Whether you're looking for a top Tom Collins, a magnificent martini or the quintessential cosmo – somewhere in town there's a bartender just waiting to mix it for you. Some of the best cocktails can be found in hotel bars, while there are also some pretty cool bars in London shaking things up in a more low-key fashion. For the full range, check out our guide to the best cocktail bars in London.
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London's best cocktail bars
Venue says: 2-for-1 offer on main courses Monday & Saturday after 5pm! Enjoy our lunch offer too on weekdays with £6.95 for any burgers and fries!
From Fluid Movement, which brought us Purl and the Worship Street Whistling Shop, VOC occupies a smallish, cosy space in one of north London’s most restaurant-intensive precincts. The name derives from the Dutch East India Company, and there’s a nautical and historical theme to the drinks list. Punches based on old recipes figure large, though modern technology brings them right up to date. Playing it safe with the classics is by no means the inferior option, however, as textbook martinis and caipirinhas proved. It took us a while to get our drinks because of lack of staff behind the tiny bar (barely five feet long), and there’s no table service, so you have to queue. But no one seemed to mind. Interestingly, more people were drinking beer or wine than cocktails, at least on our visit. VOC now has a restaurant too, majoring on grilled meat.