The Best Cocktail Experience in London
Whether you’re after an elegant hotel bar or an underground cocktail spot, London has it all. And we’ve rounded up our favourite places to drink in the capital.
One of our favourite bars in London, Hide Bar is a place where you can sit back and enjoy their bespoke cocktails. They’ve even taken the time to research the history of mixology, making them a great place for a unique drinking experience.
Sleek, seductive and opulent, Eve Bar is the perfect venue to sip on creative cocktails in St James’s. Its ambience and amenities are top-notch, and its bar snacks are a delicious complement to the cocktails on offer.
Adam Handling’s new cocktail bar, Eve is located beneath his flagship restaurant Frog and promises to deliver a knockout experience. Nestled in a dark, stylishly-decorated hideaway, it’s the perfect place to indulge in life’s greatest temptations.
The theme of Original Sin is a nod to Eve, the first person to resist temptation, with motifs including stained-glass window artwork, tree branches and apples dotted throughout the bar. Eve is also referenced in some of the drinks served here, such as a Negroni with a golden apple or a Peat’D Colada, made from leftover fruit offcuts and infused tequila.
St James Bar
When you’re in a jam, there’s no better way to get your groove on than a few cocktails at the St James Bar. A sophisticated place to meet friends and unwind, the bar serves original vintage and signature drinks in a setting inspired by Coco Chanel’s 1920s Paris apartment.
Indulge in a classic martini, such as the Double Vision, Candy Cane or Skydiver, or try one of their 105 unique variations. The bar also offers a full service menu that includes Champagne cocktails, wines and choice-scotch.
Caribbean cuisine is a key focus of the restaurant’s kitchen, which draws from a range of influences, including African, Chinese, Portuguese and East Indian. Beverage director Glendon Hartley, founder of Service Bar and Cau, oversees the cocktail program with a strong emphasis on small family producers in the region.
Located atop the Page8 hotel, Bisushima is one of London’s newest additions to the rooftop dining scene. This high-end Japanese restaurant combines contemporary design with a transformative vibe inspired by nature.
The 6,000 square foot venue boasts two huge roof terraces overlooking Trafalgar Square, and accommodates over 190 covers in total. It follows the principles of Shinrin-yoku, or nature therapy, with floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the space with light and a calming colour palette.
Chef and restaurateur Sergey Men has crafted a menu that focuses on harmony between guests, environment and food. From a tranquil breakfast through to lively dinner service, Bisushima is the perfect destination for modern Japanese cuisine and interesting wines, sake and cocktails.
Inspired by captivating Wild West stories, Moonshine Saloon is a one-of-a-kind immersive cocktail experience. Stepping through the swinging doors of this bar, you no longer remain a Londoner and instead become a cowboy or a cowgirl for the night!
Once you’ve smuggled your own liquor into the saloon, you can rub shoulders with the locals and play card or dice games. Or, if you’re trusted enough, you may receive a close-up inspection of Clyde Cassidy’s notorious Moonshine Distillery!
Firstly, you must make sure you don’t attract any attention from the sheriff by visiting a tailor who will fit you with Stetson Hats and Cowboy Gear. After that, you’ll hand over your secret liquor to taste bespoke, delicious cocktails expertly made by a world-class team of bartenders.
A magical new “Harry Potter”-inspired experience is about to open in London. Founded by the team behind magical-themed bar The Cauldron, this five-floor interactive museum is set to open on September 25.
Wizard Exploratorium offers a range of experiences that are sure to thrill anyone who is a fan of the books or films. From creating your own custom magic wand to seeing where scenes from the movies were filmed, there is something for everyone!
For adults, the Wizard Potion Making experience is a great way to spend an afternoon. You’ll receive a technology-filled magic wand, pour a welcome drink and use your special molecular mixology skills to brew two delicious elixirs. This experience is also available for children on certain days. After you’ve made your elixirs, your wand will dispense the finished products. Afterward, you’ll enjoy a magical afternoon tea that includes scones and sand-witches!
Alcotraz is one of London’s OG immersive cocktail experiences and a must-visit for anyone looking to experience life behind bars. It’s also an excellent hen or stag do idea, or a perfect place for a unique photoshoot.
Located on Brick Lane, Alcotraz is just a short walk away from Brick Lane Art Gallery and Triyoga health club. It’s a great spot to relax after a busy day in the city.
Inspired by Hollywood movies and TV that have brought to life America’s most infamous prison, Alcotraz is London’s first immersive theatrical, prison-themed cocktail bar. From orange jumpsuits to real metallic cells, it’s the most thrilling backdrop to enjoy a drink within an epic yet intimate environment.
A Covent Garden landmark, Rules has a rich history of patronage from the literary world. Its stained-glass windows, wood-panelled walls and thick baroque-patterned carpets speak of bygone times while slick service and classic British cooking make this restaurant a must for London tourists.
Its private rooms are a popular spot for dinner, but the bar upstairs is a welcome escape from the crowd. It offers a menu of first-class British dishes and game from the owner’s estate, served to a backdrop of stunning Regency decor.
In a recent review, the bar was compared to a dream-like place in Wonderland – and it really does have a charm that is hard to match. It’s one of those London bars that is truly awe-inspiring, and there’s a reason why it’s so popular with Instagrammers. It’s a fun and boozy experience that is hard to put down.
Located in the basement of a restaurant in Camden, BYOC is a speakeasy-style drinking den that follows a bring-your-own-cocktail theme. Guests are asked to bring a bottle of alcohol and the bartenders will create original cocktails using it with their own syrups, sweeteners, fruits, cordials, bitters, mixers and more.
This is the third London venue from the small cocktail bar franchise, which also has a branch in Soho and Brighton. It’s a great place to go with friends for a bespoke cocktail experience.
A great place to enjoy a cocktail, Homeboy Islington is a brick-walled bar with friendly hospitality and a wide selection of drinks. It offers classic cocktails, champagne, and beers as well as bar snacks.
Inside, you’ll find a low-lit, cosy atmosphere with dark panelling and emerald accents. The decor is warm and comfortable, with a mix of exposed brick, painted features, and tiles accentuated for a ‘at home’ vibe.
It’s the perfect spot for an after-dinner drink. Try their Irish Coffee, a blend of sweet coffee with Demerara sugar, Jameson Irish whiskey, and Homeboy’s own Irish coffee bitters topped with a dusting of nutmeg.
The team behind this neighbourhood bar is Ciaran Smith and Aaron Wall – they’re both Irish and know how to bring modern Irish hospitality to London. Expect balanced cocktails, perfect pints of Guinness and simple, family-inspired food.
Nightjar offers a unique cocktail experience that is a must try when visiting London. Its creative drinks, live jazz music and friendly service are all top notch.
It is a true speakeasy bar and must be booked ahead. The cocktails are exquisite and the magic positions they create for each drink make each one a new experience.
The vibe is a Hoxton speakeasy and the cocktails are potent Prohibition-era drinks mixed with house liqueurs and bitters. There is also live jazz, swing and 21st century cabaret.