The Top 50 Cocktail Bars in the UK have been announced at a ceremony in London earlier this month, and it’s been revealed that 25 of them are in the capital.
2. Swift Soho
12 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TQ
“The basement den operates seven days a week and offers live music every weekend, over 300 worldly whiskies and is open from 5pm – it is also recommended that you reserve a space to avoid disappointment.”
3. The Connaught Bar
Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL
4. Tayer + Elementary
152 Old Street, London EC1V 9BW
“The venue appears as a brutalist space with concrete and exposed steel trunking, but that’s not to say it is cold and trendy for the sake of it.
“In fact, the team and the whole vibe of the venue offer a warming reception.”
5. Satan’s Whiskers
343 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9RA
“It is not your clichéd swanky London cocktail bar, but full to the brim with character that oozes from its exposed bricks, taxidermy and hip-hop music and unique décor. Unassuming would describe it in one word.”
7. Three Sheets
510b Kingsland Road, London E8 4AB
“The menu is well-put-together, with cocktails containing some interesting ingredients.
“However, the drinks are seasonal, making it a surprise whenever you visit.”
East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9LH
“A series of offers have also been created to bring some added value to this already exceptional venue, including Cocktails and Canapes, consisting of a welcome drink, two bar bites and any cocktail from the menu, which is priced at £25 per person.”
11. A Bar with Shapes for a Name
232 Kingsland Road, Whitmore Estate, London E2 8AX
“The menu usually features 12 cocktails, which are evenly split between six classics and a further six developed inhouse.”
4 Kingly Court, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW
“Each drink is served in elegant glassware with tamed garnishes or theatrics including smoke, but in a way that celebrates the drink rather than an act of causing drama.”
129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB
“Visitors to the bar tend to walk away with a pack of Nightjar playing cards, which feature pre-prohibition, prohibition, post-war, Nightjar signature and sharing serves, which is also how the menu is ordered.”
14. Homeboy Bar
108 Essex Road, London N1 8LX
“The cocktail menu is detailed and covers everything from the classics to in-house specials and of course, the Irish Coffee.
“But it’s not just one Irish coffee choice, there are three including the standard, a Pot Still and the Belfast Coffee.”
15. American Bar
The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EZ
“It is the oldest surviving cocktail bar in Britain, having opened in 1893, and is willing to share that heritage in liquid form.
“Its pedigree is phenomenal, having played home to legends of the bartending scene such as Ada Coleman, Harry Craddock and Peter Dorelli.”
17. Opium Cocktails & Dim Sum Parlour
15-16 Gerrard Street, London W1D 6JE
“Drinks in the Academy bar include Chasing the Dragon, which is made using brandy, kumquat, chilli, bitter, pineapple, cardamon, quinine and salt.”
423 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AN
“Many of the drinks celebrate regions of France and include rare Calvados and local digestifs to eau de vies and vin jaune.
“In essence, the bar champions beverages that may have otherwise been forgotten and overlooked by mass trends.”
1C Portland Place, London W1B 1JA
“Each of the drinks in the segments reflects their overarching theme, such as Grapes and Croissant in Sustainability, which is made using discarded grape skin vodka, croissant and jasmine syrup and Moet Brut Imperial.”
20. Scarfes Bar
Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
“Each member of the front-of-house team are from an incredible background of cocktail making, wine or beer, making it a formidably knowledgeable team.
“The bar is part of the five-star Rosewood London hotel and is named after London artist and former Sunday Times and New Yorker illustrator Gerald Scarfe.”
21. Trailer Happiness
177 Portobello Road, London W11 2DY
“Although slightly themed in style and offering, Trailer Happiness remains sophisticated and well thought out.
“The menus, for example, are of high design and present guests with a fun elegance.”
23. Happiness Forgets
8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU
The bar sells various bottled cocktails for guests to order online or take home with them and include the Peach Gold Rush, made using whiskey, peach, lemon and honey, East 8 Fizz, made with vodka, Aperol, passionfruit, lime, pineapple and soda; and the Ever After Martini, made with gin or vodka, dry vermouth and white tea.
25. Little Mercies
20 Broadway Parade, London N8 9DE
“The venue itself is sophisticated, welcoming and nicely designed, making it an ideal venue to go alone, with friends or even someone special.
“The menu is a good length and covers classics as well as takes on popular serves and even in house designed drinks.”
29. Laki Kane
144-145 Upper Street, London N1 1QY
“Laki Kane hosts an array of experiences including rum making classes, tropical cocktail making masterclasses, rum tasting and sharing cocktail experiences as well as romantic cocktail making sessions.”
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
“The bar’s cocktails are driven by the team’s desire to source and use unusual ingredients, merging the alien and weird into something delicious.
“The layout of the bar is fresh and open, featuring gold, blue and silver fixtures, fittings and soft furnishings.”
378 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA
“This is an exceptional venue with so many interesting drinks concepts, it is a one to visit should you either have a passion for tequila and mezcal or would like to get into the category.”
38. Bar Termini
7 Old Compton Street, London W1D 5JE
“The wines are selected and as well as the cocktails listed on the menu, bar staff are also happy to suggest and make classic cocktails should you have a preference.
“The drinks list is small but perfectly formed and why not just stick to a handful of drinks that can be made perfectly?”
1 Palace Gate, South Kensington, London W8 5LS
“The venue describes itself as a modern public house that serves seasonal cocktails and sharing plates as well as natural wines and local beers in a refined and relaxed atmosphere.”
48. Callooh Callay
65 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY
“Callooh Callay opened in November 2008 at a time when cocktail bars in the then up-and-coming Shoreditch area were thin on the ground.
“Now, however, there is a fine selection of sophisticated cocktail venues.”
50. The Cocktail Trading Co
68 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GQ
“Inside the bar, it is smart and looks the part of a good-time venue with a great atmosphere and equally great rock and roll music.
“It is decorated like an old British pub, with the central focus of the room being the bar which is filled with various nick-nacks and colourful bottles.”
For more information and to check out the full list, visit the Top 50 Cocktail Bars website