So many cocktails, so little time. So just stick to the best cocktail bars in London by using our ranked list below. You'll find everything from dark and dirty speakeasy joints and secret bars to bold and brash party spots meant for a night out on the tiles. What they all have in common is mixed drinks that will blow your mind – and hopefully not your budget.
London's best cocktail bars: 50-41
What’s the vibe? Scandinavian minimalism meets science lab chic at this basement bar where drinks have been dreamed up by Talented Mr Fox.
When to visit After a slap-up meal at Rok Smokehouse, one of London’s best restaurants, descend for drinks that are just as smokin’.
What’s on the menu? Nordic-ulously good drinks, from tree-infused martinis to dill and cucumber bellinis.
What’s the vibe? Early-thirties middle-class hen party.
When to visit Payday, or any other time you can guarantee a crowd. You’d feel pretty daft sipping a porn star martini and listening to ‘Parklife’ on your own, after all.
What’s on the menu? Everything is big, brash and boozy, with more than a touch of novelty.
What's the vibe? A tiny bar in a former public convenience.
When to visit When you just need a great cocktail and you can't hold it in any more!
What's on the menu? Straightforward cocktails plus a menu of boilermakers – shot of whiskey, bottle of beer.
What's the vibe? A dark and sleek den of Japanese drinking culture.
When to visit Early for a quiet drink, 9pm onwards for the buzz.
What’s on the menu? Shochu finds its way into most of the cocktails, and they’re great.
What’s the vibe? Twit twoo. Beneath the Balham branch of Foxlow you’ll find this intimate drinking den dressed to kill in black.
When to visit For a date down south – the mood is just right in the flickering candlelight.
What’s on the menu? A short list of cracking originals and a Hawksmoor classic, Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew.
What's the vibe? Tiny, goldfish-bowl bar full of young, friendly Tootingites.
When to visit When you want a slice of Shoreditch without rattling up the Northern Line.
What’s on the menu? Quality bottled beers and cocktails – mostly classic, plus half a dozen in-house creations.
"Winner of the 'world's best high volume bar' at the 2016 Spirited Awards. Open seven days a week 6pm-1am. Cocktail classes also available."
What's the vibe? A quirky but classy hideout serving some of the best cocktails in east London.
When to visit: If you want to avoid the masses when out on a big one in the 'Ditch.
What’s on the menu? Some of the worst/best cocktail puns in London: ‘Sage Advice’, ‘The Fennel Countdown’.
"Join us for bottomless brunch every Saturday and Sunday. £30 for brunch with unlimited rum punch, bloody marys and bellinis for two hours!"
What's the vibe? Hungry, thirsty locals and island beats. Yo ho ho!
When to visit Happy times are all the time here, but the actual happy hour is practically ecstatic.
What’s on the menu? Daquiris, zombies, mai-tais… Rum, rum and more rum.
London's best cocktail bars: 40-31
What's the vibe? Artfully disheveled basement bar filled with artfully disheveled east Londoners.
When to visit When you want to add a shot of glamour to your night out in Dalston.
What's on the menu? Creative cocktails served in style, garnished with one eye on Instagram.
What’s the vibe? Post-colonial drinking palace below Dishoom with just a touch of the speakeasy about it.
When to visit Off-peak times when you can sneak in for a gin.
What’s on the menu? Gin-based drinks with a warm and spicy twist.
What’s the vibe? Fashionable drinkers select this haunt to kickstart a sordid night out in Dalston.
When to visit Any night of the week can feel like the weekend here.
What’s on the menu? Peerless classics, original inventions without too much showing off.
What’s the vibe? A west London hotel bar that’s actually buzzing. Oak-paneled, marble-topped, velvet-lined, classy as hell.
When to visit Make it an all-nighter at K Bar. You’ll struggle to find better drinks in the vicinity.
What’s on the menu? Dessert drinks for the dreamiest of nightcaps.
What's the vibe? The Deep South by way of the East End.
When to visit A night out where you can pretend you're 4,000 miles away in Louisiana.
What's on the menu? Refined cocktails that are authentically bracing and short.
What's the vibe? Spitalfields hip meets City money, but the only sparks fly from the dreamy drinks.
When to visit For an evening of serious cocktail love, or just while waiting for a table at one of Spitalfields' finest.
What’s on the menu? Serious, complex cocktails, with brown spirits prominent.
What's the vibe? A subterranean hideout metres from the Old Street roundabout.
When to visit If you don’t want live music (and a cover charge), early evening’s best.
What’s on the menu? Some of the most madcap/inventive cocktails in London. Visit to find out what ‘plankton air’ is.
What's the vibe? Dark and moody, good for groups but great for couples.
When to visit An early weekday evening is pleasantly unhurried.
What’s on the menu? Even when the drinks sound a little wacky, they have a tendency to taste great.
What's the vibe? A hidden speakeasy with as much substance as style.
When to visit One of those special occasions when splurging on cocktails is just what you want to do.
What’s on the menu? Stunningly balanced cocktails, many with vintage spirits.
What's the vibe? Low-key when quiet, boisterous when busy.
When to visit Early evening is when you’re most likely to bag a table.
What’s on the menu? Beautifully made concoctions inspired by British stories.
London's best cocktail bars: 30-21
What’s the vibe? Callooh Callay’s sister bar is a veritable library. Get cosy in one of its corners.
When to visit For a silly night out in north London, make a beeline for the bar’s own photo booth.
What’s on the menu? All sorts of swizzles, smashes and sours. Don’t miss the Pan Am.
What's the vibe? Discreet, dark, delightful.
When to visit Whenever you can book: it’s easier early in the week. Or become a member.
What’s on the menu? Simple-sounding cocktails with decades of collective bartending experience behind them.
What's the vibe? Big chill: laughing locals quaffing classy cocktails .
When to visit On a late East End night out that needs something a bit classy.
What’s on the menu? No-messing-about twisted classics, all done perfectly.
What's the vibe? Seriously laid back, and lively without being overbearingly noisy.
When to visit When you want to chill with a proper West End cocktail – but without paying Belgravia prices.
What’s on the menu? Flawless classics that don’t try to improve on what’s already perfect.
What’s the vibe? The follow-up to Nightjar – think of Oriole as the flashy little sister. Expect show-stopping glamour and a wall papered in a lush palm tree print.
When to visit Be sure to come after 8.30pm to soak up the atmosphere of a live jazz band.
What’s on the menu? Good luck choosing from this cornucopia of wild cocktails. Drinking here is far from stripped back but boy is it stunning.
What's the vibe? Cool customers crowding in for cocktails and conversation .
When to visit: To get a deeper connection to the spirit that almost caused London’s ruin – gin.
What’s on the menu? Anything made with Portobello, the house gin , is worth a second look.
What's the vibe? Eye-opening dusky glamour any time of the day.
When to visit To remind yourself that such places exist in your city. Make the most of them!
What’s on the menu? Champagne cocktails. Loads of them. What more of an excuse do you need?
What's the vibe? Hip cocktail bar with a tongue-in-cheek creative streak.
When to visit? When you want a cocktail with a twist that isn’t just lemon peel.
What’s on the menu? The puntastic cocktails at Peg & Patriot are as creative as their names suggest.
What’s the vibe? Popular haunt for local in-the-know creative execs who savour the finer things.
When to visit They open until 2am; perfect for when that well-intentioned ‘just one pint after work’ gets out of hand.
What's on the menu? Strong flavours executed with Parisian panache.
London's best cocktail bars: 20-11
What’s the vibe? A tiny little room with a loose Prohibition theme is low-key enough to let the focus fall on cocktail wizardry.
When to visit Later on in the week when there’s a bit more of a buzz about the place and flapper girl table service feels totally acceptable.
What’s on the menu? Mind-blowing drinks served in even madder glassware.
What’s the vibe? A hidden basement bar on Hackney’s Mare Street where vinyl records are given as much attention as gorgeous drinks.
When to visit For a Sunday session – it stays open until 10pm.
What’s on the menu? Short pousse-café digestifs, drinks paired with oysters and a Manhattan well worth savouring.
What's the vibe? Money without snootiness: everyone’s here to cool their heels, whether in Y3’s or Louboutins.
When to visit Earlier in the evening to get a table without a long wait. Late night for people watching.
What’s on the menu? It pushes the envelope with some brave experimentation, but these eagle-eyed bartenders never miss the bullseye.
What’s the vibe? Art students and vista-loving sunseekers get merry on a rooftop.
When to visit Summer, obvs, and sunsets are particularly appealing.
What’s on the menu? A solid selection of Campari- and bitter-based shorts.
What’s the vibe? Rocking apothecary with white-tiled walls and pharmaceutical gear. You’re sure to get hooked.
When to visit On a Friday or Saturday night when it’s strictly playtime. See if you can find their secret bar within a bar, Blinders.
What’s on the menu? Doctor’s orders: get yourself a Brockwell Park Bramble, which comes with a syringe of Chambord. Feeling better?
What’s the vibe? Prohibition chic with a tasteful infusion of twenty-first-century cool.
When to visit When you’ve got someone special to impress.
What’s on the menu? Bold drinks with a cheeky, anything-goes approach to ingredients.
London's best cocktail bars: the top ten
What's the vibe? Beautiful cocktails in a beautiful Spitalfields setting.
When to visit The list of post-dinner drinks is a corker – make a night of it after steak upstairs.
What’s on the menu? We can’t see past the Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew – gin, lemon, ginger and London Pride beer.
What’s the vibe? Tokyo street signage, photogenic neon and brash hip hop make for one vibrant setting where Londoners will feel well at home.
When to visit You could come for a pre-dinner drink, but we say make a night of it down here. Order incredible Japanese bar snacks from Sosharu upstairs, instead.
What’s on the menu? Perfectly balanced, Asian-inspired drinks. The Champagne Papi requires audience participation.
What's the vibe? A young crowd who know a good drink – and a good time – when they taste one.
When to visit On an east London cocktail crawl.
What’s on the menu? Cocktails are often served in unusual glassware (and ceramicware) with wacky garnishes, candy floss or noodles among them.
What's the vibe? International hotel glamour; world-beating drinks.
When to visit A few cocktails here looking out over the Thames makes for a properly classy London night out.
What’s on the menu? All original creations from international startender Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan.
What's the vibe? Upmarket mixed drinks in a down-to-earth and devilishly cool location.
When to visit Thursday night; the weekend starts early here.
What’s on the menu? Some of the best cocktails to be found in Bethnal Green’s burgeoning booze scene.
What's the vibe? Cocktails you’ve never seen the like of.
When to visit It’s entertaining as well as being trailblazing – a great place for a party or just a few mindblowing cocktails with friends.
What’s on the menu? Ingredients include electric stonefruit brandy, beeswax egg, blackcurrant paint. It’s all amazing.
What’s the vibe? Cosseted, cool hotel bar bringing fashionistas together round the punch bowl.
When to visit Book a table by the fire for an impressively hot date night.
What’s on the menu? Booze! A modern take on a good, old-fashioned bowl of punch.
Discover London's best signature drinks
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A subterranean cocktail lounge and DJ bar located beneath The Red Fort, on Dean Street. Expect Indian bar bites, signature cocktails and DJs playing late into the night. There's free entry, too.
"Enjoy delicious cocktails, 2 for £12 in the heart of Soho, a perfect spot for after work drinks (Mon-Fri)"