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The 50 best cocktail bars in London

We've ranked the mixmasters making the finest cocktail concoctions in town, so scroll on discover London's best cocktail bars.

© Victor Frankowski

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.

Reviews by Euan Ferguson, Richard Ehrlich, Laura Richards, Andy Hill, David Clack, Tania Ballantine, Chris Waywell and Phoebe Trimingham

London's best cocktail bars: 50-41

50
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Tonteria

What’s the vibe? Rich kids party hard, south-of-the-border style.

When to visit The decadent ‘Do Not Disturb’ party every Thursday: a relentless sensory fiesta.

What’s on the menu? Tequila-based cocktails and straight shots, alongside champagne and other high-society faves.

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Belgravia
49
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Peckham Springs

What’s the vibe? Youthful and hedonistic – basically exactly what you’d expect from a Peckham railway arch.

When to visit Late-ish on a Saturday night, when DJs spin tunes and the party spills out into the yard area at the front.

What’s on the menu? Mostly modern classics (negronis, espresso martinis) with a sideline in longer, boozier, pricier numbers.

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Peckham Rye
48
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Rum Kitchen

Venue says: 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.

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Westbourne
47
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Portobello Star

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.

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Westbourne
46
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Ceviche

Venue says: Great for pre- and post-theatre dining in the heart of Soho.

What’s the vibe? It’s party time all the time at this spirited South American spot.

When to visit When you find yourself asking ‘donde esta la fiesta?’

What’s on the menu? If you’re thinking about getting pissed on anything other than Pisco, think again. Discover Peru’s best export, the Pisco Sour.

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Soho
45
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Mr Fogg's

What's the vibe? Victorian explorer’s curiosity-filled abode, with spiffing cocktails.

When to visit For a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

What’s on the menu? The sense of frivolity extends to the cocktail menu, but all drinks are made with real skill.

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Mayfair
44
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Communion Bar

What’s the vibe? The faux stained glass and Catholic iconography is either charmingly kitsch or downright blasphemous, depending on how you spend your Sabbath.

When to visit Head down on Saturdays from 9pm to catch vinyl-only funk and soul sets from the bar’s resident DJ.

What’s on the menu? It’s experimental, with a whole page given over to south London-inspired mixes.

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Camberwell
43
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Ladies & Gentlemen

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.

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Kentish Town
42
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Ridley Road Market Bar

What’s the vibe? Friendly hipsters out for a cut-price boogie.

When to visit Weekend evenings after the pub when you fancy taking things up a notch.

What’s on the menu? Unfussy classics with a vaguely tropical slant.

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Kingsland
41
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Shochu Lounge

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.

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Fitzrovia

London's best cocktail bars: 40-31

40
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Blind Pig

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.

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Soho
39
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London Cocktail Club

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.

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Fitzrovia
38
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Little Bar

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.

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Tooting
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Callooh Callay

Venue says: 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’.

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Shoreditch
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Frank's Cafe

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.

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Peckham
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Ruby's

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.

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Shacklewell
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The Permit Room

What’s the vibe? Post-colonial drinking palace 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.

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King's Cross
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Booking Office

Venue says: Victorian-inspired cocktails and modern-British cuisine in an historic setting.

What's the vibe? Luxury hotel mixes with Eurostar bustle, suits and heels mix with train-waiting holiday-seekers.

When to visit Before you get on the train, or between disembarking and heading off to dinner in Granary Square.

What’s on the menu? Classically based cocktails, simple in construction and effect. And check out the punches, served in mugs or bowls.

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Bloomsbury
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Joyeux Bordel

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.

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Shoreditch
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Grain Store Bar

What's the vibe? Quasi-Continental outdoor-living people-watching.

When to visit Aim for a sunny summer evening – Granary Square is quite lovely when the sun is setting.

What’s on the menu? Things like this: a bellini made not with peach purée but with celeriac purée; or a ‘Greco-Roman wine’, infused with the likes of smoked paprika cordial.

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King's Cross

London's best cocktail bars: 30-21

30
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NOLA London

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.

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Shoreditch
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Punch Room at the London Edition

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.

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Fitzrovia
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Trailer Happiness

What's the vibe? Casual, sunny and funny – and rammed at weekends.

When to visit Weekdays are chill-days, but this is Notting Hill and a party is never far away.

What’s on the menu? Tongue-in-cheek drinks with a massive measure of fun.

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Westbourne
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Discount Suit Company

Venue says: Quirky cocktails inspired by classics. Soulful DJs on Wednesday to Saturday. Back streets of Shoreditch. Guest cocktail changing each month.

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 the nearby Hotbox barbecue palace.

What’s on the menu? Serious, complex cocktails, with brown spirits prominent, which aim for harmony and balance.

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Spitalfields
26
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Oskar's Bar

What’s the vibe? Darkling Gotham City chic.

When to visit Midweek, when it’s more glamorous than clamorous.

What's on the menu? Imaginative cocktails including beer- and cider-based drinks.

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Fitzrovia
25
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Nightjar

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.

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Hoxton
24
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Worship Street Whistling Shop

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.

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Shoreditch
23
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Original Sin


What's the vibe? Stokey cool, and a free game of pool
.

When to visit Before climbing the stairs to Burger Bear.

What’s on the menu? The cocktails, served by impeccably pleasant staff, are strong, well-balanced and classy.

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Stoke Newington
22
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Cocktail Trading Company

What's the vibe? A young crowd who know a good drink – and a good time – when they taste one.


When to visit On a City 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.

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Farringdon
21
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Peg & Patriot

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.

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Bethnal Green

London's best cocktail bars: 20-11

20
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High Water

What’s the vibe? A real bartenders' bar – although everyone should go, from accountants to zookeepers.

When to visit On a Dalston night out where you're looking for something more sophisticated.

What’s on the menu? Peerless classics, original inventions without too much showing off.

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Dalston
19
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Experimental Cocktail Club

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.

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Chinatown
18
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Mark's Bar

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.

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Soho
17
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Artesian

What’s the vibe? Buzzy hotel bar with jaw-dropping drinks.

When to visit When there’s something to really celebrate (like robbing a bank, perhaps?).

What’s on the menu? Mixology of the highest order – this is cocktail chemistry with way more than a cursory presentational flourish.

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Marylebone
16
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Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

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?

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Charing Cross
15
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Knowhere Special

What's the vibe? Tiny, laid-back basement bar with great music and fabulous drinks.


When to visit On a classy night out in Kentish Town – that’s possible now!

What’s on the menu? Simple drinks made with sophisticated touches, like homemade infusions.

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Kentish Town
14
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Milk & Honey

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.

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Soho
13
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The Connaught Bar

What's the vibe? People-watching with the 1 percent.

When to visit Late night – at least you can pretend you’ve got a room upstairs…

What’s on the menu? Make your first stop the martini menu. A trolley is wheeled to your table and the drink’s made right before you.

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Mayfair
12
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Satan's Whiskers

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.

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Bethnal Green
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Dandelyan

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.

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South Bank

London's best cocktail bars: the top ten

10
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69 Colebrooke Row

What's the vibe? A tiny space where people come in search of cocktail heaven.

When to visit For cocktails that don’t need to show off about how good they are.

What’s on the menu? The likes of the Terroir: ‘distilled clay, flint and lichen’.

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Islington
9
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Dukes Hotel

What's the vibe? Ultimate self-indulgent luxury in three tiny, cosseting rooms.

When to visit A great place for a hot but quiet date.

What’s on the menu? All the classics, but it has to be a martini. Just the one.

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St James'
8
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American Bar at The Savoy

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.

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Charing Cross
7
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Berners Tavern

What’s the vibe? Central London hotel bar without the stuffiness.

When to visit For a post-work drink that beats crowding on a West End pavement with a pint in hand any day.

What’s on the menu? Plenty of puns in the drink names; plenty of sophistication in the glasses.

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Fitzrovia
6
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Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar

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.

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Spitalfields
5
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Bar Termini

What's the vibe? Lively and always busy, but quiet because of its size.

When to visit Early evenings are perfect for a cocktail before dinner in Soho.

What’s on the menu? Italian classics, short and strong.

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Soho
4
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Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel

What's the vibe? Seriously laid back, and lively without 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.

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Soho
3
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Happiness Forgets

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.

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Shoreditch
2
Love It

Zetter Townhouse

What's the vibe? As imaginative a bar as you’ll see in London, with cocktails to match.

When to visit When you’re maxed-out with the minimalist style of other bars.

What’s on the menu? It’s a small but creative list of small but creative cocktails.

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Clerkenwell
1
Love It

White Lyan

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.

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Hoxton

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Cocktail menus can be overwhelming, with all the puntastic tipple titles and fancy foams, vapours and distillations. If you really need to know what to drink in London, here's a good place to start. 

Read more
By: Euan Ferguson

Take our cocktail quiz!

Comments

24 comments
Jason James
Jason James

Bar Termini wins hands down. It's a bugger to get into but it's always worth the wait. Amazing old fashioneds and martinis. 

Dijana K
Dijana K

It's articles like this that contributes to gentrification. To put ridley road in dalston on the top 50 cocktail bars is absolute bull. £5 for a mohito in a plastic cup yes. And tourists will be robed and stared out of locals. Welcome! 

Michaela M
Michaela M

Cartier off Bond Street most beautiful bar with decor that's elegant - great wine and cocktails. Comfortable bar - intimate and also secret hidden room is good for a larger group / party. My favourite.

Greg S
Greg S

Where's Opium in Chinatown?

Amy W
Amy W

There's a new little cocktail bar on Liverpool Street called W.M Barker & Co, it's underground right beneath the pub Dirty Dicks and they do AMAZING cocktails. On Thursday, Fri and Sat they're open till 3am and it's free entry as well... great place! 

Gabriele G
Gabriele G

Went to Zetter last weekend  -  fantastic experience. Will be going back with anyone coming to visit me.

Alfred S
Alfred S

The vault soho should def be on this list

Martin S
Martin S

Gilbert and Scott do amazing cocktails.

Paul P
Paul P

Don't forget R.S. Hispaniola and the Upper Deck Bar.  The cocktail list is great and great views opposite the London Eye.

Jeff M
Jeff M

It’s interesting that none of the THREE London bars shortlisted in the top four, “best new international cocktail bars in the world” by the drinks industry biggest international award “The Spirited Awards” hosted in New Orleans last year are even mentioned on this list - Blind Pig, White Lion and NOLA are all absent... While most of the other bars on this list are great the author definitely needs to get out more...

RichardEhrlich
RichardEhrlich moderator

@Jeff M Thanks for your comment, Jeff. I'd just like to point out that White Lyan is on our list.

Riccardo
Riccardo

Colony Club in Mayfair definetly one of the best bars.

Dave still
Dave still

I have to say that one of the best up and coming cocktail bars in London is 214 Bermondsey Gin and cocktail bar on Bermondsey Street. It is equidistant from London Bridge and Borough and is serving up really good quality cocktails at a good price in a really mellow environment. If you are into your Gin then I would get down there. They even make there own tonic water!

Xoni
Xoni

the best bar Bluebird bar kings road Chelsea all new signature and fresh fruit cocktail and so many type of the glassware

Brice
Brice

Central & Co, just opposite Carnaby street, has a small but great cocktail list in it's basement bar. They also take you on a journey through flavours as all the spirits are unbranded and described for you by their flavour profiles. I thought it was a great experience.

Sarah Jouan
Sarah Jouan

Apres London next to selfridges is one of the best cocktail bar you can find in london town. Not sure why it is not in your classement. The drinks & the service are great and its bouncing every nights with Dj or Live music

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Adam Weston
Adam Weston

For a unique cocktail experience, check out Tart Bar & Restaurant! Sitauated a few minutes away from Farringdon Tube station, Tart Bar features both an impressive conventional cocktail menu, as well as their own special "Tartinis" Menu. These unique cocktails provide an interesting infusion of alcohol and tasty deserts! Available for private hire, and sporting a 4am license, Tart is an exceptional night out!

Suzanne Oakley
Suzanne Oakley

For a great cocktail experience South of the River try House of Tippler cocktail bar & kitchen. Situated in the heart of lively Lordship Lane East Dulwich, H.o.T is a friendly independently run neighbourhood cocktail bar and kitchen. The drinks list has been carefully created to offer a unique twist on all the classics. Try the Tippler Martini served in a mini martini glass with the remainder of the drink in baby carafe on ice to keep it cool! The Tapas style food menu is designed to compliment the drinks list with seasonal specials and locally inspired ingredients are used to create a menu of small plates designed for sharing. Try the grilled Bavette steak, trompette mushrooms, sauce vierge - amazing! Open late at weekends with live music every Friday and DJs on Saturdays. Great space for hire for parties too! There's also a neat little back garden for al fresco dining in the Summer months and the Sunday roasts and Bloody Marys are to-die-for!

Reese Wither Smith
Reese Wither Smith

This list is incomplete without best Cocktail Bar in City of London- Anise. Famous for spice infused cocktails, small and affordable bar food and Live music on occassions. Tucked in the Devonshire square 2 minutes from London Liverpool Street, it is a must try institution for great cocktails, atmosphere and reasonable prices.www.anisebar.com and the adjacent best Indian restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen.

Danni
Danni

The new Jamies Wine Bar on St Martins Lane does excellent cocktails- and most of them are £4.50 between 5pm and 9pm!!!

barmen pirate
barmen pirate

my name is yılmaz if you wist that name off ı gıve you my name you can fıne lots diffrent cocktail end ı can hel you for everythıng you want ın there end about anythıng you want you can ask