Fancy a drink with a twist? In London, creative cocktail bars go above and beyond just a run-of-the-mill twist, creating the most dazzling drinks that have to be seen to be believed. We’ve rounded up the most bonkers cocktails in the capital so you can get your quirky drink on.
London's most quirky cocktails
Japanese joint 7 Tales asks drinkers of its Champagne Papi to take a token to the bar’s vending machine from which pops out a capsule containing the final element to your drink, an absinthe-soaked sugar cube. Pop it in, watch the bubbles and read from the proverb that also arrives with your tipple.
All childhood dreams are fulfilled in a very adult way on the ‘Long and Short Great British Tails’ menu at Jason Atherton’s Blind Pig. Pick up a Harry Potter-themed cocktail made to resemble the favourite drink of the wizarding world, Butterbeer. This version is spiked with scotch, beer and butterscotch. Merlin’s Beard!
This silly drink is described on the menu as ‘crisp, zingy and evocative’. It will probably bring back memories of grandad more than anything, with a pair of false teeth hovering at the bottom of the clear, pisco drink. If that doesn’t make you grin, you’re probably dead inside.
Venue says: “We're transforming a suite into a botanical tasting room for the month of June with Bombay Sapphire. Head to our website for more info.”
Drinks on the new menu at Dandelyan centre around themes of escapism in among botany. It’s complex stuff, but don’t worry, All Tomorrow’s Parties – a gin-based cocktail with green tea and grapefruit – is based on life-giving energy molecule ATP as well as the bar’s fave music festival. Plus, it comes with a freakin’ emoji on the top. Party!
There’s a pharmaceutical look at First Aid Box, which is fitting since the drinks definitely cure whatever ails you. Order up this one for a quirky fix, with gin, maraschino and bitters served with a syringe of Chambord on the side for an extra shot in the arm.
Clerkenwell’s The Gibson goes one better than pulling a rabbit from a hat with its cocktail trickery by putting a bloody big drink in it instead. The Wizard of Oz contains cherry-stalk-infused rye whiskey with added smokiness from tawny port and smoked corn. Why not order up a hatrick.
It’s a wacky twist on a martini that should quench the average Londoner’s thirst for brunching and boozing in one fell swoop. The drink at LCC combines bourbon with maple syrup, egg white, lemon juice, bitters and, of course, a rasher of bacon and a haribo egg. One of these is never an-oeuff.
Nightjar knows how to do quirky drinking vessels, but this birdie is the star of the show. See his cute little face light up Instagram and then order him up on your next trip. The Aku Aku is filled with two types of rum, apricot brandy and papaya purée, so you’ll be flying high after just one sip.
At Chinese drinking parlour Opium, the oriental apothecary vibes are carried through in a drink that spews a cascade of smoke ferociously out and down the side of the glass for a good stint after being poured. It’s a magic trick of a drink and it’s one worth savouring thanks to tequila, ginger and oolong tea.
Sip from the ultimate drinking vessel – a vagina-shaped receptacle – at Tony Conigliaro’s minimalist drinking den Untitled. Don’t worry, it’s hidden under a fig leaf fashioned from paper to save any blushes round the table. The drink itself is a sweet, smooth and yoghurty tipple sent from Eden.
Discover London's most quirky bars
Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to stepping out for a tipple. There are craft beer pubs, cosy pubs, gin bars and cocktail bars. Then there are the quirky joints… You can settle down for a drink in the surrounds of an old tube carriage, unearth a watering hole hidden behind a fridge door, or sup from a glass of ice while sat on ice in a building made of, you guessed it, ice, and that's only the beginning. We've rounded up the most off-the-wall, quirky bars and pubs London has to offer so you can wet your whistle with the right amount of weird.