Cocktails on Wheels: The Travelling Gin Company

Sarah Lonsdale
July 31, 2013

Aside from Pimm's, what drink could be more Brit than a G & T (local parlance for a gin and tonic)? I spent a few glorious weeks working in London this summer, where I got wind of gin being dispensed from a bike. With a little investigation, I discovered The Traveling Gin Company (TGC).

Ed Godden and Joe Lewis describe their venture as "a pop-up drinks project." The idea came about as a lark: on a cycling trip to Amsterdam, Lewis and his university friends suited up in what Lewis calls "old English gents attire." Lewis, who was peddling an old butcher's delivery bicycle, attached a spirit optic to the front of the bike's frame and stacked the front basket with—what else—that most English of tipples, gin. When they stopped off for the evenings at various sites, he offered G & T's to his mates, and it accelerated from there."

And accelerated it has. The Traveling Gin Company has been spotted at fashionable venues throughout the city and recently got back from dispensing drinks at the happening Michelberger Hotel in Berlin. Read on for a recipe for their latest concoction: The Foghorn.

Waist Apron with Pocket
Waist Apron with Pocket

Above: Joe and Ed, each sporting aprons from Labour and Wait. Joe in the Waist Apron with Pocket; £28 and Ed in the Bib Apron; £38.

Above: A butcher's bike with basket and a fruit crate on the back for carrying supplies. An enamel utility pail serves as ice bucket.

Above; GIn shots dispensed from a bottle attached to the handlebars. Ed tells us, "We try to mix up our service and use of products as much as possible to keep the concept fresh and interesting; we don't just use Gordon's or Schweppes for our mixers" (the original G & T combi). Their tipple of choice? "Sipsmith is really great, a very popular choice. We've really been getting into the Bathtub Gin from Master Of Malt, which we just served last weekend at Hoxton Square at the London Festival Of Architecture—it's made in limited edition batches so we try and get well stocked up." The VL92 is also on their radar.

Above: Slices of lemon and lime are kept in jars with tonic on ice in a metal bucket.

Fentimans Tonic Water
Fentimans Tonic Water

Above: According to Ed and Joe, "The tonic water is as equally important as the gin in our view. A 50:50 mix can often be just right when using the right ingredients. Fentimans make an excellent tonic water."

Above: Their drink of the moment? "Our current favorite alternative to the G & T is a very simple cocktail, but we can't recommend it enough. The Foghorn."

On ice:
Strong 40ml shot of gin
10ml fresh lime juice
Top with ginger ale (ginger beer works nicely, too)
Throw in a lime wedge to finish

Bottoms up!

For more inspiration, see 29 images of Bicycles in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 23, 2012.