Where to go this week - - by Aimee Sics

GŌNG hosts star bartender Jörg Meyer of Le Lion in Hamburg

GŌNG hosts star bartender Jörg Meyer of Le Lion in Hamburg IMAGE: PR

The Gin Basil Smash is coming to London — and its creator as well, of course. The infamous cocktail was created in 2008 by Jörg Meyer from Le Lion bar in Hamburg and added a refreshing new twist to the regular gin concoctions we were used to. It has since gained cult status with mixologists smashing basil left right and centre with all sorts of other spirits.

But it’s Jörg Meyer who was the mastermind behind all this, and from 11 to 14 May the star bartender from Le Lion will be doing a touchdown of cocktail making at GŌNG in London. Known to many simply as Le Lion, it is one of only five bars in the history of the World’s 50 Best Bars poll to have achieved a listing for seven consecutive years. So it comes as no surprise that shrewd cocktail drinkers from all over the globe head to Hamburg to test out Le Lion.

Jörg will be stirring and shaking five original cocktails to enjoy 52 floors above London, at the top of the five-star Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, alongside Christian Maspes, head bartender and the team at GŌNG. Quite dissimilar in style to Le Lion, GŌNG’s design stems from the mythical aspect of a cinnabar, a mineral historically used to create the ‘dragon red’ walls of Chinese Imperial Palaces and believed to enhance positive energy.

Yet compared to the small, lavish cocktail lounge that is Le Lion, we’ve no doubt Jörg will feel at home behind the bar anyway — he is, after all quite the mixing genius. Moreover, when you’re making cocktails in the tallest building in Western Europe with views across London and a skypool pool-side, there’ll be plenty of distractions.

The usual £30 minimum spend per visitor (with tables for 1.5 hours) is waived 11-14 May 2016.

GŌNG at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London. 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU, UK.

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