Top 10 Places to Drink an Old Fashioned in London
In 1920s America, people were hiding from the law. The Prohibition, banning alcohol under the constitution (oh the horror) forced the population to flee into dark rooms under false pretences to satisfy their alcoholic urges. And what better way to mark each illicit occasion than with a cocktail, filled with whiskey, bitters and lemon juice? This is where the Old Fashioned comes in. We have compiled a list of the most deceitful, secretive bars in London, with echoes of 1920s glamour, inspired by a cocktail that was not afraid to be blatant in its illegal content.
Last updated on 19th February 2018
Hankering for some of the sexiest cocktails in the city, from a location that knows their way around an Old Fashioned like almost no other in the city? Let the vintage trinkets, unique ingredients and prime flavours of the elusive Purl be your guide.
Stillwater is a fun-loving cocktail bar and kitchen in Wandsworth that serves only massive nights out to South London's crowds. Chef Brett Milligan has worked tirelessly to produce an enticing menu of Cajun food, while cocktail masters Dan Priseman (previously of NOLA Bar in Shoreditch) and Simon Webster have produced a line-up of classic concoctions that can compete with any in London.
Moments from Old Street, a movie-star, knock-out bar is hiding. The Gibson is an inventive and exuberant bar with live piano music that brings back 1920s vibes. Ask the master mixologists to mix up an Old Fashioned to truly show your respect to The Prohibition.
With three daily specials, The Devil's Darling is all about quality rather than quantity. The quirky bar in Shoreditch includes a painted mural, retro furnishings, vinyl music and low lighting as bar tenders mix up classic cocktails, without gimmicks, including a mean Old Fashioned.
Located beneath retro cinema lights in Dalston, Ruby's transports us to another era, with drinks served in 1940s milk cartons, accompanied by antique lampshades and bottles drooling the wax of ancient candles to decorate the stripped back basement room. Pop in for an Old Fashioned on the rocks with a twist of lemon peel for garnish and escape into a different time.
This beautiful space, with its unpainted walls and antique furniture, is everything a speakeasy should be. An adventure down a side street near Great Portland Street station will bring you into a secluded basement, with a bar ornately painted in 1920's Art Deco style, accompanied by frequent live music to kick the atmosphere into shape. Order your Old Fashioned here and keep on guzzling, but don't let that boozy tongue slip once you leave this secret hangout.
Tricky to find behind heavy, unsigned wooden doors, sandwiched between shops near Old Street station, the basement room pulsates with live music, friendly bar staff and a buzzing atmosphere. Look out for the Toronto, a development on the Old Fashioned, with candy floss, orange blossom smoke and a coffee and roasted pecan syrup thrown in, all mixed with a delicious Woodford Reserve Bourbon.
Heralded for their New Orleans stance and speakeasy interiors, when it comes to grabbing an Old Fashioned in London, this drinking nook is the ultimate gem. Head on down to their Bethnal Green bar for the ultimate taste in this bold and classic cocktail.
When it comes to drinking one of the best Old Fashioned cocktails in London, your best bet is a speakeasy, and we've just the one for you. Head to The Bootlegger for a dose of days gone by and one of the boldest Old Fashioneds in the business.
Another Shoreditch hangout, this bar pushes the envelope of cocktail making. With ingredients such as 'eatable eggshell', these cocktails are exciting, a match for the daring dos of 1920s American rebels. The Old Fashioned is an evolution, audaciously made in the world's first ever live 'Ron Zacapa Rum' solera system. Victorian themed and thus dimly lit, this venue has an enticing atmosphere that rivals that Old Fashioned boldness.