Best Cocktail Bars in London
Not only does London serve some of the best cocktails in the world but the bars themselves have also become works of art. No longer do you have to go to a London hotel bar to get a good cocktail; head to any part of London and you will unearth some incredible cocktail bars with equally incredible cocktails. Also look out for the new phenomenon of cocktails with theatre: smoking, flaming, bubbling...expect the unexpected. We have selected our best London cocktail bars based on the ambience, decor and the cocktails themselves. So if you want a great cocktail in London, head to one of the following recommended cocktail bars London.
Purl, Central London
Purl is one of the most imaginative cocktail bars around; think nitrogen gas and delicious aromas in the air. With a name derived from an Old English tipple made from gin and ale, Purl sets itself up for unusual drinks and that's exactly what you get.
NOLA, East London
An international award winning bar based in Shoreditch, this incredible cocktail haunt is inspired by the culture and history of New Orleans. Promising a cigar terrace, an authentically-inspired drinks list and a cool-as-you-like ambience, Nola is hidden away above Bedroom Bar on Rivington Street.
Simmons Camden, North London
With master mixologists at the helm, Simmons Camden is easily one of the best cocktail bars in London. During their outrageously long happy hour (five hours, to be exact - every day!), guests can get their hands on two cocktails for £10, or a spirit and mixer for only £2.50. As one of our recommended cocktail bars in London, book your spot now!
Callooh Callay, East London
Frequently popping up in lists of the best cocktail bars around, including Best Cocktail Menu 2014 at The DesignMyNight Awards, Callooh Callay is easily one of the best spots for cocktails in London. With an eclectic, comic book style list of extraordinary cocktails, and an ever changing menu of wonderfully original names, Kilner Me Softly being a personal favourite, Callooh Callay is a must for any wannabe cocktail aficionado.
The Attic at Pan Peninsula, East London
An amazing cocktail bar on the 48th floor of the Pan Peninsula in Canary Wharf, The Attic at Pan Peninsula is an incredible venue. With 360 degree views of London, they offer a whole array of whisky, vodka, gin and champagne based cocktails, available at prices that won't break the bank.
The Toy Shop, South London
Drink from the fountain of youth and indulge in some nostalgia infused cocktails that The Toy Shop has on offer - look forward to 'gee-haw whammy diddle fizz' or 'play-doh milk punch'. A great London cocktail bar that offers something a little different, be sure to reserve a spot for you and your friends as this one can get really busy.
Oskar's Bar At Dabbous, Central London
Craft Cocktail Co, East London
This upstart company loves a good cocktail so much that they decided to start brewing them in the batch load. For cocktail connoisseurs who like their drinks individually mixed to perfection this may seem like sacrilege, but cocktails on tap has been a slowly growing movement for some time. Introducing, Craft Cocktail Co.
The Met Bar, Central London
Crafted using the innovative techniques of molecular mixology, guests will be mesmerized by the incredible display of cocktail production and presentation, and although they’re not cheap, these drinks are certainly worth a taste. One of London's best kept cocktail secrets.
Artesian, Central London
Recently voted the 'World's Best Bar', Artesian is an ultra-glamorous hotel bar located within the opulent Langham Hotel. Sophisticated oriental-themed decor, an exclusive ambience and some of the best cocktails in London sound okay? Yep, we thought as much.
The Chelsea Prayer Room, West London
Located above the Fulham's Goat DRINK, The Chelsea Prayer Room is a secret speakeasy style bar that serves cocktails in London using only unbranded spirits - how mysterious! Gain entry to this secret bar with an advance booking through DesignMyNight, although you had better book quick as this London cocktail bar can only host thirty guests at a time.
The London Cocktail Club Oxford Circus, Central London
At the forefront of creative mixology in London, the London Cocktail Club have five awesome venues in the city, including Shaftesbury Avenue, Goodge Street, as well as a new hangout in Shoreditch. Expect graffiti, a relaxed vibe and some incredibly impressive drinks.
Rise 46, South London
An independent neighbourhood cocktail bar in Clapham Junction, Rise 46 is all about the 1920's glitz and glam. Expect live music and a friendly buzz accompanied by quirky tipples. Cocktails served with retro sweets? Oh why not.
Looking Glass Cocktail Club, East London
Looking Glass Cocktail Club has to be one of the best cocktail bars in East London...and all of London, in fact. Incredibly unique cocktails, mesmerising decor and a magical atmosphere making Looking Glass Cocktail Club a real treat for cocktail lovers in the capital.
Happiness Forgets, East London
Hidden at the bottom of an unassuming stairwell on Hoxton Square, sits Happiness Forgets. Hide from the buzz of the square in this candlelit, intimate cocktail haven. The ethos behind this speakeasy is original, but innovative drinks, all amongst a uniquely cool atmosphere.
Opium, Central London
Discretely hidden in the heart of China Town, Opium deliver seasonal Oriental themed cocktails, using ingredients sourced locally in Chinatown. Widely considered one of London's best bars (and arguably London's best Oriental cocktail bar), Opium is the perfect place for unique and stunning cocktails in a beautiful setting.
The Nightjar Bar, East London
It would be impossible to cite the best cocktail bars in London without mentioning the infamously elusive Nightjar Bar in Shoreditch. Candle-lit tables, experimental (and extremely creative) cocktails and a genuine speakeasy feel come as standard here.
Ruby's, East London
One of the more elusive cocktail bars in London, Ruby's is a speakeasy-themed homely haunt located on the bustling Kingsland Road. Found at the bottom of an unassuming staircase, you can expect quirky decor, experimental drinks and plenty of lampshades.
Long Bar Sanderson Hotel, Central London
With a legendary status among drinks aficionados across the world, Long Bar is quite possible one of the best cocktail bars on the planet so make sure this is on your hit list in London. Located within the 5* Sanderson Hotel, experts will craft you a cocktail creation whilst you look the part sat at the gorgeous bar.
Archer Street Cocktail Lounge, Central London
If ever there were a bar with a split personality; Archer Street is bound to be the one. A seemingly fancy hotel-like bar on the surface, you can expect perfectly crafted cocktails from a super stylish setting. But just don't be surprised if the bar staff break into a collective song every now and again...
American Bar, Central London
Rumoured to have actually invented cocktail mixology, the American Bar at The Savoy is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious hotel bars in the world. You'll find a list of vintage classics as well as more contemporary tipples on the menu, which you can enjoy whilst the bar's session pianist plays his twinkling jazz seven nights a week.
White Lyan, East London
White Lyan is certainly not one to follow the crowds; you'll find absolutely no stirring, shaking, lemons, limes or even ice behind the bar at this Hoxton cocktail haunt. Instead, you'll find unpretentious, innovative and absolutely delicious drinks within a super relaxed setting. Simple.
Badar's Bar, East London
Retire to this charming cocktail bar on Hoxton Street, upstairs from the legendary Macbeth pub. You’ll encounter a vintage space reminiscent of a Parisian café with its absinthe green plants and ornate street lights. The bar stocks a carefully considered range of drinks to suit the season, and New Soul and hip-hop tunes provide the soundtrack. Great for impressing a date.
Portobello Star, West London
The oldest bar on this list, the iconic Portobello Star has been open since a stonking 1740. And by god have they progressed with the times; delicious cocktails paired with homemade fare are the order of the day here. Gin lovers, this one is definitely for you.
Worship Street Whistling Shop, East London
Combining the charm of Victorian squalor, with the elegance of grand Gin palaces, The Worship Street Whistling Shop redefines cocktails within the capital. Worship Street Whistling Shop offers up a fantastic Dram Shop for bookings of up to 8 people, where you get your own little shop to drink in and a cupboard packed full of bottles of cocktails for you to sample.
Match Bar, Central London
Located close to London's busy shopping district Oxford Circus, this relaxed haven is the ideal place to escape the crowds and kick back with a cocktail or two. Match Bar combines superbly crafted cocktails and a cool atmosphere to make it one of the more desirable bars in the area.
The Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town, East London
Super secret and only accessible through a fridge door (no, really) if you want to visit the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town's basement cocktail bar, you're going to have to ask nicely. Head to The Breakfast Club in Shoreditch for a bite to eat beforehand - and if he lets you in - enjoy the Mayor's varied range of quirky and classic cocktails.
Shaker&Company, Central London
Even running their own cocktail masterclass and school, Shaker&Company know what they're doing with their drinks. The bar is New Orleans inspired, so expect oak barrels, blues and jazz, soul food and a cracking atmosphere.