You are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to cocktail bars in London as a fair few of them have award-winning menu’s and home to some of the world’s best mixologists who can make you a bespoke beauty using your favourite flavours.
Whether you like them long and strong, short and sweet or classically sour there’s something on this list for everyone:
1 – Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Shoreditch
Located down a dingy backstreet in London’s hipster capital of Shoreditch, Looking Glass is everything you could ever want in a bar. The whimsical menu and fairytale backdrop adds a touch of fantasy to your night out with regular music nights and events to keep the beats as fresh as the drinks.
2 – BYOC, Covent Garden
A fresh new concept for London is BYOC, a speakeasy cocktail bar with a major difference: you pay by the hour to have delicious cocktails made by your own barman using the spirits you have brought with you. The bar provides all the mixers, foams, garnishes and tricks and you simply pay £20 for 2 hours. Perfect.
3 – Milk and Honey, Soho
THE place to be seen in London is Milk and Honey, an exclusive members bar that offers 3 floors of the city’s most fabulous cocktails to be delicately sipped in intimate booths to impress a date or more open bar and lounge drinking for business meetings and catching up with friends. Non-members are welcome until 11pm and this place is so sought after they don’t list the address on the website just to keep it extra special.
4 – Dirty Martini, Covent Garden
One for laid back drinks with the girls (or guys) Dirty Martini is a hidden basement of joy with their inventive and delicious cocktails, the wide range of Martini’s obviously being the stand out crowd pleaser. If they’re not your thing the talented mixologists can concoct anything you can think of, just bring your mates, a wild imagination… and book the next day off work.
5 – The London Gin Club, Soho
‘Dedicated to the enjoyment of gin’ you can sample over 200 varieties of gin and the bar prides itself on serving one of the best gin and tonics in London! Such a bold claim needs checking out, especially if you’re a gin lover. They’re a small, friendly, table-service bar so perfect for unwinding with friends or taking a date but be sure to book a table to avoid disappointment as the cosy venue does tend to get pretty busy.
6 – Ridley Road Market Bar, Dalston
This bar is exactly what it says on a tin – an unpretentious bar in the middle of a market where you can dance, drink and eat and still have change for a Big Mac on the way home (to soak up all those cocktails). The drinks are served in plastic cups which gives the place a real laid-back vibe and you can pick up something delicious from the street food vendors outside to line your stomach before dancing the night away to an uber cool East London DJ you’ve probably never heard of before.
7 – 69 Colebrook Row, Angel
Known as ‘the bar with no name’ 69 Colebrook Row is very exclusive and almost impossible to get a booking for so make sure you call a good few weeks in advance if you want to sip one of the amazing cocktails here! The menu changes seasonally (their Bloody Mary’s are to die for…) and are paired well with their delicious variety of tapas-style bar snacks and if that’s not enough they also have a wonderfully soothing in-house pianist on Thursday and Fridays.
8 – Callooh Calley, Shoreditch
A bizarre mix of the mystery of Lewis Carroll and 90’s hip-hop makes Callooh Calley a welcome addition to the trendy but slightly dirty vibe of Shoreditch nightlife. The cocktails are magical and delicious and with three rooms and no booking required it makes the perfect spot for a few mid-week drinks after a long day in the office. The upstairs room is also available for birthdays and events and if that’s not enough, they also won Best Cocktail Menu Of The Year at the coveted Tales of the Cocktail awards.
9 – Nightjar, Old Street
Get a slice of old-school glamour and some of the most unique cocktails you will ever taste at Nightjar, where the menu is divided into eras – pre-prohibition, prohibition and post-war. Sip your drinks in style as a nightly jazz band plays beats as smooth as your drinks. The atmosphere is cool yet electric with a speakeasy vibe and a very trendy crowd – be sure to book well in advance as tables get filed very quickly.
10 – Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell
This gorgeous boutique bar is housed in a beautiful Georgian townhouse hotel with 13 luxury rooms so if you over indulge on the stunning cocktail list you’ll have somewhere nearby to get your head down. The cocktail menu was created by Tony Conigliaro (of 69 Colebrook Row) so you know you’re in good hands and comes complete with a beautifully crafted list of small plates to share with friends.