If spending the festive season stuck behind bars sounds like an awful idea, you clearly haven't been to Alcotraz. Don an orange jumpsuit and head to Covent Garden or Shoreditch for bespoke cocktails and seasonal sips made from a bottle of your own favourite booze.
Christmas Cocktails in London
From mince pie martinis to Baileys-filled chocolate reindeer, winter sees London's best cocktail bars get more creative than ever before. Whether you're planning a festive date-night, a pre-Winter Wonderland tipple or a party for all your office pals, these festive libations will ensure everyone is feeling merry and bright all night long. Get your jingle on with our guide to the best Christmas cocktails in London.
Cosy up in one of Skylight's heated igloos and enjoy a selection of wintertime treats, from sharing raclettes to mulled wine and cider. Boasting its very own ice-rink as well as panoramic views of the city, this is the perfect festive spot to enjoy a tipple - we recommend the Jalisco Sky; a marshmallow-infused tequila concoction.
Madison's iconic terrace will be transformed into an enchanted wood this winter, complete with faux fur blankets, heater and plenty of warming cocktails. Expect unique twists on their classic sips, along with jugs of vin brulé - an Italian mulled wine.
Fancy a little festive cocktail action? Head south of the river where Clapham hotspot Archer Street has popped up with a ski club touting alpine vibes, themed drinks and club nights. If you're after a boozy night out, this is your spot.
Part of the Gordon Ramsay family, Bread Street Kitchen's Christmas concoction this year is the Porthos Verre. A short sip with St Germain Liqueur and Grey Goose at its heart, you'll be feeling merry and bright in no time at all. Head here on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday and enjoy the electric atmosphere of one of the Street Lates sessions, complete with live DJs and mouth-watering bar snacks.
We've had figgy pudding-inspired The Fig Poppa, festive brunch dishes, stonking seasonal set menus... and now? Dirty Bones is back with the same mouthwatering chow and a few themed cocktails to wash it all down. Our pick has got to be this cranberry-fuelled Vixen.
Drake and Morgan have created a handful of creative tipples for your pleasure this December. Try their signature Bailey's Reindeer that pairs the classic liqueur with Bulleit Bourbon, cream and chocolate bitters for an indulgent sweet sip that will have you reminiscing on advent calendars and selection boxes of years gone by.
An alpine-style lodge nestled under the Hungerford Bridge on Southbank, this cosy spot is the perfect place to get into the festive spirit. Decked out with heated chalet booths, board games and, of course, yule-tide tipples, head here for warming rum-based concoctions.
West London's cosiest flat, The Little Yellow Door will be getting a giant yuletide makeover this December, complete with Christmas trees and tinsel galore. But the festivities don't stop there; the menu will also be gaining a few new additions, including the mince pie rum sour - a zesty sip served alongside a teeny-tiny mince pie - a drink worthy of the big guy himself.
Located in the heart of Soho, Archer Street Cocktail Lounge is the perfect place for some post-shopping tipples. Their festive menu last year was themed around apres ski, bringing a taste of the Alps to central London with sips such as the Dry Slope and Ski Archery.
Offering fabulously festive mixes such as the Santa Baby - made with vodka, Pimento Dram, blood orange and egg white - alongside the cognac and gingerbread-based Christmas Fairytale, Dirty Martini have mastered the art of bringing delicious Christmassy cocktails to the masses.
London Cocktail Club's seasonal sips? Think a reworked version of everyone's favourite childhood cereal, complete with Absolut Vanilla, Baileys and actual coco pops. Head to this Oxford Street venue for amazing happy hour deals and a party atmosphere like no other.
Located in the heart of Soho, Old Compton Brasserie is the perfect place to refuel after a day of Christmas shopping. This December, their cocktail menu will draw inspiration from three familiar festive faces; Bing Crosby, Ebenezer Scrooge and the big man himself, St. Nicholas. Expect mouth-watering sips with notes of apple pie, gingerbread and cinnamon.
A sleek cocktail spot down Brixton way, Cattivo is renowned for its remarkable feats of mixology and delicious food. From their rhubarb bellini to the customary shot of homemade limoncello, it's the perfect spot to raise a few festive glasses with friends and family.
Voted one of the best cocktail bars in the world, Coupette is the perfect place for a romantic date-night, or elegant Christmas party. We've seen bubbly sips, classic numbers and a unique twist on the nostalgic Snowball, made with Vin Jaune, Champagne sorbet, eggs and nutmeg - the stuff of 70s dreams.
Already one of the City's most picturesque rooftops, Aviary is a spot that truly comes alive at Christmas. Boasting tasty cocktails and funky igloos to cosy down in, whether its a couple of after-work drinks or the big office do, your own private igloo and a few festive bevvies will hit the spot.
Winner of Design My Night's Best Cocktail Bar in North London award, Islington's Homeboy is known for its Irish warmth and devilish drinks. Their Corpus Christmas cocktail is made from Bombay Sapphire, St-Germain, Blue Curacao and topped with tonic water and citric acid - a chilly concoction that looks to be straight out of Lapland.
Head down to Peckham where local cocktail bar Batch is serving up a stunning selection of cocktails, with a quirky festive twist. From a Christmas espresso martini to a Yule Tide Gin Fizz, its got you covered for seasonal sips.
The perfect spot for any chocoholic, this Farringdon-based pop up is serving up sweet twists on classic cocktails. Open Thursday to Sunday up until the 21st of December, the mouth-watering menu will be inspired by your favourite Christmas chocolates - be sure to try their signature drink, the Chocotini.
Straight out of a Brothers Grimm fairytale, the York & Albany gingerbread cabin pop-up is the ultimate winter retreat. Located in the courtyard of the hotel and restaurant, this place is decked out with huge candy canes and its very own fireplace. Expect sweet and savoury gingerbread bites, twists on the classic espresso martini and a gin-based Slim Santa.
The Bloomsbury Club Bar has oft been cited as one of London's most beautiful spots, and it's not hard to see why. A cosy cave adorned with botanicals and fairy lights, this is the perfect spot for a festive-themed date night. The cocktail menu regularly changes and is at present inspired by Tarot cards, with unique concoctions on offer to suit your mood, be that 'blissful', 'secretive' or 'fearless'.
The team behind Purl are known for creating some of the most unique and exciting libations around. An underground speakeasy, the cocktails here are a theatrical affair - and Christmas time is by no means any different. Last year's menu included 'naughty and nice' sips, complete with homemade charcoal bread and orange-infused cream cheese (we'll take that over a lump of coal any day).
The expert mixologists at Maison Bab have teamed up with Grey Goose Vodka this festive season to create a mince pie inspired sip. A punchy concoction of vodka, mince pie infusion (made with apple, cloves, orange, honey and cinnamon) and prosecco, this gorgeous cocktail will have you feeling merry and bright in no time at all.