Win & Tonic: Sipping on Fifty Fifty Gin Club’s Massive Selection

This Over-the-Rhine bar corners the market on Italy’s favorite spirit.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Gin lovers rejoice: Fifty Fifty Gin Club is the late-night hangout you’ve been looking for. Named for its signature cocktail of 50 percent gin, 50 percent vermouth, and for local TV trailblazer Ruth Lyons—who invented daytime talk shows with her series The 50/50 Club on WLWT-TV—this bar is a dimly-lit delight. Sure, it does share owners and a building with Homemakers Bar. But while that bar has a comfortable, open, airy vibe, this one is much more intimate: just 22 seats, a record player blasting old school jazz and R&B, 80 different gins for your perusal, and the glow of red neon lights. There are a lot of drinks you could say are “fun” at Fifty Fifty, like the Cereal Milk Punch, which has gin, mezcal, champagne, grapefruit, whey, and Honey Nut Cheerios in it with coffee meletti on the side, or the Clover Club, which mixes lemon and raspberries with an egg white and London dry gin. However, the real excellence at Fifty Fifty is how its bartenders execute simple twists on basic gin cocktails. Unique spins on martinis, Tom Collins, negronis, aviations, and gin fizzes abound here, but the Gin and Tonic #10 is the highlight. Served in a gargantuan glass that’s probably bigger than both your hands with St. George Terroir gin, Indian tonic, cinnamon, Peychaud’s bitters, lemon, orange, and olives, you’ll be wondering why every bar doesn’t treat its basic cocktails with this level of detail.

 Fifty Fifty Gin Club, 35 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine

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