Elijah Ferrian gets closely acquainted with uniquely Vietnamese gin infusions and the creative drink selection debuting at this new cocktail den, The Gin House. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Craft beer has obviously taken Saigon by storm. The cocktail culture is surely not far behind, and while quietly preparing their gin-centric concept, Ha Thanh Luan and Vuu Thanh Tan are beyond excited to unveil all of their hard work come August 4th at their grand opening.
The Gin House is a cocktail bar that boasts a service-focussed ground floor overlooked by a relaxed lounge upstairs. The bartenders produce well thought out beverages that utilise a slew of herbs and aromatics to give their products an unmistakeable identity. The two partners really wanted to differentiate themselves from the more common concepts seen about town; the speakeasies, the whisky bars, and the shot-heavy clubs.
Bar manager Vuu, who cut his teeth at a few popular drink locales around town, explained why this idea came to fruition. “We wanted to specialise in gin,” he says, “because we feel that it’s an excellent base for creativity in cocktails. It’s a popular trend we see worldwide that hasn’t been done in Saigon, and the variation of botanical notes in different gins works well with the infusions we do here.”
They grow their own herbs. Rosemary, lemongrass, butterfly pea, peppermint, stevia, and a host of others that find their way into artful drinks that are categorised by the type of flavours guests are looking to sip.
The stars of the lineup are definitely their house gin infusions paired with a choice of various fine sparkling tonics (VND100,000 and up). Black tea and grapefruit, lemon sorbet and cardamom, and peach mango hibiscus, to rattle off a few.
If you would like to nerd out about all things cocktail, the bartenders are offering hands-on cocktail lessons in real-time, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Come to learn and mix your own drinks, or lounge about and let these talented barmen help you relax and enjoy yourself with friends.
Boasting a list of over 19 different gin brands, a bevy of signature and classic cocktails with a variation of different spirits and liqueurs for those that shy away from the juniper juice, a really affordable happy hour (VND75,000) for house infusion and signature cocktails), ladies night on Wednesdays, and live DJs bumping hip-hop and deep house on weekends… there are too many reasons to not pop in and see what all this mixology stuff is about.