Where to Find the Best Cocktails in London

London might be the capital of Britain but one thing is for sure, it is definitely the capital of drinking too. Celebratory drinks, an afterwork tipple with a friend or a much needed chill time cocktail with yourself while reading a book, London will satisfy all.

The high standard of venues, bartenders and creatives in the industry is overwhelming. There’s a new cocktail bar opening every week. But where to start? Worry not as I’ve arranged these drinking dens based on their location. Though you’ll find many more, this is a good starting point.

While all-time classics such as Dukes Bar, Artesian or the American Bar at the Savoy remain as classics of the cocktail scene in the capital, I’ve left them out because everybody knows them and they are well-established institutions.

Today I want to bring your attention to some new locations as well as well-known bars that have recently revamped their drinking menu. We’ll be covering Mayfair, Soho, Shoreditch, King’s Cross and the South Bank.

Shall we begin?

MAYFAIR

1. Kwãnt

Kwant Bar – Image sourced from their website

Kwānt (the phonetic spelling of ‘Quaint’) is the bar of Momo Restaurant, a North African and Mediterranean gastro brasserie in the heart of Mayfair on Heddon Street. Erik Lorinkz, the multi-award winning bartender who helped bring The Savoy’s American Bar to the number one spot at The World’s 50 Best Bar Awards in 2017, is behind it. There are about 24 drinks on the menu plus five non-alcoholic.

What cocktail should you try? Our Gimlet
Price of cocktails: £15

Location: 25 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BH (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus

 

2. The Connaught Bar

The Connaught Bar

The Connaught Bar – Image sourced from their website

The ultra-swish bar at the Connaught is ranked as one of London’s best places for a fancy drink. Textured walls in platinum silver leaf and a cool grey bar set a stylish tone are the background to the experience. The bar, designed by David Collins, evokes English and Irish Cubist art of the 1920s, with a touch of timeless elegance. Martinis are served in the most special way: A trolley is wheeled to your table and the drink is made in situ before your eyes.

What cocktail should you try? Connaught Martini
Price of cocktails: £21

Location: Carlos Pl, London W1K 2AL (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Bond Street

 

3. Mr Fogg’s

Mr Fogg’s – Image sourced from their website

Named after the Victorian explorer, all adventurous venues by Mr Fogg’s have the same theme and their objective is to transport you back to the Victorian era. The place is decorated with the explorer’s artefacts from ‘around the world’. Every wall is covered with hunting rifles, stuffed animals, weathered flags and maps. The cocktail list is an exploration itself, fun to read and discover and even better to taste.

What cocktail should you try? Dragon Fountain
Price of cocktails: £15

Location: 15 Bruton Ln, Mayfair, London W1J 6JD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Green Park

 

SOHO

4. Swift

Bar Swift – Image sourced from their website

Divided into two areas – Upstairs and Downstairs – I recommend you start with the buzzy and more casual bar on the ground level. Upstairs has a short and effective drinks menu that you might want to pair with some food – oysters are amazing here. The look is faintly Italian and the bird thematic has to do with who runs the bar: Bobby and Mia Hiddleston, who collaborate with the Nightjar and Oriole.

What cocktail should you try? Sgroppino
Price of cocktails: £9

Location: 12 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4TQ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Leicester Square / Tottenham Court Road

 

5. Bar Termini

Bar Termini – Image by Lou Stejskal

This all-day heaven of coffee and cocktails takes inspiration by Rome’s Termini train station. Tony Conigliaro the alco-alchemist behind 69 Colebrooke Row and Zetter Town House (among others) is the one supervising the drinks. Classics such as Spritz and Negronis are taken to new heights. The place seats 25 only, so making a reservation is crucial.

What cocktail should you try? Spritz Termini
Price of cocktails: £11.5

Location: 7 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 5JE (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Leicester Square / Tottenham Court Road

 

6. Blind Pig

The Blind Pig

The Blind Pig – Image sourced from their website

Hidden above the Michelin-starred restaurant, the award-winning bar The Blind Pig, offers creative cocktails as well as fine wines and beers. The vibe is nostalgic, antique mirrored ceilings, reclaimed wooden chairs and a copper-topped bar help to the low-lit vintage atmosphere. The cocktail menu is inspired by children’s literature giving you the chance to travel through your favourite childhood stories.

What cocktail should you try? Queen Bee
Price of cocktails: £12

Location: 58 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7NR (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus

 

SHOREDITCH

7. Cocktail Trading Company

Cocktail Trading Company

Cocktail Trading Company – Image sourced from their website

The Cocktail Trading Company in Shoreditch is the new bar off Brick Lane after the original one in Soho closed its doors to the public. This comfy nice venue has wood-panelled walls and retro decoration. The superb skills of the bartenders and the amazing look of all their creations will make you return to this place.

What cocktail should you try? Intercontinental Punch
Price of cocktails: £9.50

Location: 68 Bethnal Green Rd, Shoreditch, London E1 6GQ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street / Whitechapel

 

8. Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay – Image sourced from their website

Callooh Callay, a quirky but classy hideout, opened in November 2008 and it serves some of the best cocktails in east London. Flick through the Bar Manual cocktail menu, which by the way is housed in an empty cassette case and enjoy a lively and good times bar. You’ll be surprises by the expertly crafted.

What cocktail should you try? Rust & Oil
Price of cocktails: £10.50

Location: 65 Rivington St, Hackney, London EC2A 3AY (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street

 

9. TT Liquor

TT Liquor

TT Liquor – Image sourced from their website

There’s plenty to do in TT Liquor. From street-level shopping to underground bar. From cocktail-making classes to cult movie screenings. To name a few. This former police station was transformed by TT’s founders who also helped set up the Sun Tavern and Discount Suit. The cocktail menu references different eras of barmanship.

What cocktail should you try? Rosetta
Price of cocktails: £10.50

Location: 17B Kingsland Rd, Hackney, London E2 8AA (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street

 

KING’S CROSS

10. Double Standard

Double Standard

Double Standard – Image sourced from their website

The Standard’s first UK hotel opened this summer inside a brutalist building in King’s Cross. Double Standard is the bar of The Standard, London Hotel. For an after-work tipple, the hotel’s street-facing bar Double Standard pours craft beer, wine and cocktails. The atmosphere is New York City dive-bar style fare and you’ll certainly be transported to America for as long as you keep sipping your cocktails.

What cocktail should you try? Chocolate Stout Martini
Price of cocktails: £10

Location: 5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: King’s Cross

 

11. Permit Room

Permit Room

Permit Room – Image sourced from their website

Housed within a Victorian industrial building of King’s Cross, The Permit Room is a handsome cocktail location. The King’s Cross branch of Dishoom – the popular London chain of Bombay cafes with branches in Shoreditch and Covent Garden – has a drinks list focusing on old-school cocktails.

What cocktail should you try? Tehmul’s Tangle
Price of cocktails: £10

Location: 10 Argyle St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 8EG (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: King’s Cross

 

12. SUPERMAX

SUPERMAX

SUPERMAX – Image sourced from their website

SUPERMAX is the new subterranean cocktail bar – good luck finding it! – from the team behind Spiritland with decor that’s all about curved edges and soft neon. Hidden beneath Happy Face pizza restaurant, this underground bar serves cocktails that contain vermouth or a fortified wine plus a fun disco-themed venue. Fridays at SUPERMAX are fun to say the least.

What cocktail should you try? Amer Citron
Price of cocktails: £6

Location: 14-18 Handyside St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DN (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: King’s Cross

 

SOUTH BANK & LONDON BRIDGE

13. Lyaness

Lyaness

Lyaness – Image sourced from their website

Located in the Sea Containers building, Lyaness is the brand new bar from the award-winning Mr Lyan and team. The iconic space overlooking the Thames has an inventive cocktail menu that uses seven ingredients such as ‘King Monkey Nut’ and ‘Purple Pineapple’ to create memorable drinks.

What cocktail should you try? Tropical Martinez
Price of cocktails: £13.5

Location: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark

 

14. Nine Lives

Nine Lives

Nine Lives – Image sourced from their website

Nine Lives, a subterranean drinking den on Holyrood Street, bases their cocktails on a zero-waste ethos. Cocktailing maestros behind Sweet&Chilli (a specialist drinks agency) created an inspiring menu that is sustainable. For example, they re-use lemon pith to create essential oils for the bar’s liqueurs and they compost waste to help nurture an herb garden.

What cocktail should you try? El Tigré
Price of cocktails: £14

Location: 8 Holyrood St, London SE1 2EL (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge

 

15. Oblix

Oblix

Oblix – Image sourced from their website?

Last but not least, Oblix is not only a great place for cocktails, but also a place to admire London’s beauty while sipping one. Located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, Oblix is is the latest and very original creation from Rainer Becker, chef and restaurateur of Zuma Restaurant. Food is also amazing.

What cocktail should you try? Coconut
Price of cocktails: £13.5

Location: The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge

If you liked this list, don’t miss our Top 10 Haut Cuisine Restaurants in London

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