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COCKTAIL BARS

Discover the best cocktail bars in London. The city is overflowing with cocktail bars, so we’ve rounded up our favourite bars to drink a cocktail or three…

Cocktail Bars London Highlights

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 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.

Once Dalston’s best kept secret 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. One of our favourite cocktail bars in London hands down.

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.

69 COLEBROOKE ROW

69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA, United Kingdom

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.

THE CONNAUGHT BAR

The Connaught, Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL

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.

LADIES & GENTLEMEN

2 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1NR, United Kingdom

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.

HOMEBOY

Essex Road, London, Greater London N1 8LX, UK

Islington bar Homeboy is known for bringing the best of the Irish hospitality scene to London – whiskey included! Reminiscent of a cosy Irish pub, the bar on Essex Road is the perfect spot for innovative, fun cocktails or pints of Guinness and can get raucous, especially on a weekend. Cocktail wise we’d recommend the Champagne Paloma or the Zombie, which packs a punch. They also have an ex-Chiltern Firehouse chef in the kitchen knocking out some naughty Irish bar snacks like chips and curry sauce and homemade buffalo nugs, which can come in handy when you’ve had a few!

RUBY'S

72-76 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB, 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.

CALLOOH CALLAY

65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3AY

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.

THE BLOOMSBURY CLUB BAR

16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN

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.

LYANESS

20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD

If you’re out to impress, Lyaness (formerly 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?!

THE COCKTAIL TRADING CO

68 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GQ

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.

UNTITLED

538 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AH

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.

BAR TERMINI

7 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 5JE

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.

NIGHTJAR

129 City Road, London EC1V 1JB

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.

HAPPINESS FORGETS

8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU

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!

SATAN'S WHISKERS

343 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9RA

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.

FIRST AID BOX

119 Dulwich Road, London

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.

LITTLE NAN'S

Arches 13-14, Deptford Market Yard, London SE8 4BX

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.

THREE SHEETS

510b Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE, UK

Small and unshowy, Three Sheets is the kind of place you could easily walk past without a second thought. If you’re in the know though, it’s one of the best little cocktail bars in all of London. Founded by Max and Noel Venning, it’s all about classic cocktails given a modern twist, like the Shiso Miso (a take on an Old Fashioned) and the Almond Flower Sour. Simple but oh so effective.

TT LIQUOR

17 Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA, UK

Spread across three floors, TT Liquor has a 1000-bottle strong liquor store, space for drinks masterclasses, and a basement bar. And what a bar! It’s huge and has more character than you’ll find in most other East London spots, with lots of alcoves and cubby holes in what used to be jail cells during the 19th century when the building was a police station. With loads of different cocktails, beer and wine, you’re bound to find something you fancy drinking here.

THE SUN TAVERN

441 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AN, UK

This brick-lined pub, which dates back to the 1850s, may be on the small side but they’ve packed in an enormous selection of Irish whiskeys and poitin behind the bar as well as a contemporary cocktail menu, punch sharing bowls and local brews on tap. Dark and atmospheric, it’s everything you want a pub to be.

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