Jigger’s Noble DrugstoreI’m always keen to seek out cocktail bars in new cities. Sadly on my trip to Gent the days didn’t fall favourably for putting more than one place through its paces. But I’m confident that Jigger’s Noble Drugstore is one of the best in the city so I was really pleased to find it open on a quiet Tuesday evening.
The door only opens from the inside so you need to ring for service. From there you are led down some dark wooden stairs to a smartly appointed bar in the classic style.The two guys working when I was there couldn’t have been more engaging and knowledgeable. And that was without owner and main drinks wizard Olivier Jacobs working that night.
I started with a menu drink which was a twist on a drink I order often in Edinburgh – a Martinez. This version featured a local white spirit – essentially unaged whisky – called Belgian Owl, red vermouth and a chestnut liquer replacing the more usual maraschino. Infused with purple basil, it was an outstanding concoction that pleased me greatly.We kept the “classic with a twist” theme going with a bijou featuring local jenever at its heart. Again, it was a beautifully balanced drink.
To round things out, I let them make me something from Scotland, with a blood & sand made with smoky Finlaggan as its base. Without Cherry Heering to hand, they swapped in a cherry liquer from Copenhagen. It was a very good way to finish the evening.
The array of bitters behind the bar was impressive and upon asking it turned out that Ben and Sashana from the Edinburgh Food Studio had visited recently. A bottle of grasshopper extract seasoning was kept in pride of place to prove it.
So overall, Jigger’s is an excellent place. One of the chaps gave me a recommendation for lunch the next day at J.E.F so let’s see how that works out. When in Gent, you must make time for a visit to the bar as it’s a place full of charm and quality.
Address: Oudburg 16, 9000 Gent