Bartenders on Bikes: G & Ts for London's Unlikely Corners

A pop-up bicycle bar with little overhead or environmental impact hits the streets.

For entrepreneurs Edward Godden and Joseph Lewis, no location is too obscure for a gin and tonic. That boozy ambition has made their Travelling Gin Co.—a roving bicycle bar—such a success. Equipped with a basket full of limes, mixers, spices and a curated selection of local gins, their cocktails are as complex any old timey bar's, without the overhead or environmental impact.

The two Londoners conceived of their recession-style mobile business last year after a cycling trip Lewis made from London to Amsterdam. "Joe took an old butcher bicycle for the journey, and attached a spirit optic to the front of the frame. He served drinks when they stopped off for the evening…it all developed from there," says Godden.

Since 2011, they've cycled everywhere with their concoctions including in London to the Wellcome Collection Library, the expansive grounds of Ham House and Garden, the London Festival of Architecture, and a 2-week stint at the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin. They’ve also popped up at street markets, store openings, music festivals, and weddings. Their operation requires no power. "It's easy for us to park-up and serve in the most remote outdoor places for parties," says Godden.

For now, they serve gin, because "it's our favorite!" Godden exclaims. Additional spirits may be in the works though. "Perhaps we'll have different bicycles assigned to different mixers, but we just wanted to concentrate on making the best possible G & T and branching out into other gin-based mixers."

While we're already starting to mourn the end of summer, these two travelers are still happily peddling around the best G & Ts with an eye on the future. "The Travelling Gin Co. is very much made for summer time," says Godden. "So, when the winter arrives, we're planning for an indoor pop-up bar. No details yet, so stay tuned to our blog for the latest."

Photos courtesy of The Travelling Gin Co.