So I wanted to make a Hemingway Daiquiri, (see this post for the recipe) for Hemingway’s Birthday (see post on Ernest Hemingway’s writing here). Now a Hemingway Daiquiri calls for Maraschino Cherry Liqueur. Apparently the best Maraschino cherries come from Croatia and so does the best Maraschino liqueur. I was not familiar with Maraschino liqueur but getting hold of it was easy, for me.
In London, there is only one place to go for exotic spirits and liqueurs.
Gerry’s of Soho is a London institution. Back before it was named Gerry’s it was called Delmonico’s. But either way, it has been a Soho landmark for as long as I can recall.
Here’s the picture:
Gerry’s is the inverse of New York, New York, If you can’t get it there, you can’t get it anywhere (at least in London). Gerry’s is the place to buy exotic spirits and then some. You want chocolate vodka? Which brand? You want strange mixers for cocktails your friends never heard of? Here is the place.
There is a protocol to Gerry’s. Let me help you out here. When you enter the store, there is a counter with two or three staff waiting to serve you. Behind them are aisles stacked with exotic and rare spirits. So, no, you cannot browse. You ask, these guys will bring it.
These guys are walking encyclopaedias of booze. They are fast and there is a constant banter between them. If one of them thinks the other is not quick enough or knowledgeable enough then some good-natured tongue lashings are forthcoming. You can join in if you think you are good enough, though not many people are.
So know what you want, ask and you will get it in double-quick time.
Oh, the Maraschino Cherry Liquer? Of course Gerry’s had a selection. Here is the one I bought, cherries from Croatia, bottled in Italy. My take on it is it’s not something you would drink on its own. The cherry flavour is strong and sweet but this is a fiery little liqueur. But it works in cocktails, especially the Hemingway Daiquiri.
Now there are other premium booze shops in London. The Whiskey Exchange at Vinopolis has Gerry’s beat for malts and one or two exotics from South America. Similarly the Vintage House, also in Old Compton Street, rules the roost for rare malts (“expressions”). But for cocktail booze, premium spirits and those strange drinks your exotic blonde model girlfriend wants, it has to be Gerrys.
Gerry’s of Soho takes cash and cards.
Gerry’s Wines & Spirits
74 Old Compton Street
London W1D 4UW
+44 020 7734 2053
+ 44 020 7734 4215
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