The bustle and opportunity around the old Royal Exchange attracted merchants, heralds and rogues from London and beyond. Once the days work was done (and often before), the assembled traders would partake of boisterous ‘tippling’ in the vaults under the exchange. Those days have returned, with The Libertine once more at the centre of lively evenings in the City.
Join us for beers, wine and cocktails under historic arches in the vaults of The Royal Exchange. There is no need to book for small groups, simply turn up and make your way down the spiral staircase into the bar. If you’re planning a larger get-together, we recommend booking in advance to reserve a space for your fellow revellers. And that bottle of whiskey from last time you were with us? Waiting here for you, under lock and key.
Like our home, The Royal Exchange, Gin has a storied history in London. In the late 17th century, to starve France of British coin from it’s Brandy exports, the production and consumption of English Gin was widely encouraged. The monopoly held by the London Guild of Distillers was broken, the requirement for a license to distil Gin was dropped and taxes on distilleries were reduced.
The result was the Gin Craze of the early 18th century, where it became the tipple of choice for the masses. The libertine spirit ingrained in the public by Gin was frowned upon by stuffy magistrates who labelled it a ‘pernicious liquor’ and enacted a series of laws known as ‘The Gin Acts’ to reduce consumption and production.
But the people’s passion for Gin could not be quelled, with civil disobedience in response to the laws and soon, by the 19th Century, gin was once again on the rise as ‘Gin Palaces’ sprang up across Britain. Even in modern times, Gin is the spirit of choice for the UK. The Libertine London Dry Gin brings together the rich history of London and The Royal Exchange. Enjoy it in our venue or purchase a bottle to take home.