Best Cocktail Bars In London

These bars take things to the next level when it comes to mastering flavour. From billows of dry ice to specially sourced liquor, these establishments make drinking cocktails an art form, celebrated across everything from the interiors down to signature menus. Whether it's renowned favourites gracing the world's Top 50 lists or hidden gems boasting unparalleled service, delve into our curated selection of the best cocktail bars London has to offer in 2024.

Last edited by katie kirwan

Last updated on 16th May 2024




Silverleaf

Potentially the best cocktail bar in the City of London, Silverleaf is slinging out deluxe drinks until 2am seven nights a week. Think sultry black interiors, hidden bar areas and a cracking selection of spirits, with concoctions like watermelon sake and Roku gin with olive oil on the menu. This spot is also home to Alba, a hidden bar and tasting room with an intimate feel, offering whisky and cocktail tastings.

The Ten Bells

Address: 84, Commercial Street, E1 6LY

The Ten Bells is a pillar of Spitalfields drinking, tucked away on the corner of Brick Lane, but have you discovered their secret cocktail bar upstairs yet? Under the trusted guidance of renowned head bartender Jerome Slesinski, a talented bar team whip up signature short drinks made with home-infused spirits and a flourish of class. Vintage Chesterfields, mis-matched tables and iconic artworks contribute to the ambience. Our favourite party? You can buy an espresso martini three ways, with vodka, rum and Jagermeister. 

TT Liquor

TT Liquor is a popular spot in Shoreditch, serving concoctions made from only the finest spirits, complete with their own liquor shop upon entry. You can take part in cocktail masterclasses here too, as well as tasting sessions or even private cinema experiences. And if the sky-high terrace with rooftop views isn't your thing (let's talk about that), they've got an intimate cellar bar too.

Callooh Callay

Address: 65, Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY

A favourite on the East London drinking scene, Callooh Callay has been churning out award-winning drinks for more than 10 years - including their nostalgic Pokemon-themed menu. Split into two, the venue has chilled 70s-style seating downstairs, while upstairs the secret JubJub room awaits. Named in the Top 50 Cocktail Bars three times and the International's World's Best Bars four times, this spot has received some pretty high praise and continues to keep the back streets of Shoreditch on the map. 

Swift Soho

Address: 12, Old Compton Street, W1D 4TQ

Created by the successful group behind Nightjar, Swift is a cocktail bar that's forever changed the way we think of a 'quick drink' between events. You can often find live piano music here, and alongside their creative concoctions there's a whisky library with a great choice of both premium and affordable drams. This spot was awarded 30th place in the World's 50 Best Bars 2022, thanks to an expert team of mixologists serving classic and inventive cocktails to its guests in Soho, Shoreditch and Borough.

Lyaness

Address: 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD

Stunning Southbank bar Lyaness was created by the multi-award-winning Ryan Chetiyawardana, found in the Sea Containers London hotel. Their cocktail menu displays a passion for the weird and wonderful, using innovative ingredients for a focus on flavour. You'll drink the likes of the Chestnut Rubble, made with beeswax and the (Im)perfect Martini, featuring Grass Amazake among a range of bespoke tipples. Sip these kooky concoctions in a plush blue velvet booth, or at the opulent green marble bar.

Lucy Wong

Happy Hour 💋 and 3 other offers

Address: 33-34 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1JN

Lucy Wong brings a touch of Cantonese glamour to its Fitzrovia basement cocktail bar, inspired by A World of Suzie Wong' by Richard Mason. Touches of dusty pink and traditional Chinese tapestries bring the luxury of the 1950s to life when inside, set alongside a cocktail menu celebrating Asian spirits, created by award-winning mixologist Dré Masso. Visit Lucy Wong from 5 to 7pm and enjoy 2-4-1 cocktails. 

Prelude By Oriole

A speakeasy-style pop-up serving us a taste of things to come at their permanent reopening later this year, Prelude By Oriole is a top choice for cocktails and Nikkei-inspired small plates, located in Covent Garden. Expect tasty dishes like roasted pumpkin, raw scallops with kiwi or mouthwatering beef tartare, while listening to live piano music and sipping on beautifully-presented drinks like the grapefruit-flavoured Acadia.

Laki Kane

Bottomless and 3 other offers

Address: 144-145, Upper Street, London, N1 1QY

Laki Kane, found on Upper Street in Islington, is a cocktail bar that aims to whisk you far away from the big smoke. One of the most tropical places to drink in the whole of the city, not only are there theatrical nights and regular burlesque dancers to keep things fiery, their cocktail menu matches the overseas energy of the interiors promising bubbling drinks and international flavours. Sticking around? Try their rum masterclass too.

SOMA Soho

Address: 14 Denman St, London W1D 7HJ

Prepare to be seduced by brooding basement cocktail bar SOMA – bringing Indian-inspired drinks and speakeasy vibes to Soho, tucked away beneath hailed Indian restaurant, Kricket. From private sofa nooks to a 25-seater stainless steel bar, this intimate spot has an air of exclusivity and romance. Make your way through the reimagined classics on the cocktail menu, featuring a rum blend with blueberry yoghurt and a green mango whisky number. Good to know? They have a 3am licence. 

Disrepute

Aperitivo Hour

Address: 4 Kingly Ct, Carnaby, London W1F 9RS

Disrepute has an iconic cocktail reputation in the city, and makes this list for its drinks, interiors and history combined. Hidden away in Kingly Court, the Soho basement has lived one hell of a life, including as the setting for the Profumo Scandal in the 60s. Known for its elite service, this is a space where the sixties and modernity combine, with each space a new experience, with a soundtrack of jazz to boost the setting.

The Cocktail Club - Various Sites

Come to The Cocktail Club, formerly known as London Cocktail Club, to soak up the ambience and prepare to make some big decisions at the bar. Concoctions like the vanilla flavoured Beverly Hills and the Bramley Apple Smash are every shade of delicious, each mixed with the style and substance that makes these bars such a fan favourite.

Opium

Address: 15-16 Gerrard Street, London, W1D 6JE

Discretely hidden behind a door in the heart of China Town and run by bar moguls Dre Masso and Eric Yu, Opium delivers seasonal Asian-style cocktails using locally sourced ingredients, along side dim sum bites. If you can find Opium tucked between the local restaurants and cafes, this venue is the perfect place for unique and stunning concoctions like the Cherry On Top or an elderflower-infused Twinkle Star, all in a beautiful, rich-red setting.

Nightjar Shoreditch

Address: 129 City Road, Shoreditch,London, EC1V 1JB

It would be impossible to create this list without mentioning the award-winning Nightjar in Shoreditch and Carnaby. Candle-lit tables, experimental (and extremely creative) drinks and a genuine speakeasy feel come as standard here, once again hidden behind a subtle wooden door just shy of Old Street roundabout. Not only are serves a form of entertainment here, with each drink in its own special glass or decanter, hey also host live music from 9pm every night, with a heavy focus on jazz, perfect for some romance.

Burnt Faith Brandy House

Address: 57, Sutherland Rd, E17 6BH

Hailed as the UK's first dedicated brandy house, Burnt Faith Brandy House in Walthamstow is whipping up takes on classic cocktails using its very own distilled spirit, tucked away on an industrial estate (with the brandy making done on ther ground floor below). Our recommendation? Try the vestry apple sour with a kick and a sazerac using Devil's Botany absinthe. Brandy espresso martini? Yep, they have one of those too. 

Burlock

Drink 4 Less until 24th May! and 7 other offers

Taking its inspiration from the 1920s Havana heydays, Burlock features a selection of more than 200 different types of rum at its cosy set-up in the heart of Mayfair. The rum blends are matched by a selection of Cuban and Caribbean food to complete the experience, and you can get 50% off cocktails when you book on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.

The Wild Monkey

One of the best cocktail bars in London's Covent Garden, found inside the Waldorf, The Wild Monkey is a top-notch shout for date nights and group outings alike. This pretty pop-up bar from Monkey 47 slings out the most divine drinks - think botanical gin tipples and premium Champagne served in a stunning aesthetic.

Temper Shoreditch Bar

Address: 78 Great Eastern St, London, EC2A 3JL

temper is already well known on the London foodie scene for its open fire meat and barbecue classes, but what does their Shoreditch bar bring to the table? Not only is the temper Shoreditch Bar a wall to wall experience of chill drink and 'unpretentious service'. They pride themselves on smoky cocktails with a mezcal first approach to mixes. Stick around in one of their sweeping butter yellow booths to enjoy 80s and 90s music with a dash of hip hop on the side.

Fitz’s

Address: 1-8 Russell Sq, London WC1B 5BE

Fitz's in Russell Square is a truly unique drinking den that boasts an old school glamour unmatched by any other bar in the city, thanks to scalloped velvet seating, dark panelled walls, ostrich feathers and a traditional fireplace. From its lavish furnishings to the expertly-curated menu of high-end cocktails, including the immersive Theory of Colour menu that features never-seen before concoctions to match your personality, it's a perfect date night or celebratory location.

Homeboy Islington

Saturday Spud Brunch; Dish & A Drink

Address: 108 Essex Rd, London, N1 8LX

Awarded fourth best new international cocktail bar in the Spirited Awards 2019 and number 11 in the Top 50 cocktail bars for the same year, Homeboy has made its mark on North London's cocktail scene, providing the patrons of Islington with Irish hospitality (and food) with cocktails set across three core pillars. Set across Irish whiskey, contemporary drinks and modern classics, Homeboy give all guests a taste not only of the Emerald Isle, but of their skill set. We recommending the Grasshopper with creme de menthe, a showstopper every time.

The Luggage Room

Address: Grosvenor Sq, London W1K 6JP

Step back in to the 1920s with this secretive spot inside the London Marriott Hotel on Grosvenor Square. Inspired by the Bentley Boys (a wealthy handful of young men known for racing their luxury cars and living nearby), The Luggage Room is a homage to each racer, celebrating the famous group throughout the bar. The cocktail menu is equally a reflection of timeless drinks and flavours, spanning across decades. We recommend the 'Corn N Oil' , complete with El Dorado 12-year.

 

Common Late

Looking for a unique cocktail experience? Check out Common Late, a vintage apothecary bar concocting bespoke craft and classic cocktails that are sure to tantalize your tastebuds. The perfect spot for a night out with friends, head over to indulge in quality cocktails like the French 75 and a Toast 2 Tiramisu and enjoy the view.

The Little Scarlet Door

£5 Picantes

Address: 12-13 Greek Street, W1D 4DL

You can always rely on Soho's The Little Scarlet Door for fun vibes and bespoke concoctions. Head inside for metropolitan vibes, inspired by New York's iconic loft apartments (as seen with chic sofas, flower pots and industrial touches), alongside a drinks list to die for. Think movie-themed drinks or sharing cocktails in funky mixing bowls, here or at their sister venues The Little Blue Door (Fulham), The Little Orange Door (Clapham) and The Little Yellow Door (Notting Hill). Our favourite part about The Little Scarlet Door? You can get £5 picantes from Monday to Thursday if you head in before 6pm. 

Moonshine Saloon: Western Cocktail Experience

@ Moonshine Saloon on Various dates from Tuesday 21st May 2024

The illusive Moonshine Saloon is popping up for a few days a week to bring you a rootin' tootin' good time. This immersive experience is found in Houndsditch, where you will be part of the theatrical fun as you smuggle in booze and try to avoid the Sheriff. Discover their secret bar for a night of cowboys, cocktails and Sheriffs breathing down your neck - starting from just £36.50 per person.

Demon, Wise and Partners

Address: 27a, Throgmorton Street, London, EC2N 2AN

Demon, Wise & Partners have been setting the standard for cocktails in the City of London for quite some time now. A seating-only cocktail bar hidden beneath The Arbitrager, close to Bank, their menu is thoughtful and bespoke, with two of their signature cocktails regularly changed once 100 serves of each have been made. When you're not exploring the extravagant cocktail menu (with time for the classics) there's absinthe on the menu, served 19th century style.

Two One Four

Two One Four is a secret speakeasy found beneath the iconic pasta restaurant Flour & Grape. Expect low lighting, industrial decor and leather stools at the bar, where you'll find a collection of over 100 gins, alongside Italian bar snacks from the kitchen upstairs. Gin lovers benefit from a selection of flight experiences here, with a signature menu of cocktails promising twists on the classics.

Basement Sate

Heralded for their sweet treats, not only is Basement Sate the front runner for desserts in the city, their cocktails are a smash hit too. From their bespoke, speakeasy inspired setting to their hand-made concoctions like the tequila-based El Diablo or a Twinkle with vodka and elderflower, this Soho venue is not to be missed. Fancy having a go yourself? You can take part in cocktail masterclasses here too.

Alcotraz London: Cell Block Two-One-Two

@ Alcotraz Penitentiary: London on Various dates from Tuesday 21st May 2024

Cocktail bars don't get quirkier than this. Hidden behind shutters is a secret prison, where bribery and contraband rule, Alcotraz is one hell of a drinking experience. You'll have to smuggle your favourite liquor past the guards and get into the hands of one of the other inmates, who can mix you up something grand. But don't, under any circumstances, get caught.

Map Maison

Cocktails & Tapas

Address: 321 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4DL

Styled as a cosy cafe during the day and a bustling cocktail bar at night, Map Maison is a characterful, colourful spot that's always adapting and changing itself to suit the demands of East London's cocktail drinkers. What this spot excels at, however, is Japanese whisky - of which they have London's largest collection (with imports from Finland, Taiwan and New Zealand), all considered and included as part of their cocktail menu. What's more, you can join in with drinks tastings, masterclasses, afternoon teas and bottomless brunches here.

Funkidory

Address: 42 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR

Some bars claim to have neighbourhood vibes, run by neighbourhood owners, but with Peckham cocktail spot Funkidory, that couldn't be more true. Opened in 2018 and ran by couple Sergio and Anna, these Peckham locals took what they knew of the industry and applied it all to a place of their own. Not only is their cocktail menu a celebration of their knowledge, with classics and unique drinks available, their 'urban lounge' style bar has a playlist of funky hits to match its name, perfect for those with a leaning towards soul music and great drinks. 

Scarfes Bar

This luxury Holborn spot boasts marble walls, cosy velvet armchairs and a roaring fireplaces, as well as shelves filled with countless antique books. As the name suggests, this spot is inspired by artist Gerald Scarfe, whose artwork decorates the walls. The carefully curated cocktails range from the campari, rhubarb and hibiscus blend Higher Power to the mezcal-focused El Bandito.

Little Mercies

Address: 20 Broadway Parade, London N8 9DE

From the brains behind the award-winning cocktail bar Three Sheets, Little Mercies has a lot to live up to. Keeping the interiors simple so the drinks get to shine, their impressive menu features a wide range of concoctions below £12. Expect classics like the margarita and an espresso martini, alongside bold blends like the kiwi gimlet and a Snickers old fashioned. They also have some incredible sharing plates from crab toast to a cheese burger crumpet. 

Three Sheets

Award-winning neighbourhood bar Three Sheets is ready to transport you to cocktail heaven with a mind-blowing menu of crafted sips – to be enjoyed in their stripped-back, intimate Dalston drinker's den. Highlights include the American Coffee, made from maple butter whisky, and the dirty martini containing olive oil and sea salt.  

Nine Lives

With sustainability at the forefront, Nine Lives is dedicated to providing a space for ethical drinking that's also super stylish and unique. From second-hand furniture to an on-site herb garden and compost system, this bar is doing its bit for the planet while whipping up some incredible drinks. Expect cocktails of the tropical variety, such as margaritas, a Russian spring punch and the Crossfire Hurricane – paired with Mexican grub straight from the taco truck. 

Satan's Whiskers

Bethnal Green's original neighbourhood cocktail bar Satan's Whiskers offers a unique drinking experience, complete with taxidermy decor, hip hop tracks and an ever-changing drinks menu championing top-quality ingredients. Past favourites have included the luminous Midori Sour, the banana-flavoured German Whip and the multi-coloured American Beauty. 

Connaught Bar

Though it's a little pricier, the iconic Connaught Bar in Mayfair is well worth a visit. Found in the famous hotel, this Cubist-inspired drinking den screams decadence, from its shimmering silver walls to the Champagne cocktails. Having recently won best hotel bar in the Tatler Travel Guide, amongst many other achievements, this sophisticated venue has it all.

Bar Termini

Address: 7 Old Compton St, London, W1D 5JE

Serving coffee by day and cocktails by night, this cocktail gem is bringing Italian flair to Soho's Compton Street, one drink at a time. Fronting four house negronis and a collection of expertly crafted cocktails, all priced at £14, there's plenty sips to keep you busy. Whether you're in the mood for a marsala martini, peach bellini or a bloody Mary made from horseradish vodka, it's only right to pair it with authentic Italian cheese and ham, served up by staff in old-school bar uniforms. Top tip? They sell glassware and china too, if you want to take a piece of your experience home.