I was recently invited to the launch party of Nottingham’s newest gin bar, Juni. Well technically, it’s not just a bar – it’s a gin lab and a restaurant too.
I was especially excited to check out Juni, as they describe themselves as “Serbian-inspired”, and having visited Belgrade a couple of years ago, I wanted to see just how much the bar reminded me of the bars and restaurants I frequented in Serbia’s capital.
When we turned up to the launch party, it was understandably packed (I meannnn, free gin, come on!). The cocktail menu looked pretty decent – I was swayed as soon as I saw the Clover Club listed on there. Unfortunately, the cocktails weren’t available on the opening night, but I’ll certainly be seeing how their Clover Clubs compare to the best ones I’ve ever had (tough competition). I was a little bit disappointed to see the lack of rakija on the menu – being “Serbian inspired”, you’d have thought they would have incorporated the country’s national drink in a cocktail.
I did however, get to sample the gin that Juni create themselves: Juni 93 (distilled in Serbia, FYI). I opted for the raspberry and plum infused gin, with the berries grown in Serbia. It was pretty delicious!
If you’re a massive gin fan, then booking yourself onto the Gin Lab experience at Juni seems like a must. You get to distill your own gin, and create your own unique flavours… I think my perfect gin would probably be a mixture of lavender and rose (with rose lemonade to accompany it, obvs).
Juni serves food, but on the opening night, they just served a selection of nibbles. Because they don’t have a menu on the website, it’s hard to say whether it is truly Serbian inspired… but apparently they do serve cevapi!
In terms of the décor at Juni, I really didn’t get Serbian vibes. Typical Serbian is quite cosy and colourful – I guess some might say old fashioned, or traditional. Juni (from what I could make of it, there were a lot of people there), was elegant and minimalistic, with whitewashed walls.
The verdict? I didn’t get the Serbian vibes their website boasted, but that could just be down to the fact that it was the first night. I’d definitely like to head back to Juni again soon to sample their Balkan food, washed down with a Clover Club or two. And this time, I’m hoping I’ll feel like I’ve been transported back to Belgrade.
Juni: 8-10 Low Pavement, Nottingham, NG1 7DL