The Best Cocktail Bars
Whether it's bars that turn cocktail-making into a science, secret speakeasies that are strictly for those in the know, or five star hotel bars that use only the finest ingredients known to man, London has a dynamic, thriving cocktail scene. Check out the capital's best cocktail bars in our handy guide.
ECC Chinatown
13a Gerrard Street, Chinatown, London, W1D 5PS
A little piece of Paris in London, the Experimental Cocktail Club, aka ECC Chinatown, has links to the revered Curio Parlor and Prescription Cocktail Club bars in the French capital and is achingly cool and effortlessly stylish. The sort of hush-hush den you could imagine Don Draper drinking in. Pre-booking your visit is very much advised.
Our rating
****-
User rating
***--
9 reviews
Nightjar
129 City Road, Old Street, London, EC1V 1JB
The sheer brilliance of the drinks at Nightjar may have something to do with bar manager Marian Beke – previously of bars such as Montgomery Place and one of the most distinctive mixologists in London. Divided into four sections, the menu covers ‘the glorious history of the cocktail’. To go with the speakeasy vibe, there are regular live jazz sessions. Nice. One of the best cocktail bars in the capital? No doubt.
Our rating
*****
User rating
*****
1 review
Purple Bar
Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 3NG
Martinis (around £15 each) are the business here and are definitely up there with the very best cocktails in LDN. A ginger and lemongrass martini concoction is highly recommended as is a 'perfect' Manhatten. If you love bars that make you lose track of time and feel completely ensconced from the real world, Purple Bar is an absolute must.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
3 reviews
69 Colebrooke Row
69 Colebrooke Row, Islington, London, N1 8AA
Decadent, sexy, secluded - this Prohibition style bar takes you back to a time when mixing a cocktail was pure art. Only this time, they add some science with molecular mixology techniques and their own cocktail lab. Tony Conigliaro's hand guides the menu and he's widely considered the man to watch in cocktail circles.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
11 reviews
Connaught Bar
The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL
London has some of the best bars in the world. London has some of the best five star hotels in the world. Now, combine the two and what do you get? Connaught Bar. Their signature is a Gin Collins, which is expertly crafted but if you really want to test the skills of the bar staff then order a martini to your exact specification.
Our rating
*****
Zetter Townhouse Cocktail Lounge
The Zetter Townhouse, 49-50 St John's Square, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 4JJ
An eccentric wonderland of a bar, once you enter you’re immediately immersed in a riot of oddities and collectables including paintings of random things like prize fish, porcelain ornaments of cats in vintage garb and antique furnishings. The cocktail menu has been overseen by 69 Colebrooke Row and may include the Le Fleurs Du Mal, a woozy absinthe-based goblet. A modern-day Clerkenwell classic.
Our rating
****-
User rating
****-
4 reviews
Dukes Bar
Dukes London, 36 St James's Place, St James, London, SW1A 1NY
Dukes Bar is where Ian Fleming was reportedly inspired to come up with James Bond's most famous line 'shaken not stirred'. To this day it's widely considered to be one of the world's best martini bars - and that's certainly easy to believe. And if it's good enough for 007...
Our rating
*****
User rating
*****
1 review
Milk & Honey
61 Poland Street, Soho, London, W1F 7NU
A members' club that allows in non-members if you book and don't stay too late, it's worth checking out Milk and Honey for the cocktails, which follow old school techniques. As part of the ultra-cool Rushmore Group, Milk and Honey has a commitment to cocktail excellence that's genuinely world class.
Our rating
*****
User rating
***--
10 reviews
Happiness Forgets
Basement, 8-9 Hoxton Square, Hoxton, London, N1 6NU
This unassuming basement below Hoxton Square has quietly picked up a serious reputation for the quality of its cocktails. Even some of the best bar tenders in town are known to drop in here on their night off - a glowing endorsement, indeed.
Our rating
****-
User rating
****-
3 reviews
London Cocktail Club
Basement, 61 Goodge Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1TL
JJ Goodman's good-time cocktail den on Goodge Street does a fine line in all the classics but it's their food-inspired cocktails that really stand out. A well-executed eggs and bacon martini confirms this is one of the most inventive bars in town and it thoroughly deserves it's place on our best cocktail bars list.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
1 review

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