New Bar Offers More Options to Gin Lovers

FiftyFifty Gin Club is equal parts international flavors and local finds.
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The Queen City’s bargoers have HomeMakers Bar co-founder Julia Petiprin’s travels to Spain and Barcelona to thank for the opening of FiftyFifty Gin Club in Over-the-Rhine.

JULY 2022

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MIKE JAMES

“As someone who’s not from here, travel was very important to me and so were spirits and cocktails,” says Petiprin, who moved to Cincinnati to co-found Sundry and Vice, handling the interior design and running the beverage program for its first four years of business before opening HomeMakers. “I just wanted to bring something to the city that isn’t here and to show people some of my favorite things.”

The new bar, which opened late last month, serves Spanish-style gin with internationally inspired flavors. The name derives from a drink on the menu called the FiftyFifty Cocktail, which is equal parts gin and vermouth.

“In Spain, drinking vermouth is huge,” Petiprin says. “People drink it like iced tea, they put ice in it with a lemon and they put a straw in it in a tall glass. Vermouths are something I really love and enjoy. That’s one of my favorite cocktails to drink.”

Although the two bars are located next to one another on 13th and Walnut streets, HomeMakers and FiftyFifty couldn’t be more different in atmosphere. It boasts a moody interior with plenty of texture, lit up only by red lights at night.

“HomeMakers is bright and fun, with bright colors, and very homey and nostalgic,” Petiprin explains. “FiftyFifty Gin Club is dark and intimate. You feel like you’re totally transformed. It almost feels like you’re not in Cincinnati, it’s very much an escape.”

As for the menu, you can expect plenty of gin. The back bar is lined with 80 to 90 gins. “Whatever the state of Ohio allows, we will have,” Petiprin says.

Among the menu options are a Spanish-style gin and tonic with a make-your-own option as well as handcrafted beverages such as classic martinis. Key menu items include a house dirty martini with brine and Plymouth gin, and a house blend of vermouth, with a few of the staff’s favorites blended together.

The bar’s many seasonal drink choices display innovative and citrusy, which are currently using ingredients that are more suited for summer. One of them, the Subtropical, includes cucumber and lemon for a refreshing and savory gin infusion. Another drink, the Strawberry Coast boasts a rose syrup and an allspice infusion, containing strawberries and rose petals. Aside from gin, the bar also offers a lager, red and white wines, sparkling wine, and even a bourbon cocktail.

“We don’t just have gin exclusively,” Petiprin says. “Even if you don’t like gin, you can still get something that you like.”

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