The best cocktail bars in London
69 Colebrooke Row is a tiny speakeasy hidden away in Islington. Expect experimental cocktails with some odd ingredients - think Pagan incense and clay - but it's not all weird and less adventurous cocktail drinkers will be happy too. Inside it's all about the jazz-age, so expect live music and first class service.
69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA, United Kingdom -
If you wanna splash the cash (like serious big bucks), you can't beat The Connaught Bar. It's all about the glitz and glamour, and the place is dripping in money - they even have a martini trolley! But if you're feeling a bit less 007 there are plenty of reimagined classics on the menu too. It's swish and you'll probably only be able to afford one drink, but it's so worth it.
The Connaught, Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL -
Green Park Bond Street
Drinking in a public toilet might not be your idea of a good night, but you might change your mind with a visit to Ladies & Gentlemen. Housed in a former underground toilet, the tiny cocktail bar shakes up drinks made from homemade liquors and syrups, botanicals and herbs. And if you get the munchies they also serve up some bangin' homemade sausage rolls all to the soundtrack of sweet jazz.
2 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1NR, United Kingdom -
The Sun Tavern is as much as pub as a cocktail bar, but boy does it shake up some good drinks. We love it here, mainly because of that Polynesian Punch with Somerset Pomona, Cherry Heering, Ginger Wine, Maraschino Liquor, Pink Grapefruit, Pineapple Juice and Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer. But they also do a good selection of classic cocktails if you're not up for sharing.
441 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AN, United Kingdom -
Once Dalston's best kept secrets and now a bit of a legend, Ruby's is the perfect place to grab a few cocktails. And if you wanna get your dancing shoes on, they open up their lounge at the weekend to spin the disco tunes. It's retro vibes all round and a great place to let your hair down.
72-76 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB, United Kingdom -
Some say Callooh Callay kickstarted the cocktail bar trend in Shoreditch, others just get lost through that wardrobe. Made up of three bars, including the back lounge where you have to walk through a Narnia-style wardrobe and rock & roll Palace of Humbug bar, it all sounds pretty exclusive. But at the end of the day, this place is just damn eccentric and even has a sticker book for a cocktail menu.
65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3AY -
Old Street Shoreditch High Street
Housed within the Bloomsbury Hotel, The Bloomsbury Club Bar is (as you'd expect) pretty damn swish. Taking influences from the 20s and 30s, the bar celebrates the golden age of cocktails. Inside you can expect leather armchairs, low lighting and wall-to-wall bookshelves, but outside is the real selling point, there's an undercover terrace filled with fairy lights and greenery - perfect for that special date.
16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN -
Tottenham Court Road
If you're out to impress, Dandelyan ticks all the boxes. Housed in the Mondrian, the bar is pretty swish and the cocktails push the boundaries. Expect drinks to include everything from chalk bitters and crystal peach nectar to dandelion capillaire. Everything is a bit of show-off here, but who doesn't like a bit of posh now and then?!
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD -
If you're after variety The Cocktail Trading Co will shake up more than enough drinks to have you stumbling home. They even do 'A Bag O'Chips cocktail' with 'Roast Potato' seasoning syrup, and if you're not down with the weird and wonderful concoctions, there's plenty of classics on the menu too.
68 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GQ -
Shoreditch High Street
It comes as no surprise that you can drink in a tin-foil covered room in Dalston, but what's actually shocking is that it's a pretty swish cocktail bar not a crack den. Untitled takes inspo from Andy Warhol's factory and the drinks are like works of art - you can even drink one out of what looks like a vagina! For a night like no other (quite literally), Untitled is the one.
538 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AH -
Dalston Junction Dalston Kingsland
Bar Termini in Soho is the perfect spot for date night cocktails. It's Italian vibes all round at the small cocktail bar with table service and some of the best Negroni's in town - and they come straight from the bottle! If Negronis ain't your thing they'll pretty much shake up anything your heart desires for about a tenner too.
7 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 5JE -
Tottenham Court Road
If you're after jazz and cocktails, Nightjar is the one. The subterranean speakeasy bar is one of the best in town with table service and inventive cocktails, alongside all the classics. It's proper old school, but super popular so don't forget to book a table.
129 City Road, London EC1V 1JB -
Happiness Forgets is an oldie but a goodie. The speakeasy is in a tiny candle-lit basement in Hoxton and serves up some damn fine cocktails. As you'd imagine, it's a popular one so book a table or get down there early as they won't let the rabble stand in the corner here!
8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU -
Taxidermy, hip-hop and cocktails? It's all going down at Satan's Whiskers. The place might look like a bit of a dive bar from the outside, but inside it's a pretty fancy cocktail bar with a regularly changing menu. No two visits will be the same here and it's sure to impress.
343 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9RA -
Bethnal Green Cambridge Heath
First Aid Box is just what the doctor ordered with an alcoholic twist! They have everything from a Blueberry & Quinoa cocktail to a Matcha & Pistachio and if you're going against your prescription, there's always a Cigarettes & Coffee cocktail. The medicinal theme runs throughout the interiors and this place is defo worth the trek to Herne Hill.
119 Dulwich Road, London -
A night at Little Nan's will be like no other. The cocktail bar is not only filled with random furniture, knik-knacks and family heirlooms, but the menus are completely bonkers too and you can drink everything from Lady Butcher and Lord Beppe Di Marco to Barbie Girl. With a solid soundtrack and super friendly staff, it's one worth ticking off your list.
Arches 13-14, Deptford Market Yard, London SE8 4BX -
Deptford Deptford Bridge