Leon aka The Gin Boss

Leon aka The Gin Boss

The first gin cocktail I ever drank?

Way back when at the first bar I ever tended Dos Hermanos, Leicester. This is where it all started for me in the cocktail game, I fell in love with a Tanqueray and Tonic with a load of lime. I think the first gin cocktail I drank was a Bramble though. It was the only gin cocktail on the menu I believe.

First gin cocktail you ever made?

This was definitely the Bramble: gin, lemon, homemade sugar syrup shaken in a budget cocktail shaker and creme de mure drizzled over the top with a blackberry garnish. I remember it clearly, my Mum threw a Christmas Eve party and I was put to work. It feels like I’ve made cocktails at every bash, party and shindig since.

Favourite gin cocktail at 7pm?

Show me the Martini. I like it with a good classic gin, Plymouth is often my call. Stir it down with a splash of vermouth, therefore nice and dry and then garnish with a silver skin onion. If you're buying that's known as a Gibson. The best I've ever had, well the Martinis I make in my apartment are pretty bang on (you should see my ice draw). But I love sitting in the Fumoir in Claridges with family or close friends, put the phones away and just enjoy the moment. Bliss.

Favourite gin cocktail at 10pm?

A Martinez. Made 2:1 gin to vermouth wish a dash of orange bitters and a suspicion of Maraschino liqueur, served with a Luxardo cherry dropped in. It’s my drink when I finish the Gin Journey, a little ritual I have that provides a moment of escapism and allows me slip into my disco shoes.

Favourite bar in the world?

The big question. We’re so lucky to live in a time when so many bars are providing exceptional places to drink, the world of the drinks industry is thriving and cocktail bars are tearing it up all over our planet. Alas, the bar that holds the dearest place in my heart though is no more. Socio Rehab in Manchester had it all. Drinks that could be full of frills and fun or stirred down and brown and serious, the tunes were incredible and the team was seamless. Rumours have been rife of a return but I think we know it belongs in the annals of cocktail history. Socio Rehab is dead, long live the King.

Leon is a Member of the Illustrious Gin Guild


Leon is also a BBC GoodFood Gin Expert


Winner of Imbibe UK Innovator of the Year 2017


Winner of Think Gin Communicator of the Year 2017