The Hungry Bear. Just use the Google map here by clicking on the red pin of its location and then select directions:
A: 36 Slavyanska str, 1000 Център, София
T: + 359877722723
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-01:00
If you need to rent a car, you can book it here in the box of the largest booking platform further at the end of the current post.
Where to stay if you are not from the city?
If you plan traveling to Sofia, you can book your stay right here. For your convenience, I have added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you. Just enter the dates of your trip, then hit the Search button and voila. In addition, booking.com are doing their best to make sure that your expectations as a customer are fulfilled. I’ve described an example about the latter in my story about our stay in Shangri-La hotel in Singapore.
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Do you ever wonder how some places differ so much from others in service, environment, as an overall experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. I constantly add to my collection reviews about those of them, which practice its principles, regardless of intentionally or accidentally. If you are curious to understand which they are, explore category The Experience Economy.