Whether you’re craving a vibrant strawberry daiquiri, an exotic pina colada, or a flawless margarita, there are plenty of bars in London just waiting to mix you up the perfect cocktail. Check out our guide to the best cocktail bars in London, and grab yourself a drink – cheers!
Madison, St Paul’s
To gaze at spectacular views as you sip on a fabulous cocktail, head to the roof-top bar of Madison. This terrace bar is famous for its outstanding views of St Paul’s, its top-notch cosmopolitan-style cocktails, and its modern décor and atmosphere. They have a reasonable selection of cocktails, but each one has a unique and vibrant twist. Here you could choose to sip a “Tokyo Caipirinha” with sake, a “#Bellini” with Prosecco, berries and crème de fraise, or a “DoDo” with Babicka vodka, tabasco, lemon and olive. Madison also has its own restaurant next door, and sells a selection of delicious snacks including gourmet popcorn, currywurst and char-grilled squid. This bar is mostly outside on a beautiful roof-top terrace, so it makes the perfect place to visit on a warm, sunny afternoon. In the winter months, be sure to wear a coat, and there are also a few outdoor heaters that you can huddle under.
Toy Shop, Putney
With its colourful decoration, lively staff and out-of-this-world cocktails, this bar is quite literally a toy shop for adults. Even though you might think that the drinks in a vibrant and “child-like” place might be rubbish, the Toy Shop actually takes their cocktails very seriously – and they sure know what they are doing. The drinks at this exciting bar will never disappoint, as they are all very tasty, inventive and fun. Each cocktail is finished with a unique and special touch, whether it is milkshake foam with colourful sprinkles on top, a joker card pegged to the glass or even roasted marshmallows on a bed of edible flowers. They also sell an array of Mexican and American-style food in the day, such as smoked paprika falafel dog, 12 hour slow roasted beef brisket burrito, and grilled hummus and vegetable wrap, which all goes perfectly with one of their cocktails.
Artesian Bar at the Langham, Marylebone
Being an award-winning bar, Artesian is the best place to go to if you are looking for a special evening of fancy cocktails in a truly classy atmosphere. With finishing touches of dainty flowers and flamboyant fruits, served in unusual glasses, this bar brings an edge of finery to its cocktails. Even though the drinks are a little pricey starting at around £16.50 each, they are amazing and you can really see why the bar has won international awards. Here you can expect to sip on classic cocktails such as daiquiris and martinis, and also enjoy drinks with a twist, including “Time, Space & Honey”, with Grey Goose vodka, parsnip, honey and champagne, and “Instant Crush”, with Ocho, sherry, melon, cucumber, coriander and bitters.
Be At One, various locations in London
With 23 fantastic cocktail bars dotted across London, Reading, Brighton, Bristol and Milton Keynes, Be At One mixes inventive and delicious cocktails with attentive staff and a lively atmosphere. The bar have a very extensive list of exciting drinks to try, which include pretty much every spirit, cocktail type and flavour you could think of. Fancy your first cocktail to be vodka with a fruity taste and a modern twist? Then try the “Blueberry Muffin”, “Porn Star Martini” or “Woo Woo”. Want your next drink to be a classic cocktail with rum and a strong flavour? Then order a “Mai Tai”, “Cuban Zombie” or a “Straight Up Daiquiri”. This bar sells a cocktail that will be amazing for every taste bud.
Inspired by the culture and rich history of New Orleans, Nola in Shoreditch, is a very casual and stylish cocktail bar. Plenty of the drinks have been designed and created in America, and they serve the oldest cocktail in America, the “Sazerac”. This classic cocktail dates back to before the civil war, and is a definite must-try when you visit this bar. Other popular cocktails are “The Hurricane” and “The Grasshopper”. The whole bar itself is very picturesque, with a large shiny, solid copper bar, high-backed booths, French café tables, and a cigar terrace out back. If you fancy experiencing New Orleans culture and style with your cocktail, then Nola is the bar for you.
El Camion, Soho
Not only is El Camion one of the hottest Mexican restaurants in London, they also know how to make a good cocktail or two. El Camion has some of the world’s top mixologists working for them, including Dick Bradsell, who has trained many of London’s best bar staff. Bradsell has invented most of the exciting cocktails that they sell, including the “Pink Chihuahua”, which is made up of tequila shaken with lime juice, pomegranate juice and fluffy egg white, and the “El Diabolo” that is made up of tequila, lime juice, ginger ale and crème de cassis. The interior is flamboyant with plenty of flashes of bright colours, cheery designs and quotes, which is a great match to the exciting cocktails.
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Written by Alissa Johnson